The Corviale housing complex, located in the south-western periphery of Rome, Italy, was designed in the 1970s as a solution to the growing number of dormitory districts in the Roman suburbs, caused by the significant population increase between the 1950s and 1970s – when the population grew from approximately 1.6 million to 2.7 million inhabitants – followed by suburban sprawl.
Corviale is one of the most extended single-residential buildings in the world
The aim of the project was to reform the Corviale area. The principal goal was to give it a better outlook. This would be achieved by making structural improvements to the building to increase its functionality and the safety of the residents, as well as improve the infrastructure of the area.
The complex, which included high-density apartments for 8000 people, a church, shops, and municipal structures was one of the most prominent plans of that time
The IACP (“Social Housing Institute”) began construction of the Corviale in 1972. However, Rome’s political climate in the early 1980s led to cuttings of public housing’s financial support, which led to the partially incomplete construction of the complex. Management problems and lack of public control induced illegal squatting of approx. 700 families in the building. The Free floor on the building’s fourth floor, which was ought to house public and commercial services as well as common spaces, was occupied and modified for private living.
Now, there are two ongoing regeneration projects for the Corviale: the Chilometro Verde (Green Kilometer) project by architect Guendalina Salimei, and Rigenerare Corviale (Regenerate Corviale), led by Laura Peretti. While the former deals with the renovation of the fourth floor to allow the construction of 103 new apartments, the latter contemplates interventions in the common areas of the main building, as well as changes in the streets to adapt them to a pedestrian scale and to create new public spaces and green areas.