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News: Rogers' scheme for friends, Romans and congressmen

A design by Richard Rogers Partnership and Ove Arup & Partners with a 'great floating roof' has been shortlisted for a competition for a convention centre in Rome.

The 55,000m2 Centro Congressi Italia, to be Rome's main congress building, will include top-lit conference areas, expo halls, an auditorium for 10,000 people, offices, a restaurant and shops, and 18,000 underground parking spaces. It is expected to cost up to £90 million.

The floating roof in the Rogers scheme is described as a simple, solid container of smooth, metallic skin. It will contain semi-private congress facilities.

Richard Rogers Partnership with Ove Arup & Partners was the only British team of seven shortlisted by a panel including Sir Norman Foster and Rafael Vignoli. Other entries are from Italy, Germany and France. A winner will be chosen next summer and building work is expected to start soon after.

Another British team, Christine Hawley with Abigail Ashton and Andrew Porter, made the last 16 of the competition. That scheme included overhead ramps and aerial piazzas.

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