Location: Rome - Italy
Architect: Gabriella Guglielmo
Client: Roma Capitale
Implementation and management of tourist reception services
Public places and buildings
Ultra maxi-slab technology takes the quality of Ariostea materials beyond the traditional confines of porcelain slabs.
The innovative size of these slabs (300x150 and 300x100, only 6 mm thick) guarantees the utmost flexibility in projects of all kinds, while the absence of size constraints offers designers unprecedented freedom.
The many applications revealing the superior performance of Ultra Ariostea include a number of public projects, such as the recent renovation and new construction of underground public toilets in the historic centre of Rome as part of a wider-ranging programme for the construction and management of tourist services.
With plans by architect Gabriella Guglielmo and direction by engineer Leonardo Gatti, the renovation of Rome’s public toilets includes kiosks in the city’s historic squares, such as Piazza di Spagna, Porta Maggiore, Esquilino and Santa Maria Liberatrice, among others.
This particular location in areas with a strong urban character meant that the design concept had to establish a harmonious dialogue with the various different architectural contexts, limiting the constructions’ impact on the cityscape, while at the same time making their function easily recognisable to the public.
These issues were solved with the regularity of a rectangular conformation responding to the requirements of the constructions’ new purpose and to requirements for barrier-free architecture, making it possible "to free the façade of the weight-bearing structure with use of hollow steel profiles set back from the line of the outer walls".
Aesthetic harmony with the cityscape is achieved with glass infill that provides the necessary transparency without screening off the surrounding space.
The result is visually clean façades characterised by the continuity achievable with slender frame profiles.
As in all projects for public spaces, the flooring of the kiosks had to be chosen carefully, resulting in selection of Ariostea’s full-body 30x60 cm Pietra di Luserna tiles.
The superior quality of Ariostea porcelain is made apparent by its ability to resist scratches, blows and mechanical stress, and by its absolute impermeability and easy cleaning.
In addition to this efficient, functional result, these factors are combined with unmatched aesthetic value; Ariostea slabs are unalterable in the long term and therefore offer the ideal solution for all those public spaces in which considerable pedestrian traffic is expected and constant hygiene is required every day.
The underground bathroom floors and walls are covered with Pietra di Gerusalemme (Ultra Pietre Jerusalem Limestone, 100 x 100 and 100 x 300), with its colours and textures particularly appropriate for a historic city like Rome: a durable material with a traditional look offering the perfect combination of efficiency with a timeless look.