Museo della Città (Object + Infill)
Rome, Italy

With Michelle Piotrowski

The Museo della Città is a cultural hub for tourists and Romans alike. It consists of two parts: an object building and an infill building; they sit at the intersection of two axes created by the master plan. The object building acts as a billboard for the museum, while the infill building provides a traversable roof plane and allows for access to the nearby riverbank.

The site for Rome’s new Museo della Città is situated in a left-over space between the ex-Mattatoio, the Aurelian Wall, a railway line and a cemetary. The site is challenging as it is surrounded by hard urban edges. Many landmarks of the city are nearby: Porta San Paolo and Piramide Cestia to the east, Mount Testaccio to the north, the Tiber River to the west and an old Gasometer to the south.

The strategic plan for Rome’s new Museo della Città is situated between the ex-Mattatoio and Porta San Paolo. We propose a new ‘Parco del Muro’, a linear park on Viale de Campo Boario that connects the two landmarks, creating two new axes upon which the new museum hinges. The new armatures created connect cyclists and pedestrians to the Ostiense metro station and existing paths along the Tiber River.

Users are persuaded along the path by the variety of people, activities, and spaces that reveal themselves with each passing tower. By creating new bicycle and pedestrian routes in Rome, this strategic plan integrates itself into Romans’ daily routine. In this way, Parco del Muro is activated by both tourists and locals alike.


The concept for the infill building is a collection of rooms underneath a plane that contain the permanent exhibitions of the museum. The building captures a portion of the Aurelian Wall, and the wall itself shapes the primary circulation path.

Courtyards punctuate the roof plane and turn it into the primary facade of the infill building. They provide light and provoke dialogue between the users of the public space and the visitors of the museum below.

The counterpart to the infill building is the “object”. The object is a tower that houses the library, archives, offices, auditorium, and temporary exhibition spaces across nine levels. The programmatic strategy is similar to that of the lower building, but applied to a vertical organization. The arrangement of volumes in space can be read in both plan and section.

The temporary exhibition spaces are located near the top of the tower to allow for the best views back to Rome and provide a foil to the subterranean permanent exhibition.


Copyright Liwei Wang 2020, all rights reserved