Rome, Italy, ongoing
Besides the retail area, the lower ground floor of Rinascente Roma Tritone is home to one of the archaeological treasures of Ancient Rome: the Aqua Virgo, an imposing aqueduct completed in 19 BC under the reign of emperor Augustus. 1+1=1’s interior design project brings this antique relic back to life as part of the rarefied ambience and luxurious interiors of the Exhibition Space.
The reconverted area comprising the Palazzetto and the Aqua Virgo can be accessed through the openings in the travertine stone wall surrounding the Design Supermarket. This area was designed for exhibitions, concerts and cultural events, offering laRinascente visitors a refreshing cultural break. The Exhibition Space is made up of two parts: an irregular plan exhibition hall (the ancient Palazzetto site), followed by a long, double-height gallery. Delimiting one side of the gallery, that reaches up to 7 m in height, is the ancient brick wall of the Aqua Virgo.
In 1+1=1’s design proposal at floor level the contemporary area is adjacent to the Aqua Virgo brick wall but not connected to it. A 1.5 m wide and deep gap is interposed between the two areas and allows for the archaeological relic to be admired but not touched, which heightens its precious aura.
The vault ceiling of the gallery touches the brick wall at regular intervals, creating a pattern of skylights that allow sunlight in. Travertine floors, white walls, ancient brick and a well-balanced blend of natural and artificial light create a contemplative atmosphere where visitors can relish moments of quiet and wonder.
credits: Claudio Silvestrin and Giuliana Vittoria Salmaso with Marco Pavoni, Anna Fornasier, Maria Granata, Eros Novello, Mauro Todesco