It’s been ten years since I went to MAXXI to hear architecture Massimiliano Fuksas talk about his dreams of clouds, and just four years since I wrote about the “coming soon” opening of La Nuvola, Fuksas’s architectonical actualization. I’ve been that archi-stalker, visiting the construction in EUR as much as I can to get a glimpse inside the glass box. For a long time, years, all I could see was what looked like a metal carcass. And then one day this year, I read La Nuvola unveiled itself a Halloween inauguration. The congress hall/conference center of a new Rome was [almost but not quite] open for business.
Ten years, I told myself. What’s a few more months? And that’s serendipity. La Nuvola announced public visits, by reservation only, for four days during the second week of December. La Nuvola was ready for me.
We head first to an underground, a rectangle black hole, or Kubrick’s 201o in horizontal format. This is a monster of a congress hall designed to fit 3000 people, or be divided into smaller components for groups. My inner Spike Jonez wants me to shoot a video here, preferably with Christopher Walken.
Up in the The Cloud, ground level. It’s a diaphanous, amorphic shape, anchored to the floor. An Ikea paper lantern. Or a paper-machè Pikachu, waiting for lift off. It’s gleeful. I am worried about the sun and heat in the summer months. How will it feel? Trapped? Will it wilt like all pretty things on a hot day? Will it run away like a naughty Pokemon?
Inside the Cloud is a crazy, curvy metal skeleton that makes me think about Barbarella and ordering a black polyeurethane dress. I wish La Nuvola was a performing arts center because I’d really enjoy a long intermezzo tiptapping around on stilettos and with a cocktail in hand. And then I remember it’s meant for large conferences and key note speakers. I make a mental note to sign up for a conference, any conference.
Pop of color. The main conference room. It’s like being inside a heart. I love the contrast from white to blood red.
People in glass houses…. The Nuvola is contained in a glass box, that naggingly reminds me of Jennifer Lopez. I am thinking about The Cell, which means I am really thinking about Damien Hirst. No one else really like it as much as I did. I want to see people walking up and down the fire stairs. I want to have someone take hyperlaspe videos of me in a fluoro blue dress running up and down. I like transparency.
My take? It’s about time this Nuvola opens, and if I were you, I’d take a double look at any late 2017 conferences happening in Rome.