status : Academic project
for : Kersten Geers, FORM, EPFL
what : Etruscan Museum
where : Monte Parioli, Rome
when : 12.2018
who : Sébastien Lorenzini, Grégory dos Santos
The vigna Giulia was once a collection of objects structuring the territory. Over time, these structures have been destroyed or replaced by other buildings. The Tower of Winds of Pope Julius III, for example, was one of the most important pieces of this territorial newtork, materializing the presence and the power of Villa Giulia in the Roman skyline in accord with «all’antica» criterias of beauty. It was destroyed in 1910 to build the Villa Balestra which now occupies its place on the top of Monte Parioli. At the time romans considered the intervention as on destroying «one of the most beautiful and picturesque views of Rome.»
Our project is to rebuild this powerful landmark, making it the new home of the Museo Etrusco—currently (unfittingly) housed within the Villa Giulia. The design iteself is a reinterpretation of Julius III’s Tower of Winds—a tower sitting on pedestal. The pedestal or plinth houses the services of the museum as well as the bulk of the collection. Moving upwards, an open floor hosts the permanent exhibition while the following 3 superimposed volumes house temporary exhibition spaces
This sequence emulates the scenography machinery of Villa Giulia, sometimes enclosing, sometimes opening to close objects and sometimes framing the landscape. All this aims to create a rich spatial sequence ending on the top level with a panorama view of Rome, offering to the visitors the Villa Giulia in its context as it was supposed to be seen.
At the highest point of the new building we relocate the only remaining object belonging to the ancient tower. It is the object which gave tower its name—an instrument to indicate the direction of winds. Such instruments were popular in Renaissance Italian gardens and were a metaphor for the center of universe. They reminded that gardens (themselves microsms) were part of a macrocosm. That they were part of somethig bigger.