Renewal of Largo Ettore Rolli

1996-2001
Rome
Client Rome City Council, Department of Gardens
Project: Massimo Fagioli
Project team: Corrado Landi, Francesco Mirone
Surface: 4,125 sq mtrs

Sponsor ANDIL Associates
Contractors: Renzo Poduti, Rome
Metalworkers: Co-Metal sas, Naples
Bronze: Artistic Foundary Anselmi SNC, Rome
Methacrylate work: SMIA Srl, Rome
Waterworks: Fabio Mariani, Rome
Public lighting: ACEA, Rome


Not far from the old Porta Portese is a large public espace along the Via Portuense in an important area of transition in the direction of Viale Trastevere and Viale Marconi. High buildings of the 1960s face onto the square with numerous shop fronts at ground level while the other side of the street is defined by two blocks from the early 1990s of significant quality. The space, used for parking and the Porta Portese market which now extends to the actual square, is a rectangular area of about 166x25 metres crossed by Via C Porta which it is separated from by a tree-lined garden.
The project defines this space as a civic square and gains its character from the design of the paving stones, the illumination and the unique fountain. The design of the paving stones forms a female figure which is mirrored more deeply in the fountain at the centre of the square. Lines and triangles of black granite and an ellipse of yellow bricks stand out against the red brick rectangles which also link the existing garden to the entire area. Those who today walk through Largo Rolli can raise their gaze to the golden lines of the bronze sculpture and discover the infinite visuals on an unusually ample and varied space. The walkways in black granite, like arms stretched on high, impinge on and define all the space available. The rectangle in red brick is decorated by rows of Ginko Biloba and Prunus Serrulata alternating with the large street lamps. The garden is endowed with pathways in pebble which are bordered by four flowerbeds of shrubs enriched with Mediterranean heather and Vinca Minor.
The fountain in bronze, known as the 'Yellow Sculpture' realises in space the movement of an arch about 16 metres long and 8 metres high and the complex structure is anchored in steel which carries four transparent cups in methacrylate. The water carried on high in the cups then flows along the bronze element which ends in the travertine basin at the foot of the fountain. A zinc-plated metal structure supports the 'Yellow Sculpture' on the inside of the bronze covering anchored by means of soldering and nails.

 

Reviews:

Corriere della Sera 22/10/2000 - "La fontana? Un'invenzione dello psichiatra"

Casabella n.686 2001 - "Laterizio in piazza a Roma"

Recuperare n.19 2001 - "A Roma il laterizio in piazza"

Roma III Millennio 2012, ed. Hoepli - "Via Ettore Rolli"