The Malatesta Station, inaugurated in 2015, is part of one of the largest infrastructural projects of the last decades in Italy – the new Metro Line “C” of Rome: a fast public link along the northwest and south-East axis of the city.
The implementation of a Virtual Reality 3D model has contributed during the design phase to controlling the project, the impact into the urban context, and to demonstarte its functionality and architectural image both from the outside and from the interior. The external works, involves the realization of a square developed on two levels: the first (grade level), using naturalistic elements perfectly integrated with architectural and functional elements, is a collective place for socialization.
One of the main features of the Malatesta Station is this vast square, that develops on degrading levels from grade to the Atrium level. The Atrium represents the first functional level of the station and a sort of sorting of incoming and outgoing flows from and to the underlying turnstiles. At the intermediate level between the grade and the atrium levels there is a large public space available called “semi-basement plaza”, intended to accommodate leisure and commercial functions.
In 2010, the project of the station under construction was the subject of a proposal for an “eco-sustainable” variant, with the objective of becoming a Pilot Project for Innovation and Environmental Sustainability, to serve as a model for future actions as well. One of the main goals was to make the station self-sufficient under the energy aspect through the use of active systems (photovoltaic plant) to produce energy from renewable and passive sources through the exploitation and distribution of natural light to the deep underground levels (glass prism and light pipes). The proposal also included a system of independent photovoltaic lamps, which could ensure night-time lighting of the square without energy consumption.
The air quality of the square is climatically controlled through water-nebulization systems, architecturally integrated in the covers. Particular attention has been paid to maximizing the use of water for irrigation of green areas, adopting an innovative irrigation system and exploiting the contribution of meteoric waters. Lastly, the geothermal plant, provided for in the project, ensures the autonomous production of the energy necessary for heating / cooling the station’s environments and hot water, which is an important item in the chapter on overall energy saving. The Eco-sustainable variant was presented with great success at the Shanghai EXPO in 2010, through an interactive model in Virtual Reality.