Jubilee Church

Piazza Largo Terzo Millennio, 8, Roma, Italy

The Jubilee Church (La Chiesa del Dio Padre Misericordioso), conceived as part of Pope John Paul II’s millennium initiative to rejuvenate parish life within Italy, is located outside central Rome. The triangular site is articulated three ways: first, dividing the sacred realm to the south, where the nave is located, from the secular precinct to the north; second, separating the approach on foot from the housing situated in the east; and third, again separating the approach on foot, from the parking lot situated to the west.

The paved sagrato to the east of the church extends into the heart of the housing complex and provides an open plaza for public assembly. The northern half of the site is divided into two courts: the eastern one is below ground by a full story, providing light and access to the lowest floor of the community center.

The proportional structure of the entire complex is based on a series of squares and four circles. Three circles of equal radius generate the profiles of the three concrete shells that, together with the spine-wall, make up the body of the nave. Glazed skylights suspended between the shells are lit by zenithal sidelight, and the nave is enlivened by a constantly changing pattern of light and shade. The light is diffused over the inner volume of the church and varies according to the hour, the weather, and the season, imparting a particular character to the aspects of the interior.

‘The Cloud’ – Centro Congressi Nuvola

Viale Asia, Roma, Italy

Fuksas has designed the ‘New Rome-EUR convention center and hotel’ which forms the city’s largest building in more than half a century. The major complex has been named ‘The Cloud’, and after 18 years of planning and construction, the scheme is now open to the public. The complex comprises three distinct architectural concepts: the ‘theca’ — a longitudinally-oriented steel and glass box; the ‘cloud’ — a geometrically undefined shape positioned inside the ‘theca’; and the ‘blade’ — an autonomous edifice containing a 439-room hotel.

Made from a combination of metal, glass and reinforced concrete, the ‘theca’ is the outer shell and façade of the convention hall and hotel. The focal point of the scheme is the ‘cloud’, a steel-ribbed structure clad with a translucent curtain measuring a total of 15,000 square meters. This part of the design exists in direct contrast with the rational building that surrounds it. The final architectural gesture is the ‘blade’ — a separate building split into 17 floors, which includes a hotel, seven boutique suites, a spa, and a restaurant.

From an environmental standpoint, a number of sustainable features have been integrated within the design. Air-conditioning is carried out by a reversible heat pump, capable of achieving high energy performances while reducing electricity consumption. A natural ventilation system, which uses the cool water of a nearby lake. Rooftop photovoltaic panels help to produce energy, while simultaneously protecting the building from overheating through the mitigation of solar radiation. A rainwater harvesting system uses exterior panels to collect water and filter it into a storage tank for on-demand use.