Page E1.1 . 31 October 2001                     
ArchitectureWeek - Environment Department
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    Playful PV in Rome

    by ArchitectureWeek

    At the Children's Museum of Rome, a partly see-through photovoltaic (PV) roof brings new levels of meaning to everyday childhood experience of playing in the sun.

    One of the museum's central mandates is to heighten awareness of the quality of urban life through "a transparent guided itinerary" of everyday activities. Its new photovoltaic roof, designed by Abbate e Vigevano Architetti, gives form to this mandate.

    The PV panels that pattern the roof are literally transparent. And connected with exposed junction boxes and brightly colored cables, they introduce the story of solar energy production to children exploring the exhibits below.

    One of the driving ideas behind the adaptive reuse project was to express an attitude of respect toward the environment. Materials are nontoxic and either recycled or recyclable. Architectural barriers have been eliminated from the museum complex and its associated green spaces for universal accessibility.

    From Aging Shed to Environmental Showcase

    Located in the historic center of Rome, the museum occupies a former public transportation warehouse complex. The structure of the main exhibition hall, where the photovoltaic roof is located, is a steel and cast-iron shelter built in 1920 using a patent structure by French engineer Polenceau.



    ArchWeek Image

    The Children's Museum of Rome, was designed by Abbate e Vigevano Architetti, to, in part, heighten awareness of the quality of urban life.
    Photo: Studio Abbate & Vigevano

    ArchWeek Image

    The main exhibition hall.
    Photo: Studio Abbate & Vigevano


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