Intersection | Antonio S. Rio Vázquez

«With the last liras and the kilometric one I go out of the Termini of Rome and, of a pull, come to Corunna. Have seen and ear, I have done, have learned»

Andrés Fernández-Albalat

All way should take to us – at least except some time – to Rome. And there, possibly, the way happens for the Termini station. «An alone main station for the whole railroad that comes to the capital», remained established by decree in 1856, indicating the beginning of his modern history.

Termini’s station in the fifties | Archivio RomaTermini

In occasions, the importance of a place comes given by the meaning of his name. Located close to Diocleciano’s thermal baths, the terminal station of  Bianchi (1864) —taking the Parisian model of the Gare de l’Est— was allowing to reveal other present architectures in Rome as the basilica or the triumphal arch, which they were reappearing across the nineteenth-century iron. Termini had turned into a point of meeting, not only of passengers.

The first Termini immediately turns into the old woman Termini. It survives at the rate of century but the convulsed Europe of the first decades of the XXth and the imperial ideas of the Duce demand a new solution. Without losing his condition of monumental access in the city, it was a precise reconvertirla on a modern station, to transform the end into a link, to go on from the term to the traffic.

This way there is born the auction of  Mazzoni (1925), interrupted and completed, from the contest of 1947, with the Montuori project (with Calini, Vitellozzi, Castellazzi, Fadigati y Pintonello). Avoiding fractures and discontinuities, the station turns into the integration of the representative image longed by Mazonni with the magisterial resolution of the program on the part of the winners of the contest.

A result that is understood principally in his section, where four differentiated spaces appear formally and functionally that obey the new uses of the station: the gallery of auction – cross street to the routes-, the block of offices, the covered porch and the zone of exterior receipt. These two last ones cover with the sculptural marquee that receives the travelers and opens the station for the city.

Termini was stopping being an end to turn into a crossing, in an intersection. There they find the trains with the meter and the buses, but also there are the shops, the restaurants, the drugstore, the chapel … even is possible to enjoy concerts and exhibitions in his gallery of art. Far from being an anonymous space, it transforms in a space with memory or, since it defends his motto, in «a place to live».

The travelers who come to the city, which use the station as point of link or who simply cross between the streets Marsala and Giolitti, will meet a lesson constructed on the history of Rome. One tells the history that it goes from the former thermal baths to the Future present typography in the señalética of the 21st century.

Some time ago I wrote, to the return of Rome, that the city was «an identical linen, a marble esculpido and a plane planned»because «it was possible to observe at the same time the result and the process, the inspiration and the crisis, the life and the ruin». On having returned I could have verified the written thing, simply crossing his station.

antonio s. río vázquez . architect
a coruña. march 2013

Antonio S. Río Vázquez (A Coruña, 1981) es arquitecto por la E.T.S.A. de A Coruña, master en Urbanismo y doctor por la Universidade da Coruña. Especializado en teoría y diseño, su línea de trabajo se ha centrado en la investigación y divulgación del patrimonio arquitectónico moderno. Ha desarrollado proyectos de modo independiente y ha colaborado con varios estudios de arquitectura. Es socio fundador de Aroe Arquitectura. Es profesor en el Departamento de Proyectos Arquitectónicos, Urbanismo y Composición de la Universidade da Coruña, y ha sido profesor invitado en la Robert Gordon University de Aberdeen (Reino Unido), en la Universidade do Minho (Portugal) y en la Università degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza (Italia). Es miembro de la red UEDXX Urbanism of European Dictatorships during the XXth Century, del Grupo de Investigación en Historia de la Arquitectura IALA y del Grupo de Innovación Educativa en Historia de la Arquitectura. Ha formado parte del proyecto de investigación FAME Fotografía y Arquitectura Moderna en España, 1925-1965. Los resultados de sus investigaciones, tanto personales como conjuntas, han servido como aportación a eventos de debate y difusión científica y han sido publicados en libros y revistas.

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