The Italian Almanac



Rome is to get its first skyscraper, the architect and construction company said.The 28-floor, 120-metre-high apartment building is set to rise over the Fascist-era EUR district on the southern outskirts of the city, where several other prestige projects including a residential tower by Renzo Piano and a 'Nuvola' (Cloud) conference centre by Massimilano Fuksas are also planned.

The new skyscraper, dubbed Eurosky Tower, will be one of Italy's tallest buildings and "wholly eco-sustainable" with solar panels and biofuel power systems as well as channels for rain water to feed office plants and flowers, said the CEO of construction company Tarsitalia, Luca Parnasi.

"The design has been inspired by medieval towers," architect Franco Purini said. The architect denied reports that the original plan was for the skyscraper to be higher than St Peter's, before the builders were allegedly told to lower it. "All Rome's buildings have always been lower than St Peter's, which is 136 metres high. We didn't lower it," Purini said.

Work on the Eurosky Tower has already begun and it will take an estimated 18 months to complete the building. Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno last month hosted a conference of so-called 'archistars' which considered ways to incorporate modern buildings into Rome's Baroque cityscape. Among others, the forum featured US architect Richard Meier, who has recently agreed to modify his controversial Ara Pacis Museum to make it blend in better with its surroundings.