Contested Rome

Project Description

In the unstructured space of the Piazza de Termini, the library operates as a territorial stitch between the two potent objects of the site: the Baths of Diocletian and Termini Station. This new urban void enclosed by the incomplete frame of the library negotiates this restructuring of the site, producing a network of figured voids now oriented around the object of the Baths and aligned to its original axes.

The spatial logic of the library belongs to both objects and thus flaunts its duplicity, oscillating between a state of belonging to and subversion of its urban context. What results is a schizophrenic landscape twisted between two constructs of space: the bath’s aggregated logic of spatial modules and the homogenous linear expanse of the train station. The northern bar of the library resurrects the former frame of Diocletian, occupying the space of the bath’s original outer wall. The eastern and western bars of the library repeat the framing logic of Termini, however reoriented to the baths and obscured by the homogenous infill of context. The bars of the library thus carve and are carved by the context, contaminated by their own terms of spatial negotiation.