ENI Headquarters

  • "ENI: the Palace of Vertical Gardens", is the result of a radical transformation of the existing headquarters of the ENI Company, the petrochemical cartel of the Italian Government. The original twenty-story building, built in 1963, had become functionally and aesthetically outmoded. As part of an overall renovation of the building, special emphasis was placed on the design of the western and eastern facades. Ambasz, concerned with the pre-existing problems of ecological sensitivity on the site's park-like setting and the reduction of heat gain through the decrepit curtain wall, also sought to articulate a design that would associate the image of this colossal petroleum company with the idea of a dynamic industry sensitive to problems of ecological equilibrium.
  • Each facade consists of two "walls" placed on a wide shelving structure: an outer "green" wall of lush hanging flora to the East or more geometrically restrained arrangement of planting to the West and an interior floor-to-ceiling glass threshold. The glass wall, placed lengthwise in the middle of the shelving, protects the old facade from rain and wind. This "Vertical Garden" becomes a powerful metaphor and icon, informing the image of ENI as a company in harmony with the environment and rendering it an important forerunner of industry concerned with maintaining and improving the quality of life.

project information

location:   Rome, Italy
client:   ENI S.p.A
cost:   $39.0M
area:   240,000 sq ft

awards

  • Second Place in Competition