New Colosseum Arena floor, Rome (Italy)
The design competition for the new Colosseum arena floor, launched at the end of 2020, originated in 2014 with an idea by the archaeologist Daniele Manacorda and was included in the Strategic Plan for Great Cultural Projects in 2015.
The design envisages bringing to life the integral components of the largest amphitheater in the ancient world which is estimated to have held up to 87.000 spectators. The indoor arena measures 86 × 54 m with an area of 3.357 sqm. The new platform is to be placed at the height it had at the time of the Flavians and takes up the layout of the original plan. The beams will rest on the existing walls, with no mechanical anchors or any invasive impact, and will be completely reversible. Having the new floor will allow us to fully understanding its original uses and functions, while the technological solutions will guide visitors in discovering the complex organizational and scenic machine that governed the shows in Roman times.
The floor is made up of movable panels with a carbon-fiber core and covered in Accoya wood: a material that is obtained through a process of wood fiber acetylation to increase its strength and durability. The wood comes exclusively from certified forests, where the felling is planned according to the regrowth.
A sophisticated roto-translation mechanism of the panels, which are the components of the platform, makes it possible to view the basement while enabling ventilation and natural lighting. Along the perimeter, 24 mechanical ventilation units control the humidity and temperature of the underground rooms: when the floor is completely closed, a complete renewal of the air is assured in 30 minutes.
The new arena floor will therefore enhance the conservation and protection of the archaeological structures located in the hypogea while allowing the original appearance of the monument and the complex scenic machinery of the hypogea to be rebuilt, as well as rendering the re-functionalization compatible with the immeasurable archaeological, architectural and social worth of the Colosseum.
Ministero della Cultura, Parco Archeologico del Colosseo
2021 – in progress
Milan Ingegneria, Labics, arch. Fabio Fumagalli