Parco della Musica Viale Pietro deCoubertin 15
Renzo Piano 2002
The Parco della
Musica is a large public music complex on the north side of Rome, exploiting
a spacious site that was part of the 1960 Olympic area. Three large concert
halls are built as separate, sound-proofed structures, with a Roman-inspired
outdoor theater providing an outdoor venue between them. To complete the
unconventional arrangement, an area of Roman ruins, discovered during the
building, provides another area of focus for the giant bug-like halls to
At the front of
the complex, a glass-covered arcade of design-restaurant, bookshop and other
shops is a Piano trademark (recognizable from both the
Beyeler galleries). While
this frontage bustles during the day, the concept of the overall site as a
music "park" seems a little optimistic. The interior public spaces - foyers
and exhibition areas - are physically open during the day, but rather
forbidding; and the outside park area behind the halls, with playground and
grass, is so invisibly round the back that it was deserted on a sunny summer
Aside from the
dramatic, lead-shrouded roofs, the materials are chosen to be traditionally
Roman: gracefully-thin red brick, travertine floors (continuous between
inside and outside) and orange paint. While this mix is used consistently
over most of the complex, the interiors of the three halls, or "music boxes"
as Piano calls them, are dominated by bright red seating and dark,
American-cherry wood paneling.
Many claims are
made for the acoustic properties of the three halls, achieved through the
"natural acoustic" of the materials chosen. This shows in, for example, the
deliberately uneven brick work on the walls at the front and back of the
middle hall, with different sound-absorbing properties than a smooth brick
wall would have.
Simon Glynn 2005 (updated 2007)
How to visit
From Rome's train station, take bus number 910. This will take you close to the auditorium; you have to walk along the fence to find the main entrance.
Alternatively, to take Metro Line A to Flaminio, and change onto the train to Euclide (one
stop). From the northwest corner of the Piazza Euclide, head up Via G. Del
Monte, cross the main road diagonally and continue along Via G. Gaudini. You
will pass the Music Boxes on your left; immediately beyond them, turn left
down Viale P. De Coubert to find the entrance.
The complex is
open daily 10am - 6pm. Entrance is free. Paid-for guided tours are also
available irregularly. For more
information please visit
www.auditoriumroma.com (with an English option) or call +39 06 80 242.
While in the area, you may be interested to visit the Palazzetto dello Sport by Pier Luigi
Nervi across the road from the auditorium.
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