Auditorium (Rome Music Hall)
Viale Pietro De
00196 - Roma
When viewed from above, Rome's three new auditoriums can resemble a trio of
beetles in a backyard. This may be why the perennially irreverent romani
have taken to calling them Gli Scarafaggi (The Cockroaches).
There are probably few places on earth where architecture can elicit as
violent reactions as in Italy - after all, it's been a national pastime for
millennia - and the new complex that is nearing completion on the banks of
the Tiber near the ancient Ponte Milvio and the neo-classical Olympic
Stadium is no exception.
One of the few things most Romans did agree on was that its own Orchestra di
Santa Cecilia was being forced to perform in woefully outdated and
Basically, these have been its "temporary" home since Mussolini demolished
the historical Augusteo in 1934. The new replacement has taken ten years and
cost 140 million Euro (not that much, actually, by most modern standards of
sloppy construction bookkeeping).
The complex was designed by Renzo Piano, the masterful Italian genius who is
also currently at work on the new home of the New York Times and the church
in Padre Pio's hometown of San Giovanni Rotondo.
The three halls, a Papa Hall, a Mama Hall and a Baby Hall, are built of
local materials: travertine, red bricks and lead, whose color will take on
the same patina as the rooftops of the centro storico, with time. Inevitably,
as the site was being prepared, a vast Roman villa from the 5th century BC
All construction had to be halted while the architect totally redesigned the
project to include the find, and its ruins can now be visited. The Mama
Hall, or, to use less fanciful and more correct terms, the mid-size hall,
was inaugurated on April 21 (Rome's official birthday). The small hall has
also been completed, and the largest is due to open its doors in December.
The Music Park is open to the public every weekend for concerts and more
informal gatherings. Along with the auditoriums, there are also shops,
restaurants and a 700-car parking structure. Eventually the extended site
will also include Zaha Hadid's equally controversial National Center for
Contemporary Arts; additionally, the two stadiums designed by another hero
of the architectural world, Pietro Nervi, will be renovated after Papa Hall
has his debut.