As part of a design competition for a fairground building at the Rossi Sud complex in Italy, Rome-based DRA&U designed the Haliommatidium. Inspired by the intricacies of shells, the mixed-use structure features a smooth, continuous exterior surface, but on the inside is made up of a delicate network of rooms and cavities hidden under the facade. The large fairground building will play host to a number of cultural activities and will harness the power of the earth through geothermal energy. Additionally, the chamber-filled building enjoys rooftop gardens and solar energy to aid in reducing its energy use and providing efficient cooling.
The Rossi Sud complex is a former industrial area in Latina, Italy that is undergoing upgrades, part of which include a new mixed-use fairground building. DRA&U’s proposal is a white, shell-like building with a smooth outer surface and a complex network of chambers inside. Areas are carved out of the interior to provide space for performance activities, shows, conventions, museums, sports, a theatre and gaming zones. Surrounding the building is a network of paths, green areas, an outdoor auditorium, playgrounds for children and an arena for outdoor events.
One of the most important aspects of the building’s design was to minimize energy usage for heating and cooling. Relying on the earth’s semi-constant temperature and an underground aquifer, DRA&U chose to make use of geothermal heat pumps. Low-enthalpy geothermal energy is used to produce thermal energy for air conditioning during the summer and for heating in the winter. Additionally, a heat exchanger and air pipes are used in a system for natural passive cooling with the help of a ventilation tower will expel heat out of the roof. Solar photovoltaics on the roof generate electricity for the facility and rooftop gardens will aid in insulation and rainwater collection.