Coinciding with the first Rome Biennial of Public Space Rome, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Rome is pleased to host a panel discussion in association with the research group Border Conditions of the TU Delft Faculty of Architecture. The panel discussion will focus on the historic aqueduct L’Acqua Felice and the spatial planning challenges it poses for contemporary Rome. Rome is full of monuments that demarcate and punctuate its territories. Stretching from the historic center to the city’s peripheries, we are all familiar with the narratives of the well-known monuments that attract millions of visitors every year. Certain others, due to the lack of popular interests or simply because of its incomprehensible size and location, remain dormant and eventually fall into neglect and abuse. L’Acqua Felice, a civic project by Pope Sixtus V completed in 1586, provides such an example of “background” monument today that straddles through the modern day city. The aqueduct, as it is an infrastructure, provides an important point of departure for a discussion on the role of territorial monuments and their future.
Some of the questions are: How do we deal with a monument such as the aqueduct that has become an obstacle rather than an asset for the city? Given the scale and the extent, should the aqueduct be preserved as a backdrop or incorporated into the city’s fabric? If it were to be incorporated into the city’s modern fabric, what will be the appropriate approach? When such an infrastructural monument is diminished in its original function, what are its potentials in the city’s culture and economy?
The panel discussion will include presentations by the students of TU Delft Faculty of Architecture. Their work will be also on display in the embassy.