Rome opens new cultural venues in old bus depots

Rome's debt-laden public transport company leases its unused spaces.

Three long-abandoned bus depots in Rome are set to become centres of culture after the city's debt-laden public transport company ATAC leases its industrial properties in Piazza Bainsizza (Prati), Piazza Ragusa (Tuscolana) and Via Alessandro Severo (Ostiense-S. Paolo).
ATAC will lease the three buildings to Ninetynine Urban Value, the company behind the successful Guido Reni District in Flaminio and Palazzo degli Esami in Trastevere.
Under the agreement, ATAC will rent out the properties on a renewable eight-month basis before putting the buildings on the market in 2021. The total rent for eight months is €60,000 on top of which ATAC will receive 25 per cent of the revenue from ticket sales.
The venues, which are set to host festivals, installations and markets, will have new names for the duration of their cultural use. The 5,000-sqm depot in Piazza Bainsizza will become PratiBus District, the 11,000-sqm two-storey storehouse in Tuscolana becomes Ragusa Off, and the 7,000-depot on Via Severo will become known as S. Paolo Garage.
PratiBus District opened on 23 November with animal installations by artist Davide Rivalta, thanks to a collaboration with La Galleria Nazionale. For more details see website while for insights into the changing landscape of Rome's cultural spaces, see related article.
Photo Lucilla Loiotile