Almost twenty years after the opening of the Mitreo di Santa Prisca, a new archaeological area opens at the Aventine: eight centuries of ancient Roman history, four years of excavations, two years of planning, one multimedia exhibition.
This is The archaeological box of the Domus Aventino, a project by the Special Superintendency of Rome and BNP Paribas Real Estate, one that is unique in many ways, and where archeology, architecture and technology come together to form the first site within a private residential complex that will be open regularly to visitors.
‘The archaeological box of the Domus Aventino is innovative and virtuous’ – explains Daniela Porro, Special Superintendent for Rome-. ‘It presents an excavation just as the archaeologists investigated it, thanks to a complex architectural project by the Special Superintendency of Rome in which Piero Angela and Paco Lanciano have collaborated wonderfully for the multimedia part of it. Thanks to the fruitful collaboration with BNP Paribas Real Estate, which embraced the initiative by financing the entire operation, today we are able to not only present it, but to also open this archaeological gem to visitors’.
‘In recent years we have worked as a team with the Superintendency to complete a unique archaeological project for the city of Rome: a museum inside an apartment building. A challenge that we have all overcome by managing to combine business interests with the desire to restore a hidden treasure chest to the world, a thousand-year witness of our past. It was a perfect example of virtuosity between the public and private sector that we are honoured to be able to present. This secret corner of Rome will be restored to the community and carefully safeguarded by the Domus Aventino apartment buildings’, declared Piero Cocco-Ordini, CEO of BNP Paribas Real Estate Property Development in Italy.
Directed by Roberto Narducci, archaeologist of the Superintendency, and carried out by Land, the investigations that led to the very important findings originated in the anti-seismic consolidation started in 2014 by BNP Paribas Real Estate, which purchased an office building from BNL in order to build a residential complex of 18,000 square metres at the foot of the Aventine.
From the excavation, incomparable mosaics, structures and materials emerged, which range from the eighth century BC to the third century AD. From the first terraces of the tufa bank of the Aventine to a luxurious residence, which underwent continuous transformations from the late Republican period to the Middle Imperial Age.
The public-private collaboration has made this historical treasure accessible, thanks to the ‘Archaeological Box’. Launched by BNP Paribas Real Estate, the archaeological and architectural project curated by the Special Superintendency of Rome, aims to bring the visitor inside an excavation, where the finds are presented as they were found, all within an extraordinary context.
The multimedia exhibition curated by Piero Angela and Paco Lanciano, which uses video mapping and projections, tells the story of this precious corner of Rome.
The fruitful collaboration between the Superintendency and BNP Paribas Real Estate was not limited to protection and conservation only: from next November the site will be open to the public with guided tours originally scheduled twice a month and two volumes on the excavations are being published.
ABOUT DOMUS AVENTINO
Domus Aventino is a housing development launched in Rome by BNP Paribas Real Estate, which originates from the architectural renovation of a complex made up of three buildings – once the headquarters of the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro – at the foot of the Aventine. The architectural design has been provided by Studio Tamburini in Rome and the interiors have been assigned to Studio Marco Piva in Milan.
All three buildings have been developed for 6 floors above ground for a total of 180 apartments of various sizes, from two-room to four-room ones: a unique style of living that combines innovation, sustainability, and safety.
The design also envisages underground floors that, along with the utility rooms, includes 177 spaces to be used as garages, as well as car and motorbike parking spaces. The total area of the project is 18,000 square metres and covers an entire block; any potential future neighbouring developments that may interfere with the specifics of the area are therefore excluded.
The project forms part of the Aventine neighbourhood – the greenest one in the centre of Rome – and includes 1,000 square metres of green space, 222 of which are located along the walls of the central courtyard, with over 10,000 botanical species having been planted. Furthermore, each apartment has been designed to be connected with the external space: a large residential terrace overlooking the communal garden areas that join the three buildings together.