The Eternal City, 12 psychotic architects, and a competition thats based on a map thats frustratingly accurate. The resulting proposals of Roma Interrotta are obviously not going to be easy to read. While some entries drew parallels with Rome’s ancient landscapes and brought traces of that time back, others used archaeology as a device to design their proposals. Some rejected Rome’s history, and some celebrated it. Whatever means employed the projects resonated each of the architects inner anxieties and images of Rome. The proposals were not just symptomatic of the architects personal concerns but also of planning, architecture, and exhibitions in the 70’s.
The Nolli plan is the culprit of Rome’s illness. Along with its outdated ways of defining public spaces, the plan also entirely rejects the topographical details and sections of Rome. The consequence is an entirely one-dimensional view and interpretation of Rome. Just a few years after Nolli completes his map 1748, Piranesi draws Campo Marzio. Its fantastical approach is the first attempt to break away from Nolli’s limited understanding of Rome. It allowed for misreading’s.
The Roma Interrotta competition works in a similar fashion. In many ways it was an effort to cure Rome from the outdated planning regulations that it was ailing from. The competition and the entries acted as a form of therapy for doing so.
The premise for my recon is built around the idea that the 12 architects in their attempt to provide therapy for Rome begin to exercise their own demons and as a consequence reveal their own mental weaknesses. They are also suffering from a series of mental conditions and the competition acts as an inkblot test to prove this. Similar to Rorschach’s test in which a subject’s perceptions of inkblots are recorded then analysed using psychological interpretation. In this case I play the role of Rorschach by analysing their proposals (read: symptoms) to evaluate their mental conditions.The competition performs the role of being a means to reveal the architect’s anxieties as well as a means to study the resulting conditions, brought to light by an examination of the proposals.