ROME - EUR (ITALY)
ENI: the Palace of Vertical Gardens, is the result of a radical transformation of the existing headquarters of the ENI Company outside Rome. ENI is the petrochemical cartel of the Italian government founded in 1953. This structure, built in 1963, for the company’s headquarters has shown itself insufficient in its functional arrangements, and its façade has deteriorated over the decades. These problems were the basis for the design of this new architectonic complex. Its principal characteristics reside in the redesign of the facades facing east and west, which confer to the building the image of a veritable “Vertical Garden”, twenty stories high. The designer, in addition to solving ecological problems as well as the problems of reducing heat loss, sought also to associate the image of this colossal petroleum company with the idea of a dynamic industry that is sensitive to the problems of ecological equilibrium. The new project also goes a long way to show that it is possible to create tall buildings which establish a much more human relationship with the surrounding urban context and with the hopes of the society.
The image of ENI as a company in harmony with the environment will be further reinforced when the plants on the façade change seasonally from leaves to flowers and from flowers to branches. This metaphor and icon, offering flowering energy, informs the new image of ENI, rendering this company an important forerunner of an industry concerned with maintaining and improving the quality of life through an architecture that respects the human and natural environment.