A Walk in the Cloud at the EUR Convention Hall

Roland Halbe

Rome’s latest homage to divinity is humbling in scale and audacity.

It took 18 years, $253 million, and 37,000 tons of steel, but Rome has finally completed its largest building in years: the EUR Convention Hall. It’s a design by Fuksas, the Rome architecture firm known for pushing engineering to its limits. The simplicity of the main structure—a glass-and-steel box—is a decoy for the big event: The Cloud, which through the facade appears to be exactly that. The billowing structure is actually a network of curving steel beams coated in a translucent white fiberglass curtain, and it houses a 1,800-seat auditorium and three stories of flexible event and exhibition space. “Wandering among the clouds is a profound dream of us all,” says Massimiliano Fuksas, who helms the studio. “Touching the heavens is probably a similar feeling.” There’s also a 439-room EUR Convention Hotel coming next door. Another Fuksas design, it’s dubbed The Blade and will open later this year.