Designed by Alvisi Kirimoto and Studio Gemma, the new hub is immersed in the greenery of the LUISS Guido Carli university complex, close to Villa Ada, in the heart of Rome's Parioli district.
The project, which complements the university spaces and enhances the surrounding green areas, reclaims space by demolishing an existing warehouse and constructing a completely new educational building. This structure, which is on two floors and covers a total area of 1,500 square metres, is located at the most accessible and scenic point in the complex, near a wood located to the south of the lot. The project is based on the idea of raising the building, so it is in direct contact with the treetops and frees as much of the ground floor as possible. This floor, in fact, houses the entrance, a classroom and facilities, while the upper floor includes an amphitheatre and two classrooms.
The incredibly versatile interiors can host a wide range of educational activities and cultural, artistic and social events, from conferences to classroom lectures, and gala evenings to film showings. The multi-purpose amphitheatre and the classrooms, which are specifically designed to redefine the balance between in-person and remote teaching are equipped with audio-video conferencing facilities and systems that are integrated perfectly with the architecture. Between the suspended acoustic panels that define the coral-red ceiling of the amphitheatre, low voltage tracks have been installed to power the Ø 62 mm Palco projectors that are fitted with flood optics for diffuse and homogeneous direct lighting. Similar red panels are used in the two classrooms, but here they are square to allow IN60 luminaires with general light optics to be installed, in some places in continuous rows. The furnishings are the same bright red colour, even outside. This detail adds a refined visual consistency to the entire complex, especially when the upper volume is lit in the evening.
A staircase with criss-crossing ramps connects the two floors internally via a double-height space, while a third staircase connects the first floor to the outdoors. During the day, lighting in this area relies mainly on its splendid inflow of natural light. While, in the evening, adjustable recessed Laser luminaires with wide flood optics generate diffuse, homogeneous lighting.
The ground floor, which is visibly set back, emphasizes the lightness of the upper volume and creates a space that is both open and covered at the same time, and equipped for outdoor classes and activities. At night, the diffused lighting provided by Underscore inOut luminaires installed between the wooden slats of the ceiling helps to create the impression that the upper part of the building is floating in space.
All the outdoor areas are equipped and organised to encourage study, informal gatherings, relaxation, and play by being incredibly flexible and offering endless possibilities for people to meet. At night they are lit by pole-mounted Twilight Bilbao luminaires with symmetrical optics, installed along the pathways. Inspired by sustainable design principles and made of natural materials, the building has been awarded LEED Platinum certification.
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