Saturday, 16 May 2009

Campo de' Fiori: Cinema Culture-Cafe Culture

This project addresses a small urban piazza, Campo de’ Fiori ("field of flowers") situated in the historic centre of Rome. The Campo offers an eclectic range of activities throughout the day with a traditional food market which takes place in the morning and a buzzing cafe/bar culture at night. The site offers a unique opportunity for natives and foreigners to co-exist within a vibrant inhabited space, experiencing everyday Roman life away from the touristic emphasis of other famous sites in Rome.

The Campo de’ Fiori’s famous Farnese Cinema was built here in 1930s and serves as an important symbol and legacy of the revolution of Italian Cinema in the 20th Century. This single screen (300 seat) cinema originally operated as an art house screening independent films. A recent renovation completed in 2008 has revived the cinema with a more contemporary feel showing a wide array of Italian and international films.

However there remains a missing link between the main space of Campo de’ Fiori and the Farnese Cinema which this project aims to revive and exploit. Therefore through creating a new edge to the east end of the Campo and working with the existing urban fabric this proposal intends to re-address this relationship. Additionally this scheme introduces several civic/community functions addressing the desire to respond to the needs of a range of social groups; young and old, foreign and native.

Programmatic elements include a new entrance foyer for the cinema; a new bar/restaurant which will line the edge of the square; a roof-top cinema/performance space; film workshop/languages class spaces. There will also be on-site storage and services for the market traders, as well as a crèche and roof-top playground.

With reference to the original themes of the studio - authenticity, travel and the past - this project is about reconnecting the old with the new and offering new possibilities for the prosperity and future of Campo de' Fiori.

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