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.