ARCHMEDIUM is an organisation arranging international architecture competitions, aimed mainly at students. The tasks are purely conceptual challenges. This time, it tackled the problem of motorized scooters in Rome. Challenge: design the main hub of the non-existing "Motorino Check Points" network - which consists of free public scooter parking lots. Location: centre of Rome, near the main railway station, Roma Termini. More information about this contest can be found on the official page of the competition.
Scooters are everywhere in Rome - and it's a problem. They are a very efficient option for travelling trough traffic-congested city, but their users often park their vechicles carelessly, anywhere on the street - creating a problem for other street users and increasing the impression of chaos. We tried approaching this problem from a social perspective - education of the street users, self-organising of the communities regarding the parking problem, but we couldn't find a clear, consistent solution to this problem. The final argument against this approach is the fact that the city of Rome tried to communicate with the scooter community (which is farily strong in Rome), to solve the parking problem together, but it failed. We decided to solve this issue using the power of technology.
The concept is simple: you drive your scooter. You leave it wherever you want, then you continiue to roam the beautiful Rome. When you want to use your scooter again, just recall it - and drive away. Teleporation for scooters. We wanted the main node of this network to be reminiscent of a gate, a portal - that's the source for the specific aesthetics of our design. We also found inspiration in the concept of classic Roman plaza - an empty void in the urban network, which has a single, focus-inducing object in the center (fountain, sculpture, obelisk).
We decided to implement a Japanese concept of automated bicycle parkings, extending it's scale and spectacularity. Thanks to that, we managed to squeeze over 1500 parking places for bicycles, scooters and motocycles in the core building. Smaller parkings - our network nodes, scattered all around Rome - in the basic version can house 126 bicycles or scooters. Vehicle teleporation is achieved using existing infrastructure - every network node is near the metro station. A specialized robotic system enables vehicle transferring on-demand, to any other network node - via adapted metro carriages.
Unfortunately, we didn't manage to impress jury with our project. In our opinion, some of the awarded projects were fairly unspecific and were not designed as an integral systems. Probably we were too limited by real-life constraints of the architectural design. Looking at the awarded projects - we should have disabled all our rational and careful thinking. Full list of the projects submitted to the RMPC competition.