Via Giulia, Rome, Italy


Client: Camedilizia - CAM. S.r.l.
Architecture: Diener & Diener
Period: 2015 – 2017
Surface area: 4 230m2

A new “Pairi Daeza”, or paradise garden on Rome’s Via Giulia, invites locals and visitors to enjoy a lush urban garden. The garden, with water basins full of plants, partly neglected, overgrown with old trees and vines, seems to have been there for centuries, forgotten. It is an old garden, rediscovered and newly accessible to neighbours and visitors, and as a well-kept secret it is part of the long history of Roman gardens. Reminiscent of the quieter areas of the Farnese Gardens or the remote parts of the park at Villa Borghese, this garden has both an internal and an external story. From the outside, the garden is an elusive world separated from the busy, hot city, containing the promise of lush vegetation and quietness. Large tree canopies reach over the garden wall while climbers and ramblers seem to be escaping from the garden. The tall trees on Via Giulia help restore the street by continuing the line of building facades. On the Tiber River side, tree canopies announce the garden from the bridge and create a green setback along the river promenade. Inside the wall, the garden reveals itself as vibrant and diverse. It is organized in three parts: the atrio giardino, frutteto and giardino segreto. The atrium is on the same level as Via Giulia and its large water basin acts as a central gathering place for the whole neighbourhood. From here, steps lead up to the orchard, where rows of fruit trees stand on stepped terraces. Finally, the secret garden on the highest part has a wild mix of trees, climbers and bushes and is surrounded by ancient ruins. A winding path leads the visitor through the rolling topography. People can sit along the terrace walls or on the chairs and benches. The shaded areas and gentle sound of water flowing in the fountain create beautiful moments to meet others or simply sit in contemplation.