Some archaeological remains of the ancient Rome were found during the renovation works, supervised by INTEGRA AES, of the Ex Unione Militare building in the City Centre of Rome. Given the high historical value of the finds, suitable measures concerning project and works supervision and for the finds restoration and conservation were taken respectively by INTEGRA AES and LOGICA ILS to guarantee a proper valorization, in accordance with the Archaeological Superintendecy of Rome.
They were discovered at the end of 2012 and consist of a number of travertine slabs and tuff blocks dating back to the Republican Age of Rome; the remains were found during the excavation works for the new foundations of the building. The Superintendency acknoledged their importance since they testify the existence of funerary monuments in the area of ‘Campo Marzio’, the heart of the current historical centre of Rome. Consequently, the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage also placed tutelary restrictions on the building.
The aim of this intervention was not only to restore the finds and prepare the appropriate environment for their conservation, but also to set up an area within the building itself to showcase them, since their recognized importance deserves and actually requires public exposure. Three main actions were devised and executed to this end.
First of all, it was necessary to open a ‘window’ in the floor at the ground level of the building with special multi-layered glass, to make the finds visible. In fact, they are located 4 to 5.60 metres below the ground, that is even below the basement floor.
Secondly, in order to prevent water vapour from condensing on the bottom side of the glass, a ventilation system makes air flow from the pre-existing air intake (with opening on the street) to the air well.
Moreover, a powerful though low-consumption lighting system – composed of led projectors – makes the finds visible also at distance through the glass floor, thanks to the clear color of the light along with the nearly shiny black covering of three of the four partitions enclosing the remains.
Finally the last partition, being part of the external wall, shows the original bricks of the building before the renovation, so as to keep an element of continuity with the building itself and the urban environment that is visible through the shop window standing over the floor-window at the ground level – which hosts a megastore of the H&M Brand.