Rome Travel Guide

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Monday, September 19, 2016

Eurosky: Tall Buildings come to Rome!

Rome and Los Angeles aren't usually understood to be similar.  But in one respect they are: they're both essentially low-rise cities, made up mostly of buildings of less than 5 stories.  Decades ago, Los Angeles made a decision to concentrate the much larger buildings that were needed by hotels, banks, law firms, and some condo folks in a few areas, including downtown (now the site of the tallest building west of the Mississippi), Westwood, Century City and, more recently, parts of Hollywood.

Rome came later to the idea of concentrating its tall buildings.  Its first effort is in the south end of EUR, the mainly Fascist-era suburb to the south of the center.  The second is not far away, near Pier Luigi Nervi's Palazzo dello Sport that essentially marks the southern end of EUR..  This 63 hectare (157 acre) complex is known as Eurosky or, on the company's website, as Business Park Europarco (sounds a bit like a rue de road) or Europarco Business Park.

The rather uninspired sales offices of Eurosky.
Maybe that's why the place feels empty.  

From via Cristoforo Colombo, going south, turn right (east) on viale dell' Oceano Pacifico, then left on viale Avignone.

The first building you'll see, on the right, is occupied by Microsoft.  It's not clear whether it's part of Eurosky, or just adjacent.

And beyond this building, to house those visiting Microsoft execs and others of "i big" ilk, a handsome Novotel in a white skin with some weird angles. Up ahead, there's plenty of space to park.  Let's have a look around.

Microsoft building at right, Novotel at left, soccer field awaiting players in foreground.  
The complex has some of the feel of Parco Leonardo, the newish suburb/shopping center still further out.  Empty and sterile.  Great expanses of what might be called "piazza," but few popoli.  Perhaps the buildings haven't filled up yet.
Those are people down there.  
To the southwest, a big hole in the ground, primed for yet another Eurosky skyscraper, and beyond it, the Euroma2 shopping center, where you'll find an Apple store.
Euroma2 - from the back.
Looking east, a modest effort notable for the cutout, upper left.

Upper left detail
The centerpiece of the development is the Eurosky Tower (Torre Eurosky)--the one with the big angled slabs on top. Probably solar panels. The building is basically a huge apartment complex. Except for few touches--the angled staircase, a vertical cut-out in the center--it's a rather soulless structure.  But it is the tallest building in Rome and one of the largest residential buildings in Italy.
Eurosky Tower, from the parking lot.  Business traveler at left.
Angled stairs, Eurosky Tower
That big square glass structure down the way?  Surprise!  That's the Italian Ministero della Salute (Ministry of  Health).  Its angled doorway aside, it's ordinary, too, though arguably handsome.  In an era when the Italian government needs every cent it can get, we wondered why the ministry needed to be housed in new, and presumably expensive, quarters.
Ministry of Health

And its angled doorway.

Perhaps the most interesting element in all of Eurosky is just steps from the entrance to the Ministero della Salute: a small sculpted monument, commemorating the global elimination of Rinderpest in 2011 under a joint Ministry of Health/FAO program.  (Rinderpest is a German word meaning "cattle plague." The virus likely dates to the 7th century.)  It's a lovely, organic piece of work, lost here amid all the uninspired modernism.  

More tall buildings and empty piazzas to come! Don't miss our Eurosky updates!


Bill's ingenious selfie in the reflection of the Rinderpest plaque.  How clever!

1 comment:

smitaly said...

You won't find il ministro--currently a woman, Beatrice Lorenzin--in the building shown in the photo. She works out of the Sede del Ministero, a much more modest building in Trastevere (Lungotevere Ripa, 1). The big building in Eur is the Sede Centrale. A friend who provides IT support for the ministry (most days at the sede centrale, but one Saturday a month in Trastevere), describes the place much as I've heard certain American government agencies described: very important work takes place within, but not all employees are fully engaged in their work.