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Energy Roof, Perugia, Italy 
Tuesday 19 Jan 2010
 
Perugia's new buzz 
 
 
 
Your comments on this project

No. of Comments: 13

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01/02/10 Mukhtar Khalil, Chicago, IL, USA
'Energy Roof' designed as architectural icon Nestled comfortably right in the heart . . . . . so starts the article for this monstrosity. Who are these maniacs designing such atrocious things and who is allowing them to be taken seriously. One does not design "as architectural icon . ", it becomes an icon if it is imbued with quality, sensivity to history and context. By this I don't mean one cannot innovate. Rest remains unsaid.
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29/01/10 Quest, Sydney
I think that it is cool. I mean why can't architecture be daring.
Why should heritage architecture imitate existing. I believe that juxtaposition of old and new here makes both parts stronger.
28/01/10 Moto, Wimberley, TX
I like the idea of something distinctly different in a historical context like this, much better than somehow trying to look like part of what it isn't. But I have to admit this does look a bit like a poster shot for the latest rendition of "War of the Worlds".
27/01/10 hudaas, karachi
seems like a 'made in china' kind of thing, too many functions and too little consideration for all the rest like aesthetics.
27/01/10 gp, NY
finally! this will surely put perugia on the architectural map.
27/01/10 A.D., Sydney
I think it's a fantastic project - precisely because it doesn't pretend to be 'old' or 'respectful' to what's around it. It's a new intervention, and so it shouldn't have to defer to older, stylistic issues: perhaps more important is that it fulfills its function, and if this form does that, then does it really matter if it's different from what's around it?

I think you can't confuse stylistic tradition with a respect for context in terms of the way it functions - because it can be radically different visually and still function respectfully in its site.
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27/01/10 A.D., Sydney
I think it's a fantastic project - precisely because it doesn't pretend to be 'old' or 'respectful' to what's around it. It's a new intervention, and so it shouldn't have to defer to older, stylistic issues: perhaps more important is that it fulfills its function, and if this form does that, then does it really matter if it's different from what's around it?

I think you can't confuse stylistic tradition with a respect for context in terms of the way it functions - because it can be radically different visually and still function respectfully in its site.
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26/01/10 Ck, Hamilton NZ
What an unsightly monstrosity. It looks like some alien creature devouring the history of the area. Its a sad day for architecture if this proceeds.
26/01/10 Y.McNeill, Vancouver
As a heritage planner and architect and someone who's spent many happy months in Italy as both a student and vistitor, I'm intrigued at the juxtaposition between the old and new. Conservation principles would dictate that all new interventions should be distinct, yet compatible. "Compatible" holds many possible apporaches. The question that often arises is, has the historical value of the place been compromised or enhanced by the new intervention? I would argue that the "energy roof" is so distinct, so "unlike" the historical context that it brings the style and age of the surrouding buildings into sharp contrast. My eye is continually drawen back to the buidings. I wouldn't want to see more than one of these in the area, but as a "one off". It holds great interest and positively contributes to it's context. Having said that, work such as this succeeds or fails based on the quality of the details and construction. There is a "heaviness" about the connecting points to the surrounding roofs that might have been handled differently, but it could also just be the angle of the photograph. Either way, its a wonderful piece of sculptural sustainable architecture.
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26/01/10 Kyle, Portland
I have enjoyed the work of these guys, their gut and instinct that they bring to their architectural solutions, but i think this is a little over the top and does not seem to align with that ethos. It screams intruder alert. The expressive solution should be beautiful and pleasing to the city and the history of the place, rather than a shock and awe. Just an opinion, I am sure it will become a tourist stop, but it is no Bilbao in my mind.
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Editorial

'Energy Roof' designed as architectural icon 

Nestled comfortably right in the heart (or the thigh) of Italy is the bustling ancient city of Perugia, known for its popular university, it's annual Jazz festival and soon, for an architectural icon by COOP HIMMELB(L)AU set to awe its inhabitants and visitors alike.

Serving both as a canopy and a gateway to visitors of the popular archaeological underground passage at Via Mazzini, the structure is conceived as an energy sponge capturing the sun's rays and the wind's breath. An outer layer of photovoltaic cells optimized automatically using a computer driven scripting program absorb energy from the sun to the west while the east wing collates wind power using wind turbines within a second structural layer. A third inner layer works with the second as a combination of laminated glazing and translucent pneumatic cushions.Not only will the roof and underground passage be provided with energy from the structure but the 'Energy Roof' as it is coined could provide a substantial boost to the city's power grid.

Currently in the planning process the designs have many hurdles yet to jump, but if approved the ambitious concept would bring not just an ultra-modern icon to the city but a reawakening of the city's own history. Based on historical documents showing its existence, COOP HIMMELB(L)AU proposes to excavate the old Etruscan city wall in the area below Piazza Giacomo Matteotti as part of an underground public gallery space exhibiting the history of Perugia, which would be accessed under the roof through openings in the ground.

Key Facts

Status In planning
Value Undisclosed(m€)
COOP HIMMELB(L)AU Wolf D. Prix & Partner ZT GmbH
www.coop-himmelblau.at

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