A promenade amongst vegetation and shafts of light
Fabrizio Forniti - FAD Fucine Architettura Design
The architects from FAD Fucine Architettura Design faced a far from simple challenge when they were commissioned to redevelop the outdoor area of a building in the Tiburtina area of Rome. But their project, which involved converting a grey, totally tarmacked and commercially unappealing parking lot into a welcoming community space with pedestrian walkways, green spaces and shafting sunlight, was such as success that it won an honourable mention in the Ceramics and Design 2020 architecture competition.
Carried out on behalf of Generali S.p.a., and part of a larger ongoing development involving the entire area surrounding a large business/private mixed-use complex, the project brought new value to a space that had suffered a series of detrimental changes over the previous years, particularly in terms of its proximity to the main road. “The area involved in this first redevelopment stage is located between the building’s main entrance and the busy road Via Tiburtina and was previously used as a car park, which while useful gave the building a neglected and almost hostile appearance,” explains architect Fabrizio Forniti from FAD. “Our task was to redevelop it and adopt a more elaborate and welcoming solution that would combine functionality, aesthetics and the increasingly topical theme of employee well-being.” This led to the idea of creating a zigzag-shaped pedestrian walkway, a kind of promenade complete with seating areas with benches where people would be able to socialise and spend time outdoors.
For this ambitious project in a difficult context, the choice of materials and accessories was crucial. This is evident for example in the luminous gateways located along the route, which bring a touch of modernity and attract the attention of passers-by, the red elements evoking the Generali brand name, and the pavings created from architectural concrete and porcelain stoneware tiles from Marazzi’s Mystone Silverstone20 collection (beige finish and 30×30 cm and 60×30 cm custom sizes in a 20 mm thickness). “The tiles look just like real stone but have much higher levels of performance. We chose them not only for their aesthetic qualities but also for their functional and technical parameters, which make them suitable for vehicular traffic and allow emergency vehicles to transit safely if this should prove necessary,” Forniti explains. Last but not least, vegetation was an important aspect of the project and led the architects to create green areas with attractive plants, hedges for greater privacy and trees that offer shade during the warmer months while producing clean air. “One aspect of this project that has given us great satisfaction is its social value,” concludes Fabrizio Forniti. “We feel it’s really useful. After all, isn’t it an architect’s job to improve people’s environments?”
Marazzi Mystone Silverstone20
custom 30x30 - 30x60 cm
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): conforme
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): conforme
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): conforme
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): conforme
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): conforme