The redevelopment of the old general markets on the Via Ostiense in Rome has been given the go-ahead by the city council. Archaeological surveys of the area should begin in September and building will start early in 2006. Due to be completed within three years, the complex of 85,000 sq m, designed by Dutch architect Rem Koohlaas, will include the biggest media library in Europe, swimming pools and sauna baths, along with space for restaurants, theatres, a nursery school, a day centre for the elderly and council offices for the XI municipality.

The building will be financed by a group made up of the Mills Coorporation, Lamaro Appalti, Cinecittdue and Cogeim, that will invest 230 million and will run the complex for 60 years. The city council will provide the services for the area, lighting, roads, drains and water, spending 10 million.