City authorities have pre-selected ten architectural studios to come up with plans to renovate Piazza Augusto Imperatore and the Mausoleum of Augustus in the heart of Rome. A total of 48 studios took part in the pre-selection process for the project, which involves restoring the mausoleum (built in 28 BC) as well as uniting it with the public space between the church of S. Carlo al Corso and overhauling the area between the new Ara Pacis building and the churches of S. Rocco and S. Girolamo.
Work that takes place in this area is likely to be controversial, since it involves elements of ancient, baroque and contemporary Rome. Due to the sensitivity of the project, therefore, city authorities requested that each studio collaborate with an archaeologist, an art historian, a restoration expert and a landscape planning expert. In addition, the ten chosen candidates will have to attend two seminars to deepen their understanding of the aims of the project as well as the problems involved. The studios will then present their preliminary plans by 7 November and city authorities will make their choice on 30 November. Each studio that presents a plan conforming to the rules of the competition will receive 25,000, while the winner will receive 50,000. Work on the piazza is set to take place between 2007 and 2008, with a budget of 22 million.
Among the ten finalists are seven Italian studios, two from Spain and one from France. They vary between architects with expertise in the restoration of ancient Roman buildings such as Francesco Cellini and Marco Dezzi Bardeschi to architects with experience in more modern creations, such as the Spaniard Salvador Perez Arroyo, who created the space-ship-like Faro de Moncloa in Madrid.