Period 3: Montuori-Vitellozzi group (1943-1999)

Stazione Termini


In the post-war period, the view of humanity and society changed. This is clearly visible in the Italian Constitution of 1948. The Constitution made it impossible to have a dictatorial regime again in Italy. Furthermore, it made Italy a democratic republic and all citizens became equal for the law [1]. Because the political climate in Italy changed after the war, it was necessary to rethink the design of the station from the economic, functional and architectural points of view. The new station should not refer to the fascist time of Italy since everybody wanted to forget this black period. The rebuilding of the station started in 1947 and was completed in 1950 [2]. In 1947, the Italian government organized a design competition for the new Stazione Termini. Two teams won the competition and designed the current Termini station: Leo Calini and Eugenio Montuori on the one side, and Massimo Castellazzi, Vasco Fadigati, Achille Pintonello en Annibale Vitellozzi on the other side. Together they were called the Montuori-Vitellozzi group [3]. It is unclear why the government chose in total 6 architects for the project. A reason could be that the process had to be as democratic as possible, since the project took place in the post-fascist period. The architects continued the work that was already done by Mazzoni (see left picture below), but with a new design. The current Stazione Termini is the result of the fusion of the two projects, Mazzoni on the one side and the Montuori-Vitellozzi group on the other side (see right picture below).

One of the wings designed by Mazzoni [4] Stazione Termini around 1950 [4]

In the design of the Montuori-Vitellozzi group, the main function of Stazione Termini was still to transport passengers. However, the station got more functions next to this. For instance, the entrance hall has become more than just an entrance hall. It has many shops, restaurants, ticket offices and supermarkets. The entrance hall overlooks the Piazza dei Cinquecento. Passengers do not only come to travel, they also want to make use of the facilities of the station. In Mazzoni's design, it was clear where the platforms were located and the building led the passengers to it. Now, travellers need to walk through the shopping area to get to the trains. Since there are so many additional features, passengers can get confused as to whether they are in a shopping centre or in a station. The big display with the departure times indicates that it is indeed a metro and train station.

The inside of the wings refers to antiquity

Several changes must be mentioned between the design of Mazzoni and the design of the Montuori-Vitellozzi group. First, the platforms are longer. Secondly, services for passengers such as tickets offices, restaurants and shops are available. Thirdly, the interchange with the underground trains and the city's transport systems has improved. Lastly, all the offices are now in one building. The most remarkable difference between the Stazione Termini designed by Mazzoni and by the Montuori-Vitellozzi group is the style of the building. As mentioned before, Mazzoni designed a station with a functional character and without ornaments. The new Termini station designed by the Montuori-Vitellozzi group has a more playful and attractive character. One characteristic element of the building is the shape of the roof of the entrance hall, which is called the "dinosaur" [6]. The two wings of the current Stazione Termini were built in order of Mazzoni. These two wings refer to antiquity, they have arches on the outside. In addition to this, the inside has arches as well (see picture right) and therefore it is possible to conclude that the Montuori-Vitellozzi group also refers to antiquity. It is debatable that a part of Mazzoni's design has stayed because of the changed view of humanity after the war. The reason for keeping the two wings was probably functional: demolishing the wings would have cost time and money. Some parts of the old design remained unchanged. For instance, Muro Serviano is visible for the passengers and there is a transparent contact between trains and city. Furthermore, the station provides a view from Piazza Esedra to the Coli bani [6].

Sources


  1. https://www.britannica.com/place/Italy/Government-and-society#ref923563 [Accessed 27 Nov. 2017]
  2. http://www.grandistazioni.it/cms/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=7c18360fa1bdb110VgnVCM1000003f16f90aRCRD [Accessed 7 Oct. 2017]
  3. https://en.wikiarquitectura.com/building/roma-termini-station/ [Accessed 7 Oct. 2017]
  4. http://www.grandistazioni.it/cms-file/immagini/grandistazioni/RM_storica2_533x350.jpg [Accessed 26 Nov. 2017]
  5. http://www.angelotrusiani.it/termini.jpg [Accessed 19 Dec. 2017]
  6. Passini, G., & Pezzoli, G. (2000). Roma Termini. Bologna: Editrice Compositori.