Rome, the new entrance to the Domus Aurea by Stefano Boeri Architetti

The project by the studio led by Stefano Boeri inside Nero’s palace includes a new permanent access and a pedestrian walkway, which leads to the Sala Ottagona among plays of light and archaeological ruins. 

Stefano Boeri Architetti designed a new entrance and pedestrian walkway for the Domus Aurea in Rome, built by Nero after the fire of 64 AD. The project enhances the emperor’s palace, creating a link with the Sala Ottagona: a connection that allows visitors to discover the underground rooms, Trajan’s vault and thermal structures from different phases. The aim of the studio led by Stefano Boeri is to offer the city a new permanent and easily accessible entrance, and an itinerary that enhances the site while respecting its archaeological heritage.

Domus Aurea
Stefano Boeri Architetti, Domus Aurea. Photo Lorenzo Masotto

The project fits discreetly into the ruins: a self-supporting structure is placed between the original masonry without touching it, through a manual installation that did not involve the use of machinery and welding on site. Located in Gallery III, the walkway becomes an immersive path starting from the Park of Colle Oppio, where the access point is located, emphasised by two large portals in black, galvanised steel sheet, painted with brushed bronze details.

Domus Aurea
Stefano Boeri Architetti, Domus Aurea. Photo Lorenzo Masotto

The connection between the Park and the ancient walkway, six metres below, is made possible by three areas: the vestibule – where the bookshop, ticket office and a glass window facing the route are located –, the gallery and the landing in the Sala Ottagona, where the oculus of the great vault can be admired. The supporting structure of the walkway consists of metal profiles covered with dark panels of painted galvanised sheet metal.

An important element of the project is the light, that strengthens the structure: the use of LED strips emphasises the walkway, illuminating the white resin floor and the parapets, while oriented light points allow observation of the historical elements below.

Entrance and pedestrian walkway to the Domus Aurea
Rome, Italy
Access, vestibule, gallery, landing in the Octagonal Hall
Stefano Boeri Architetti
Project director:
Marco Giorgio
Project leader:
Anastasia Kucherova
Design team:
Maddalena Maraffi, Luca Tognù, Michela Magnani
BCD Progetti, Giuseppe Carluccio, Guido Maccone

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