One Works’ proposal for the new Enac Academy has been designed to create an efficient, sustainable, comfortable and iconic building, capable of becoming a promoter of a renewed relationship with the existing precious landscape. Surrounded by nature and characterised by a large glass facade with a mixtilineal design and curved metal roof, the building will provide a series of flexible teaching and conference spaces for the Italian Civil Aviation Authority.
Located to the north of the Rome Urbe Airport perimeter, the new Enac Academy will be appropriately separated from the airport runway and related activities with the construction of a new access road from the North-West. The complex, four-hectare site is surrounded by a bend of the River Tevere (to the West), a curvilinear taxiway serving the airport runway (South), service buildings of the local university (East), and an area designated to a depuration plant to the North.
The program underlying the new Academy for Civil Aviation project involves the construction of a series of classrooms for teaching (10 of about 20 seats each), a 200 seat auditorium, specialist laboratories, support spaces, administrative offices, a library / media library, a café, as well as associated amenities and parking facilities. These primary functions are organised within a building of approximately 4,000sqm, and an additional area close to the site has been identified for a possible future expansion to provide residential facilities for the academy students.
In order to utilise the path of the sun, careful consideration was given to the building’s geometry and size with simple internal circulation to strengthen the theme of accessibility throughout the building. The adoption of simple and innovative construction methods will also reduce the project timetable and assist in containing project costs. The combination of these factors led to the design of a one-story building with a large curved facade to the South that ‘embraces’ the airport runway and the evocative landscape surrounding the site. In order to emphasise this relationship, the project involves a slight earth movement in order to allow the new academy to be placed in a slightly elevated position.
A system of green artificial riverbanks will be placed on the western margins (to remodel the existing river embankment), the North (to hide the depuration building) and the East (to hide the new parking lots), underlines the environmental attention that constituted a fundamental and indispensable starting point for the whole project. New open spaces will also identify a direct connection with the existing routes along the riverbanks to reactivate a possible ring route around the airport perimeter (a river park) for pedestrian paths and other outdoor activities.
The new building is characterised by large glass facades with a mixtilineal design and a curved metal roof that integrates photovoltaic panels. Solar analysis was carried out to identify and feature, where appropriate, automated vertical solar shading to guarantee the best balance between comfort and energy efficiency of the façade at any time of the day.
A generous oval patio inside the building will provide continuity in the sequences of internal and external spaces. With the main entrance to the building located in a central position, one wing has been designed as dedicated space for the primary teaching activities with a series of classrooms separated by movable walls to guarantee a high level of flexibility. Whilst the other will host the main auditorium, cafe and other supporting spaces.
The new Enac Academy aims to respond to programmatic requirements, whilst generating an efficient, sustainable, comfortable and iconic building, capable of promoting a renewed relationship with the existing precious landscape. Together, the new academy will become an important international aviation reference point for specialist training and for other activities linked to Enac, and the city of Rome.