16 February 2016
From a symbol of the decay of the city of Rome they have become a sign of its revitalization. The three towers designed by Cesare Ligini for the EUR at the end of the fifties, long the seat of the Ministry of Finance and dismantled and abandoned in 2007, have embarked on a process of regeneration thanks to TIM (Telecom Italia Mobile), which will make them its headquarters. The project has been entrusted to the architecture firm UNO-A, awarded the commission following a competition restricted to Italian designers under 40. A major operation of urban redevelopment that the telecommunications group has decided to announce in a forceful and stimulating way, with an installation curated by Caroline Corbetta for the agency Havas Worldwide and entrusted to Matteo Cibic, a designer-artist who likes to make the everyday special. For a month now the TIM towers have been covered with a distinctive layer of iridescent fabric that turns the spotlight on the change underway, and it will remain in place throughout the renovation work. The intervention covers a vast vertical surface subdivided into macro-pixels of different shades of silver and blue. On the one hand Cibic’s design performs the task of dematerializing the physicality of the architectural object, evoking the imperceptibility of the digital dimension, and on the other it brings the towers profoundly into tune with the city, with the way it breathes, because the surface alters with the passage of people and vehicles, with variations in the light over the course of the day and with changes in the weather. The result is a sort of magic mirror that reflects the contemporary mode of being in the world, characterized by an invisible network of links and connections that make us feel everything (and everyone) is within reach. A highly appropriate choice to represent a major telecommunications brand increasingly focused on services of connectivity. At night, the three letters of TIM stand out on the walls of the three buildings, outlined with pulsating LEDs. Quite a redemption for a group of buildings that used to be called with sad irony Beirut, recalling the destruction of the Lebanese civil war. It almost seems sad to think of the moment when the towers will be stripped of their luminous mantle, sometime in the coming months. We can console ourselves, however, by remembering that we will be able to admire them again in their rationalist beauty, updated to bring them into line with the most modern tendencies in bioclimatic architecture (they will have LEED certification) and to allow them to house 5000 people.