The Auditorium

The Rome Auditorium is a multi-functional complex dedicated to music, contributing to enrich the already immense patrimony of the Eternal City.

The project is dominated by three “harmonic cases” that seem to fly above a sea of vegetation.

A structure of this kind could not have been built in Rome's densely-packed historic centre. The site chosen for the construction of the Auditorium is on the narrow plain that stretches from the banks of the Tiber to the Parioli hill, located between the Olympic Village built for the 1960 Games and the Palazzo dello Sport and Stadio Flaminio, designed by Pierluigi Nervi.

A site removed from the city centre offered the advantage of being able to welcome and easily handle a large public (thanks to pre-existing infrastructure nearby), as well as occupying a space that for a long time had been a kind of artificial fracture, a “hole” in the city fabric.

The “city” of “music” thus became a new urban element. The fracture has now been absorbed in a park of some 30,000 square metres, planted with 400 trees. The luxurious vegetation that acts as a link with the Roman quarter of the Flaminio, adjacent to Villa Glori, opens to leave space for an pen-air theatre, an urban focal point that provides space for a fourth hall outdoors, designed for staging shows and concerts and capable of seating around 3,000 spectators.

The complex also includes a series of spaces for commercial, recreational, exhibition and study activities.

The entire project respects all existing Italian legislation relating to visual and motor disabilities. Those with motor disabilities have been provided with security exits, fire-proof elevators, safe locations and a reserved seats in concert halls. Tactile maps and route-ways have been designed for those with visual disabilities.

Renzo Piano

"The most fascinating adventure for an architect is that of constructing a concert hall. It might be even nicer for a violinmaker to make a violin; but (given all the differences there are in size and time) they are similar activities. Ultimately, the objective is always to make instruments that are made for playing or listening to music.
The sound is what rules. The harmonic chamber must vibrate with its frequencies and its energy.
I have often found myself in the adventure of constructing for music: From the Paris Institute of Acoustic and Musical Research with Pierre Boulez and Luciano Berio, to the Prometeo with Luigi Nono, from the Berlin Hall to the Potsdamer Platz, from the Lingotto di Torino Hall to the Niccolò Paganini Hall in Parma, and now the Roman Auditorium.
In all these projects, music has always been the focus of my attention: working with acoustics, working with musicians. The Roman Auditorium, however, is not simply an Auditorium, but a complete City of Music: with three halls, an open air amphitheatre, large rehearsal and recording rooms.
The Roman adventure, therefore, has been enriched by an important urban dimension: The Auditorium is not simply a musical establishment; there is also a square, Santa Cecilia, people who work there, there are shops, bars and restaurants.
All these activities add an additional dimension to the project: to give an urban sense to an area that needs urban participation.
Cultural locations, just like musical ones, have the natural ability of enriching the urban texture, stop the city’s barbarization and give back that extraordinary quality that it has always had in history. Musical instruments, therefore, are submerged in the Parco della Musica’s vegetation, which rolling down from Villa Glori, surrounds the Auditorium’s large lutes and two architectural gems such as the Flaminio Stadium and the Palazzetto dello Sport (Sport Palace) and ends up on Viale Tiziano. This gives the City of Rome a large twenty hectare Park inhabited by Music.”

Renzo Piano