ASI - Roma | image courtesy of Peluffo&Partners | photo ©Ernesta Caviola

A.S.I. Headquarters – Italian Space Agency

Rome (IT)

© Author: Arch. Francesco De Fazio

The theme of the project for the new Headquarters of A.S.I. – Italian Space Agency – focuses on the research of balance.

A formal balance based on dissociation.

A building with several functions and different manufacturing parts has to take into account all the spaces, focusing on the connections and the system of circulation“.

Association and dissociation of pure geometry

The new headquarters of the Italian Space Agency was finished in January, 2012, and it looks like a huge isolated object, “placed” in the countryside of Tor Vergata (Rome).

Gianluca Peluffo, together with the studio 5+1AA and Annalaura Spalla, created an architecture characterized by regular volumes, dark and balanced colours.

The constructions fulfill different functions, and they have a pure geometry, various but also connected inside, because of the final composition. In fact, the connections of full and empty spaces show a great care.

It is a dissociate balance because it isn’t based on symmetry or weight balance on one or more boards. Instead, it is based on mass suspension, according to a system that responds to connection and movement“.

A black magnetic monolith

The dark volumes of the new headquarters of A.S.I (Italian Space Agency) meet different shades of opaqueness because of the choice of materials, which results in a huge magnetic black monolith.

In opposition to the dark tones, we can find a sequence of colored conic skylights, together with white pillars and water reflections.

In this case the metaphor is the lack of gravity, the joyful ability to float which suddenly finds a balance.

The total black of buildings and materials, which is at the same time a uniform black, increases a sensation of unfamiliarity and mysterious balance.

The magic of some unexpected elements – such as colored conic skylights, a forest of pillars and a route that ends with the water creating a mirror effect of pure geometrical corps – will bring out an unfamiliar sensation, which will rise the surprise given by this complex balance“.

Big energy centripetal building

Therefore, the headquarters of the Italian Space Agency is, at the same time, full of symbolic meanings, functional for users and typical of the place where is settled.

The map and the architects’ sketches show that the building is developed as a receptive fulcrum for human energy and the energy of science.

In fact, from the map, the Agency looks like a Kandinsky’s panting. In particular, it looks like the Blue Painting of 1924.

The several elements look like fragments going around a main black line, which punches a curved line in the end and it passes it, giving to the painting dynamics and design order.

A centripetal building that absorbs the energy, showing the landscape through its black fragments, just by standing.“.

Ministero delle Infrastrutture e dei Trasporti
SIIT Lazio

architectural and landscape design
Gianluca Peluffo
with 5+1AA, Annalaura Spalla

design team
Paola De Lucia (responsabile di progetto), Domenica Laface (responsabile di progetto), Gabriele Maria Pulselli, Francesca Ameglio, Lorenza Barabino, Stefania Bracco, Magda Di Domenico, Gabriele Filippi, Daniele Marchetti, Enrico Martino, Nicola Montera, Luca Pozzi, Alessandra Quarello, Sergio Tani, Laura Vallino, Nicole Provenzali, Andrea Solazzi, Benedetta Bondesan, Luca Caselli, Linda De Angelis, Antonio Terranova, Pamela Curione, Caterina Riccioni

total area
28.600 m2

34.679.200,00 eur


© Ernesta Caviola