Construction Work in the Prelatic Curia

During the six-month period covered in this issue of Romana, work was completed on the renovation of one of the buildings in Villa Tevere, the Prelature’s central headquarters in Rome. The building is called Casa del Vicolo.

The beginning of the Villa Tevere complex dates back to 1947, when the founder moved the central offices of Opus Dei to Rome. At the beginning, there was the so-called Villa Vecchia and a building at the entrance, known as the Pensionato. In the 1950s the other buildings of Villa Tevere were built, until the last stone was laid on January 9, 1960.

The current restructuring consists of the total renovation of the facilities from the 50s of the last century, which have been replaced by more efficient and less energy-consuming structures. In addition, all the rooms in the building have been remodeled. For many years, the building was home to the Roman College of the Holy Cross, where students shared dormitories and services. Among other things, the renovation has made it possible to optimize the available space.

The restructuring work has been carried out with a concern for historical continuity, preserving especially details of the design and architectural solutions that were directly followed by St. Josemaría who, when showing the house to other people, used to remark: “These buildings seem to be made of stone but in reality they are made of love.” With this desire, functional solutions were proposed that would integrate well with the history of the complex.

Throughout this process we have sought to keep the neighborhood informed, including a letter explaining the project and how it could affect their daily lives, and informative meetings and visits to the buildings. The entire cost of these works has been supported by contributions from the faithful of the Prelature. The corresponding financial information will be included in issue 74 of Romana, along with other financial data for the year 2021.

Once this first phase was completed, at the end of 2021 the renovation of another area of the site began, which corresponds to a residential building built at the end of the Second World War. This is on the same block, on the corner formed by Via di Villa Sacchetti and Via Domenico Cirillo, which was acquired over the years. When studying the possibility of renovating it, not only to adapt the spaces but also because of detachments on the façade, updating of installations and other needs, it was found that it did not meet earthquake safety requirements and the building material contained asbestos. For this reason, it had to be demolished and rebuilt, with a similar appearance. The firm responsible for the project is PEI Engineering of Rome, with a budget of €9,800,000.

Romana, n. 73, July-December 2021, p. 82-83.

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