Laurentino 38


In rome we will be working at IED (istituto europeo di design) with faculty Alberto Iacovoni and Marialuisa Palumbo on one of the most interesting and notorious mega-housing projects of the 1970s, laurentino 38.  located in the southern quartiere of laurentina, the complex – known by its number 38 (trentotto in italian) – is in varying states of abandonment, demolition, disrepair and refurbishment, occupied by various populations, mainly squats (80% do not pay rent).  the vaguely radial plan is characterized by island-like residential towers joined by mixed-use bridges looming over the street (i ponti della strada) and an otherwise indifferent ground plane.  the city of rome (comune di roma) has recently demolished three of these highly problematic bridges at one of the island clusters, creating a void that now demands wholesale rethinking.  this particular condition, along with the broader issues of community and environmental sustainability, will be the focus of our week-long workshop in rome. (


This is simply the name of our group, along with the members’ names.  The group name is fitting for our project, being that metabolism is necessary to maintain life, and our goal is to propose a solution that will yeild energy from the neighborhood in order to make it work and live as a whole.02


03Together, pages 2 and 3 make up our mission statement. The bold words of our mission statement tie to a page in the book.04 This information guides you through our process.


From our initial observations, we realized that there was a social disconnect between the buildings, as well as clusters of buildings.  Each building operates as its own entity and does not rely on any of the other buildings to function.  The major cause of this is the major road which flows down the center of the complexes.  The collage depicts the heirarchy of the street as well as the disconnect of the buildings.06

Our next observations involved the mapping of residents of Laurentino 38.  Each group member documented the movement of people in a designated cluster of three apartments.  We then combined all our observations in order to find any trends or patterns.



We then merged the information into one diagram.  The yellow signifies unused space, while the more burgandy you get, the more concentrated activities there are.08

 This image tells of where Laurentino 38 will be in the future if they continue on this destructive path.  Without an intervention, there is no reason why the neighborhoods wouldn’t continue their demise.



Our intervention would provoke the neighborhood to think differently about where they live, setting up the groundwork for them to start on a new path of improvement.10

Currently, the housing development relies heavily on the rest of Rome to supply them with the resources necessary to operate and maintain a livable space.


Social building systems also exist in the development.  These are integral parts of the buildings, since they relate to the occupants’ integration with the space.12


Our goal is to slowly, through phases of development, cut Laurentino free of reliance on outside sources. 13

A once dependent area will be liberated as it become self sustained.  The sense of independence will induce strength into the neighborhood.


The current conditions of Laurentino are not up to par with the rest of the surrounding area.  In the future, things will only get worse if nothing changes.15

If the residents adapt to our phasing strategies positively, the quality of life will gradually improve.


The first phase would deal with the transfoming the neighborhood at the building level.  The second phase would then begin to touch on the spaces between buildings that are problematic. 

The final phase would connect the neighborhoods to the street level as well as other neighborhoods.17



All of these systems are necessary for the operation of a building.  If they can all collaborate in a building and be self sustained, that is the first step toward liberation.


Shown is the collaboration at a diagrammatic scale, where each system begins to work by itself but still contributes to the whole.21


The next phase involves connecting the building to the surrounding spaces.  By alleviating the gap between the building and ground level, more people will feel less contained in their apartments.


The last phase involves connecting the neighborhoods via street level.  Our idea was to have sustainable movable pods that pass throughout Laurentina and be a vending aid that will help residents export goods for sale.  For example, from the vertical garden installed on their apartment.


These pods could also be used for the entertainment needs of residents26.  The only way this phase will work is if the residents maintain the pods.  If the pods follow the same deteriorating path as the current neighborhood, these pods could become havens for distruction and degradation.  Our proposal lays out the framework for the residents to do as they wish.  Optimistically, the neighborhood will be liberated and self sustained.  The last image is just a reminder that the residents have the final say in what happens to their neighborhood, and things could turn out not according to plan.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: