Italy -
Julio Lafuente
  • Steel structures


The futuristic steel structures of the ESSO Palace are safer today!
The architecture of the ESSO Palace now forms part of skyline at Rome Fiumicino: the three large inverted triangles, dark windows and the burnished aluminium frame are very familiar to Rome’s inhabitants.

The palace was designed in 1978 by the famous Spanish architect Julio Lafuente (who also designed the Collevalenza sanctuary and Tor di Valle racetrack), at the request of the multinational oil company EXXON (known as ESSO in Italy) in order to house its Italian offices. The aim was to create a design that would be instantly recognizable to those who were entering the capital of Italy. The palace still has such significant architectural prowess that it is considered to be the most important work in Rome’s modern architecture together with the E.U.R palace and the Morandi bridge.

Recently it has been decided to turn this palace into a new multipurpose building, meaning that all the metal structures had to be fire protected without damaging their aesthetic features. In particular, the beautiful IPE 400 and IPE 500 beams, measuring up to 150 meters in length, five meters of the external cantilever and the internal cross columns had to have a fire resistance of 45 minutes and even 60 minutes in some parts of the building.

Promat proposed the use of its intumescent paints, offering, for the first time in Italy, a product tested in accordance with European norm ENV 13381-4 ed. 2002.
The contractor had to choose between a lower priced competitors’ offer, which used the old and obsolete Italian standards, and the Promat offer which ensured a much higher standard of safety. The contractor decided to use our intumescent paint, making this the first structure in Italy to be designed in accordance with the Eurocodes; protected with intumescent products and tested in accordance with the new ENV standard. The construction features a control and maintenance system which is at the forefront of European technology.

An important role was played by the designer who, in conjunction with Promat’s Technical team, sought to combine maximum safety with strict respect for the regulations and the perfect conservation of the architectural value of the structures.
The first 6.000 m2 have already been protected and, in the next few months, the remaining 12.000 m2 will also be protected to complete the project.

The futuristic structures of the ESSO Palace are safer today thanks to the Promat technology and our decision to provide only products and solutions which ensure maximum safety.