Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Criticized and disregarded, but also visited and admired, today we talk about a work of art that generated a lot of clamor: Fuksas Cloud, enormous architectural project, well known for the odyssey which characterized its realization.

The new Conference Center, a project by the Master of Architecture Massimiliano Fuksas, is located in the EUR district of Rome and can host different types of events: shows, exhibitions and conventions of all genres.
Fuksas propose won the international architecture contest on the 16th of February 2000. The executive project was approved in 2007 and works started in 2008.
The cost initially predicted was of 272 millions of Euros, then, unexpectedly, went down to 238,9 millions. In 2013 due to the district’ tight financial circumstances, works risked to be interrupted, so they recurred to a loan of 100 millions of Euros to return in 30 years.
On the 29th of October 2016 the New Conference Center was inaugurated with a live on Rai 1, to the presence of the President Matteo Renzi, the Mayor of Rome Virginia Raggi and, of course, the architect Massimiliano Fuksas.

The project develops into three different organisms:

– The Cloud: a suspended 1850 seats auditorium, connected by walkways.

– The Case: glass and steel building that contains the auditorium, it’s a double skin shell which protects from sunlight and includes different areas.

– The Blade: 441 rooms hotel, 56 meters tall over 17 floors.

In its entirety the work is composed by 15 thousands square meters of glass fibers kept together by a sequence of steel elements which determine the shape. The auditorium hall is internally covered by more than 4700 panels of american cherry wood that guarantee the highest acoustic performances. In order to support the whole project, 20 thousand tons of steel were used, a quantity “equal to almost three times the iron used for the Tour Eiffel”!

Just like the Tour, the Cloud, so much criticized and badly treated by the public opinion and demolished by some political parties, is destined to play a fundamental role in the urban district in which is inserted: the structure projected by Fuksas will characterize the EUR quarter as Business District and attractive pole of the congressional tourism, allowing Rome to get in position with the other great capitals of the world.

Despite the evident complexity of the project, a doubt still remains: why did it take 16 years for its realization?
In 16 years the whole world evolved, and the big impact that the Cloud could have had if realized earlier, maybe grew dim with the time passing by. Was it worth the while? Only time will give us an answer.

In the meantime, what do you think about going to see with your own eyes?

5km to EUR

Here is the itinerary I prepared for you: 5km that will allow you to visit the whole EUR district.
Starting from Piazzale delle Nazioni Unite, going across the spectacular Museo della Civiltà Italiana (the so-called Square Colosseum), through the Palazzo dei Congressi, the Planetarium and the Museo della Civiltà Romana finally to The Cloud of Fuksas.
If I did arouse your curiosity follow the link to see the map!

What are you waiting for?
Lace up your shoes and go for a bit of healthy training, with a pinch of architecture and desire to discover our amazing city!



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