Unbuilt Architecture
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The Island of Art

Museum for the Tiber River - Rome, Italy

#ArchitecturalDesign #Museum

The Tiber Island is a small isle in the Tiber River that runs through the city of Rome, a seat for the buildings associated with medicine and healing. Due to limited access, the base of the island is physically isolated from the top where people gather.
WHAT IF a museum becomes a part of the island platform, and we experience the river inside and outside the building all around the waterfront?


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In order to keep the existing buildings seated on top of the island visible to the city, the new museum wraps around the base of the island making itself a platform for people to explore and gather around the waterfront.

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The island is accessible from both sides of the river by two bridges. From the south bridge, the sloping roof of the museum brings visitors down to the eastern tip of the island, where they can experience a touch of water. A floating stage and step-seating can create a gathering space for events, with a backdrop of the Ponte Rotto, a monumental arch which remains from the oldest stone bridge in Rome.


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While the ramps and steps lead people down to the waterfront, the roof of the museum rises westward and bring people up to a level which is higher than the bridge on the west.


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A Floating Exhibition Hall projects out from the island and creates a canopy for the museum entrance where people experience the river flowing towards them.


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The Infinity Water Terrace reaches out from the western tip of the island. Its water leaves the bridge from the front, out of sight, and merges into the river, creating a scene of sunset which is reflected on the continuity of the water. 


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At the entrance to the museum, an open auditorium forms an island within the building and holds a cafe and courtyard on its top, making it the heart of the gathering space in the museum. The gallery space stretches out linearly and lets the visitors experience the art alongside the river’s flow.


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The museum exhibits some of the existing architectural elements of the island inside the gallery space. The arch of the bridge creates a gate to the exhibition hall and the aged brick wall of the island’s base is exposed to display the flood levels which are associated with the history of the Tiber River. 


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The bridges connect the islands of galleries and gradually bring people to the higher level where the Floating Exhibition Hall is located.


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The floor of the Floating Exhibition Hall is covered with structural glass in the end. It allows the visitors to feel the flow of the Tiber under their feet as the climax to their journey through the island.



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