NEW BNP PARIBAS HEADQUARTERS, ROME

Headquarters of the Banca BNP in the area of the Roma-Tiburtina high-speed train station

The design for the new headquarters of BNP fits in a particular and unique context. Unique in that the nature of the environment is a stratification of infrastructures which from being as an element of separation between two significant urban areas of the city of Rome, today with the construction of the station for high-speed trains, takes on a new role not only of service but of “urban place”. Particularly in that the area on which stands the new building which, due to its geometrical shape and topography and its relative orientation, suggests thinking of the building according to the principle of “Janus”.

It is important that the new building dialogues with the adjoining complex of the Tiburtina Train Station which is characterised by its size and horizontality. The dialogue does not necessarily need to be direct, but made up of references to and perspectives of the different heights of the station, now part of (the horizontal stratification of) the new urban landscape.

The goal is to respond to the functional needs with a building that is capable, in its autonomy and identity, of belonging to the urban context of Tiburtina Station, and at the same time of being representative for the city of Rome as well as for its user.
These considerations led to the proposal of a building able to relate differently to the northwest with the Pietralata district and southeast with the Tiburtina Train Station complex.

Sometimes dynamic, reflective and dissolving where its perception is predominantly dynamic and different metre after metre (from the trains, from the station, from the different urban locations), almost as if it were moving, sometimes static, transparent and material where the context is urban, “slow”, facing north.

The building thus assumes different roles recalling for our imagination important works by contemporary artists and filmmakers who have discussed the issue of perception and the “reflection” of reality.