Centro Direzionale Argonauta, one of the most energy-efficient buildings in Europe, and the Lafuente towers, packaged with two enormous red bows

Contemporary architecture, sustainability and urban art. The Biggest Bow is a double installation in Rome for the holidays, ‘packaging’ two historic buildings, one of which has just entered the ranks of the most energy-efficient buildings in Europe, after extensive restoration.

The Biggest Bows are two gigantic inflatable bows in bright red, to adorn the Centro Direzionale Argonauta, in the Ostiense zone, and the Lafuente towers at Parco de' Medici, visible from the Roma-Fiumicino highway, a masterpiece of 20th-century architecture by Julio Lafuente and Gaetano Rebecchini from the late 1970s, during the holidays.

Commissioned by Valle Giulia Real Estate, which owns the buildings, the project has been conducted by Thirtyone Design, founded in 2015 by Claudia Campone, for the third consecutive year with Fly In and the support of Tecnostyle.

Conceived as enormous holiday decorations, the two bows are lighted to be visible at night against the facades of the two buildings. In the Torri Lafuente the installation also features a large spool of red ribbon and a pair of scissors.

A dramatic and ironic way of celebrating the holidays, part of the Argonauta Design Crew program that brings design and urban art into works of architecture owned by Valle Giulia Srl, with a cycle of installations and an ideas competition open to schools of design and applied arts, concluding in June 2020 with the selection of the best project by a jury of experts.

The idea is to make Centro Direzionale Argonauta, which welcomes about 5000 workers and guests every day, into a hub of creativity with indoor and outdoor installations.

Centro Direzionane Argonauta, decorated by Thirtyone Design, is one of the most energy- efficient buildings in Europe and the first in the Roma Capitale area, thanks to restoration conducted by Agenzia di Architettura helmed by Isabelle M. Rizk, including 657 solar panels for annual production of 137.62 MW, supplemented by a photovoltaic system on the canopies, for 365 kWp on a surface of 2176.70 m2, for annual production of 484,472 kWh. The two systems together generate 622,092 kWh per year, entirely utilized by the building. The savings in terms of CO2 are estimated at about 170 tons per year.

(Photos by Paolo Casicci)