The project for the Falcognana elderly center, is an important part of an urban redevelopment on the outskirts of Rome. Besides the described building, the project involves a square, a local community center and a park with sports facilities.
The main idea behind the project was to create an open building, where the inside and outside space were constantly relating to each other, establishing an open dialogue between nature and architecture.
The adoption of concrete has been an integral and fundamental part of the architectural concept, an interlaced structure where beams and columns define the spatiality; an industrial glass skin is the only boundary between interior and exterior.
Structure defines architecture and defines its language in its purest form.
The intention was to employ a material that is widely used in construction in Italy, but trying to turn it into a form of expression, by way of a simple construction system and low labor cost; the objective was to achieve a crude, almost brutal, effect that could emphasize the material quality through its purest form.
The structure is made of steel and reinforced concrete; the three pairs of rhomboidal section (approximately 800x280 mm) inclined vertical pillars are the building distinctive features: starting from the same point on the ground two by two, they open up and fold to become beams of the roof slab; in-between the pairs of beams steel cables have been stretched in order to allow vegetation to grow freely, creating a protected porch between the main building and the square. These beams define a geometric grid describing both roof horizontal surfaces, by way of the color but also through a small intrados relief (6 cm). The roof slab is supported punctually at each beam intersection vertex by steel pillars 250x250x10 mm. Concrete is class Rck 350 colored with pigment in the mixture. The process of pouring concrete for the inclined pillars required particular attention and cautious construction drawings. Since the reinforcement cages were particularly narrow because of the significant sections of the bars, the aggregates are low-grading and concrete was fluidized with slump 5 to allow the proper distribution of the material that for the inclined elements was at first poured through windows in the middle of the formwork and then from above.