RBN - Roma | image courtesy of AF517 | photo ©Luc Boegly

New BNL-BNP Paribas Group headquarter

Rome (IT)

© Author: Arch. Francesco De Fazio

The project of the new BNL-BNP Paribas managerial headquarters meets a peculiar context, where infrastructure become for services and public space use. The building is unique because consists of joint infrastructures that once divided two areas of Rome. Thanks to the work realized for the high-speed station of Tiburtina, there is now an authentic “urban place”.

A unique and context-appropriate building at the same time

The geography, along with its topography and orientation, pointed out to the realization of a “bifronte” (two-faced) building for the new BNL-BNP paribas managerial headquarters.

The realization, which includes a prismatic and glass skin with different shades, connects with the Tiburtina Station, which is predominantly horizontal.
The architects and clients’ goal was to create a building with its own identity and image, but, at the same time, close to the urban context of the Tiburtina Station. The new BNL-BNP Paribas managerial headquarters also aimed to represent its users and the city of Rome.

The countless shades of the new BNL-BNP Paribas managerial headquarters

From these considerations, arose the proposal of a building that could connect differently with the north-east area of Pietralata and the south-east one of the Tiburtina Station. It is dynamic, reflective and dissolving where its perception is mainly dynamic. It is different one meter to another.
Therefore, the new BNL-BNP Paribas managerial headquarters takes on several roles, taking our minds to important works of contemporary artists and film-makers that dealt with the theme of perception and “reflecting” what’s real.

The new building mirrors the surroundings, and – according to the moment of the day, the light and the point of view of the observer – create a constantly changing image of the neighbourhood and the building itself.

The project shares the relationship of perception from the outside to the inside, creating a succession of distended and compressed spaces. This means that these spaces are the vertical and horizontal base around the “productive” areas, in other words, the offices.

The building structure and its symbolic value

The new BNL managerial headquarters has been gaining a symbolic value. This can be noticed in the following characteristics that define its structure:

  • The planimetry, which is linear in the east and slightly deformed in the west trough the variable sequence writing of fragmented lines;
  • The choice of rejecting a “front and back” structure, having instead a division that creates astonishment for the building metamorphosis. The BNL-BNP Paribas headquarters will always be seen differently for the ability to react to the lights that change during the hours of days throughout the year;
  • Its functions are divided according to a horizontal stratification, in a classic sequence with a base (the “collective” functions, or rather, the communication with the public), an elevation (the main functions/offices), and a crowning element (the unexpected and unique space and its relationship with the sky);
  • A relationship between horizontal and vertical elements points out the entrance hall: a “see-trough terrace” on four levels that unveils the Mazzoni water tank, which is an intact original element.

The contrasts of light and color

The new building counts on silver for the facades. Its preciousness is hidden in the solar light and its reflections, hence in the ability to define a magic atmosphere. Transparency, opaqueness, mirrored and semitransparent elements play with the surrounding.

In morning and night hours, thus when the light casually hits the main facades, the building invalidates the perception of physical limits, becoming part of the natural light.

The glass walls alternate, vertical opaque portions, ceramic diamonds that reflect light in shades of silver, never repeating itself.

“Light and sky. Sky and light.
Not a common light. Not a common sky.
Rome and its light. Rome and its sky.”
~ Alfonso Femia / Atelier(s) Alfonso Femia

Project info and credits:

  • Intervention areas c4 south and c5
  • C4 south 3.190 m2
  • C5 south 4.145 m2 for a TOTAL surface of 7.335 m2.
  • Parking area 16.000 m2
  • Building length: about 237 m
  • Number of floors over ground: 12
  • Underground floors – parking: 4
  • Max height area c5: 45m | 10 liv
  • Max height area c4 west: 52m | 12 liv
  • Max height area c4 East: 45m |10 liv
  • Type of facade: independent structural continuous cells (glass facade – railroad side) and ribbon windows (Pietralata quarter side)
  • Type of facade: ceramic coating for the infill walls (Pietralata quarter side)
  • Facade module: 1,50m x 3,79m
  • Auditorium surface: 400m2
  • Auditorium seats: 300
  • company canteen/restaurant: 1.825 m2 + kitchen surface 365 m2
  • Restaurant total seats: 430
  • Hall surface: 1450 m2
  • Kindergaden surface: 980 m2
  • Officies: 12 levels, including the Direction and the vip restaurant
BNP Paribas Real Estate Development spa

architectural urbanistic, preliminary, definitive and landscape design
Alfonso Femia with 5+1AA, now Atelier(s) Alfonso Femia

architect in charge
Alfonso Femia

Simonetta Cenci

general contractor
PGC Parsitalia

structural engineering
Redesco srl (coordinator: ing. Mauro E. Giuliani)

services and environmental engineering
Ariatta Ingegneria dei sistemi srl

coordination and executive design
Starching – Studio Architettura Ingegneria

art direction
Alfonso Femia, Alessandro Bellus

urban planning consultant
Arch. Annalaura Spalla

project responsible
Alessandro Bellus, Gabriele Filippi, Francesca Raffaella Pirrello

design team
Lorenza Barabino, Alessandro Bellus, Vanesa Fernandez Carbajo, Simonetta Cenci, Marco Corazza, Daniele di Matteo, Alfonso Femia, Gabriele Filippi, Sara Massa, Marzia Menini, Roberta Nardi, Gianluca Peluffo, Francesca Raffaella Pirrello, Sara Sartini, Maria Michela Scala, Francesca Zampetti

Etienne Bourdais, Stefano Cioncoloni, Gianmatteo Ferlin, Michela Lucariello, Paolo Oliva, Eleonora Zinghinì

Construction of the new BNL – BNP Paribas headquarters in Rome including offices, restaurants, a kindergarten and an auditorium with 300 seats

Total: 85.000 m2
40.222 m2 SUL (SHON)
75.000 m2 BUILT
Underground surface: 23.000 mq
Glass surface: 15.000 mq
Ventilated surfaces: 10.000 mq
Volume: 93.000 mc
Covered area: 5.000 mq
Floors: 15

Fire data: R90
Height: 60 m
Energy class: Classe A, Leed GOLD

Glass and ventilated facades
Stahlbau Pichler srl
Facades building and installation time
1 year

93 M euro

© Luc Boegly
  • BLT Built Design Awards 2021: winner in “Progettazione Architettonica – Sostenibile & Risparmio Energetico” category.
  • Premio Mies Van Der Rohe, mention (2017)
  • Premio Smart Building in “Terziario-Uffici” category (2017)
  • Iconic Awards, winner of “Best of Best” (2017)
  • Archmarathon Awards, winner in “Workspace” category (2017)
  • The Plan International Awards, winner in “Office/Business” category (2016)