Rome Poetry Hub

The arch represents a significant cornerstone in the history of Rome. Since its development, the Romans were able to build bigger monuments and span greater distances than ever before. The Colosseum, Aqueducts, Arch of Constantine, etc. are beautiful examples that are cherished by the people of Rome along with millions of visitors from around the world each year. Rather than building another monument above ground using the arch, the Poetry Hub transforms the existing vehicular plaza and level below into a continuous web of indoor and outdoor spaces that are seamlessly integrated with the surrounding context of the city. Uninterrupted by cars and tram, this new flow of pedestrian circulation interconnects with spaces for exhibitions, performances, meetings, rest, etc. becoming a natural extension that is free from the boundaries of the site and blends in with the existing sidewalks. In doing so, it enhances social interaction and the sharing of information through art, performance, and creativity, while increasing the required exhibition area from 120 to 4600 m2.  In addition to the enhancements of the architecture and urban environment, a natural selection process was carried out to determine the appropriate type of concrete for the Poetry Hub’s Main Hall. Instead of selecting the type of material through traditional methods, a genetic algorithm from the aerospace industry was used to find the appropriate type of concrete, its minimal weight and overall structural thickness.  Through the utilization of the arch in plan, section, and elevation, we create more than a subterranean event space, we build a continuous multi-level network of spaces and pedestrian paths that enhances the life of its users while minimizing material use and maximizing the performance of structure and form.