The Colosseum's New Arena Floor

The leading principles behind the project are the protection and conservation of the pre-existing archaeological structure. These principles will be applied in terms of both the structure and appearance of the project, ensuring that it will integrate seamlessly with the monument. This integration will be achieved by meeting all the existing archaeological, structural, architectural, hydraulic, conservation and management requirements. The new structure will cover the entire floor and will be able to be remotely opened in a variety of configurations. This system will be monitored in conjunction with environmental conditions to optimise the opening and closing cycles to carefully conserve the underground structures. The floor will be built at the same level of the original wooden floor, which was constructed during the Flavian Period. This will allow the new floor to connect perfectly with the original structure along the perimeter, providing access to the “service corridor” and to Porta Triumphalis and Porta Libitinaria.

The new floor will be constructed with extremely light and high-performance materials so that the new structure, with insulated dynamic components, can be supported by underground masonry structures. The distribution of the load will be optimised by using the original foundations, which will also eliminate all barriers to the visitors’ view of the archaeological structure. These materials also allow the use of a particularly thin structural section which will separate the new structures from the archaeological finds. The support system will be constructed by installing many layers that will chemically and physically insulate the underground masonry structures and make them resistant to horizontal seismic stress and dynamic forces generated by visitors walking on the arena floor. The integrated, multifunction and technologically advanced load-bearing section, will have structural and system support functions.

Client: City of Rome
Location: Colosseum, Rome
Programme: Colosseum’s New Arena Floor
Status: On-going
Project Team:
Milan Ingegneria Project leader (structure design and safety) —
Architetto Fabio Fumagalli (Head of integrated specialist services - architectural design) —
Labics Architectural (design)—
Consilium (Servizi di Ingegneria Systems design) —
Croma (Restoration)