In November 2014, IAAC joined the International research project “ROME 20-25: New Life Cycles for the Metropolis” which is a process where 24 architecture schools have developed project scenarios and urban proposals for the metropolitan area of Rome, with a temporal target of achieving this within 10 years.

With the Rome 2025 project, IAAC investigates new futures for Rome through the Encrypted Rome Seminar and the Rome Agri-Fab city workshop. Rome in 2025 is an Agri-Fab City, a self-sufficient, creative and interconnected metropolis, structured by a productive landscape as a new territorial framework and urban protocol.

The first phase of the work was focused on the territorial scale and was developed by the “Encrypted Rome” seminar. Seven groups of students analysed the assigned 10 x 10 km area in order to propose visions and speculative models of agrarian growth. An experimental methodology that involves programming in order to define aprioristic parametrical models that, when applied on the territory, highlight unexpected potentials of territorial and relational development.

The open-source processing software has been used to define a script, showing coherence with a site-specific analysis: With the introduction of data coming from the territory, the software generates several data-responsive visions, applying automated models of organisation for a distributed system. The result is a territory fixed by the already existing or proposed nodes, interconnected by continuous meshes, structured by physical and virtual interactions.

The proposal for the area individuates new connections – transversally to the radial infrastructures of the city – as landscape system and slow mobility links capable to reconnect existing urban nodes and generate new relations on a local and metropolitan scale. The proposed strategy defines a network of collective and public space giving new meaning to the existing nodes dispersed on the territory – farmhouses, historical buildings, sports facilities and manufacturing areas.

The second phase dealt with the landscape scale, through the “Rome Agri-Fab City” workshop. It explored the new eco-structural connection between the villages of Colonna and Montecompatri. Each group of students explored a 1 x 1 km area, composed in a strip of 5 squares, where 6 projects propose strategies and processes for the definition of a self-sufficient and interconnected habitat.

Territorial networks where production permeates the collective space reactivates nodes of the sprawling city and structures functional relations through a wide range of devices and projects:

  • A mobility infrastructure to inhabit the landscape where algae produce energy and purify the atmosphere
  • A complex of water storage systems that work as sponges, capture phreatic water and transform it into hydrogen for the agricultural trucks
  • Aerostatic balloons that harvest atmospheric dew for irrigation and transform the highway vibration in energy for public lighting
  • A network of green fab labs capable of closing the productive cycle between physical resources, human resources and production scraps
  • An infrastructure service the public space that uses pyrolysis to transform urban and agricultural organic waste in energy