Archaeological Museum of Ostia antica
Ostia Antica, Rome
Archaeological Park and Museum
MA research project with A. Argentesi. 2018
Ostia Antica was the river harbor of Rome, a connection between the city and the Mediterranean. Initially, it was just a military settlement, strategically placed on the river delta, later it becomes an important city, and it lasts until the V century a.C.
Due to its extension of 150 hectares is the vastest archaeological park in the world, even if half of the ancient city is still underground. Because of several problems, it is not possible to perceive the quality and unicity of the site.
First of all, the position of the assesses is very inconvenient: one entry is near to the highway, and the other access is very distant from the heart of the ancient city. Furthermore, other problems (as the lake of exhibition rooms and archaeological storages, fragmentation of activities) complicate the management of the Archeological Park.
Although the river course has given origin to the structure of the city, the essential presence of the Tiber river is not enough strengthened and underlined during the visit to the park. The project considers the demolition of the recent and inadequate structures and suggests a reorganization of the whole park, to reconnect the Archeological site with the Tiber.
The location of the project is the gap between the river and the archaeological site, like a long horizontal structure, and it evokes the direction of the ancient course of Tiber, modified during the middle age.
The roof level is in continuity with the ancient city level; this extension of the park towards the water permits an ultimate garden-terrace on as a new riverfront, while long reflecting pools underline the lost direction of the Tiber.
The lower level of the intervention houses the visitable warehouses integrated with the exhibition itinerary and the laboratory for restoration with the non-visitable warehouses. This level has security windows in case of flooding of the river and accessible interior patios.
The final vertical element of the proposal hosts an exhibition itinerary formed by a sequence of rooms. At the shorter end of the building, there are stairs and lifts.
During the visit, it is possible to look at the coastal landscape to give a context to the objects on display. Each room is separated from the others by a panoramic passage that looks both towards the sea and Rome.
The route ends in a panoramic roof where it is possible to have a complete understanding of the archaeological site and its territory: the strong presence of the Tiber, the shifting of the coastline, the modern coastal settlements. The project proposes new river access to the park to be able to walk around the archaeological site without having to retrace one’s steps, losing energy and interest in the visit.>