Paolo Venturella’s Vision of Futuristic Cities

My following article below was originally published by SERIOUS WONDER:

Paolo Venturella twilt 2

Located in the Pisa province of Italy, one of the most iconic architectural structures in history continues to spark awe and curiosity to millions of tourists every year. This structure is famously known as the Leaning Tower of Pisa, which is speculated to have been designed by the late Bonanno Pisano. The reason this tower continues catching the eyes and imagination of people all around the world is because of a design flaw which slowly made itself known starting in 1178 – the tower began tilting due to unstable subsoil beneath it, becoming permanently tilted with time.

How is it that a unintentional tilt in a tower could evoke such international mass appeal? Perhaps because – albeit still within the confines of physical laws – it pokes holes in many peoples’ perceptionof physics! It challenged our understandings of how architecture could be constructed, and with that Roman architectural designer Paolo Venturella will surely ride steadily on that wave of thought.


Paolo Venturella’s “Twilt Tower” design for Rome is breathtaking, to say the least. Taking a page from Franco Purini’s “Eurosky Tower” design, which used photovoltaic panels on the top, Venturella’s tower design exploits the integration of photovoltaic panels by using it for both facade and volume. By twisting the tower in unique directions, the tower’s deformation allows itself to capture direct sunlight the entire day.

“We propose a new revolutionary design to allow the city of Rome to find again its own old splendor, leading it to a new pioneering city as it was in the passed century. Rome was not built in a day, let’s make it born again!” – Paolo Venturella

Paolo Venturella twilt 1

Paolo Venturella twilt 2

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Then there’s Paolo Venturella’s vision of a 2040 Manhattan, New York. Similar to the “Twilt Tower,” Venturella’s “Flex Tower” design twists and molds the fundamental exterior structure to exploit the mass use of photovoltaic panels. Angled at 30°, the tower rotates and flexes out to achieve the necessary tilt towards the sun. Unlike the Tower of Pisa, where the entire structure is tilted, the Flex Tower’s lower level maintains the normal grid design as that of every other skyscraper in Manhattan, whereas the higher level then starts its unique rotation midway.

“In order to avoid an uncontrolled invasion of photovoltaic panels all over the city, the new typology perfectly combines the need of the moment.” – Paolo Venturella

Paolo Venturella flex 1

Paolo Venturella flex 2

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Unlike the Tower of Pisa, the architectural designs by Paolo Venturella are attempting to create an environmental impact in how we look at and construct cities filled with skyscrapers towering over the mass populace. What Venturella proposes is a combination of both awe-inspiring design, to which historical structures like the Tower of Pisa evoked, and climate-saving technological innovation.

Will Venturella’s vision of futuristic cities successfully materialize? For the sake of humanity and their place on a fragile planet, I surely hope so!


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