Rome, Domus Aurea

Redevelopment of the park of Trajan corresponding to the Domus Aurea in Rome – Italy

The project involved designing a park whose primary function is to protect the archeological structures below it (Neronian and Trajanic).

The area is a large viewpoint overlooking the Parco del Colle Oppio and Rome. The area is covered by a large lawn in very poor condition. Numerous skylights are scattered over the lawn, coming up from the underlying archeological ruins, and a number of trees, some quite large.

The design entails creating a contemporary landscape structure that reconsider the Baths of Trajan through emerging archeological ruins and site elements suggested through new landscaping. The idea of this reinterpretation does not start from an “evocative reconstruction” of a plan layout that no longer exists. It starts instead with a “ground suggestion” of the wall system of the Baths of Trajan and the Domus Aurea that are below the garden.

A large “plateau of herbs” is organized in different groupings of associated plants, different maintenance methods (frequency of mowing) and different modes of use. This plateau will delineate a new landscape that evokes that of the ancient Neronian and Trajanic elements.

The proposed site plan follows the lines of the walls under it, highlighting and delineating the Trajanic structures and those of Nero’s Domus, doing so through combinations of different herbs and grasses.

The paths both delineate the area’s perimeter line and highlight the underground division between the Domus Aurea and the Baths. The attempt was to create a contemporary project whose primary goal is the use of the park while helping visitors understand that they are in a very significant archeological area, not just a park.