Rome To Auction Off Mussolini Buildings To Fund Conference Center

A rendering of the completed structure Photo: Archiknights

Authorities in Rome are preparing the sale of four public buildings commissioned by Benito Mussolini, in order to raise money for the completion of a conference center designed by Italian star-architect Massimiliano Fuksas, AFP reports.

The fascist dictator never finished the construction of the buildings designed for the 1942 world fair, as World War II broke out. The area stood half-finished until the city decided to complete them in the 1950 and 60s.

The state-owned company EUR Spa, which owns and operates the edifices, is hopeful about auctioning them off by the end of the year. Three of the buildings currently house museums, and one contains the state archives.

A spokesperson for EUR Spa told AFP “we are hoping to raise at least €300 million ($330 million).” The company revealed that the planned sale has already generated a large number of inquiries from private investors.

Fuksas was awarded the contract in 2000 after winning a design contest. However repeated financial limitations delayed the construction until 2007 after the project went over initial budget estimates, with costs rising from €221 million ($250 million) to €276 million ($313 million). Now authorities are struggling to keep up with ballooning costs of the innovative glass, steel and Teflon building once again.

Nicknamed “Fuksas’s cloud” by Italian media, the futuristic house features a bulbous auditorium suspended inside the structure. However, its angular façade matches the rationalist style of the buildings in the area it inhabits.

Fuksas has designed several high-profile projects including Shenzen’s new airport terminal in China, Ferrari’s headquarters, and Armani shops in New York and Tokyo.


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