Not without controversy inaugurated in Rome on October 29th the long-awaited new convention center of EUR, best known as la Nuvola (Cloud) of Fuksas.
Eighteen years after the approval of the project and after the usual troubled bureaucratic and political disputes, the idea of Massimiliano Fuksas is open and running.
The design idea is basically composed of three images: the Teca, the Nuvola (cloud) and the Lama (blade).
The Teca, oriented longitudinally, is the outer container with steel frame and double glass façade that encloses the Nuvola.
The Nuvola is the centerpiece of the project. Its constriction in the “box” space Teca highlights the comparison between free spatial articulation, unregulated, and a form geometrically defined. Inside the Nuvola are the auditorium for 1760 (apparently uncomfortable as Mrs Fuksas likes) seats, dining area and the auditorium support services. The Nuvola is, undoubtedly, the characteristic architectural element of the project. The structure in steel ribs, with an extraordinary visual effect, is covered by a transparent sheet of 15,000 square meters.
Last part is the Lama, the hotel of 441 rooms designed as independent and autonomous.
Massimiliano Fuksas is not happy though. He is not fully satisfied with the name, choosen by the Romans and seen as bestower of lightness and absence of stability. He is not happy with the role of politics and bureaucracy in a project that would bring prestige and money to the Italian capital. The mayor Raggi commented, among insults, criticizing the enormous cost of 239 million euros (still lower than the actual forecasts). At the end Fuksas finds his commitment and his genius belittled, excluded from the project in the middle of the work in progress. He is right when he speaks of an Italy that talks about to waste and never about art and culture. A country full of critical voices who do not realize that the Italy which today boasts the largest number of sites recognized by UNESCO, was built by brilliant minds and forward-looking patrons who saw in art, architecture and culture a source of wealth.
As public works require monitoring, we should, rather than condemning the costs, try to concentrate on what a work of this kind means to our country. The Nuvola with the singularity of its design, with the versatility of its space, with the choice of materials with advanced technology and its environmentally friendly approach, it is not just the latest work of one of the most brilliant architects of the last century, is a symbol of an Italy still able to impress with great works, which does not rest on the laurels of past glories but decides to keep up with the times, to remain large and competitive.
Lovers of architecture passing through Rome can now add some stop to their tour and enjoy a wider art world, from the ancient walls of the Colosseum to the futuristic design of the Calatrava’s City of Sport of Tor Vergata, to sustainable concept of the Fuksas’ new conference center. The Eternal City, centuries later, it continues to shine and surprise and we hope it’ll continue to earn the title for a long time.