The restoration, enhancement and introduction to the tourist circuit of the castrum of the 5th roman Legion, also known as Macedonica, in the city of Turda or Potaissa in ancient roman times, is a project that revolves around a series of iterative architectural interventions consisting of  new buildings designed to meet the touristic needs of the ensemble and  structures designed to offer hints at the templates of some of the most important buildings in the castrum, but it also calls for systematization interventions whose purpose is to coherently and conceptually organize the site so that the heritage in question becomes a public space capable of producing social and educational capital.
The project establishes a dialogue between past, present and future by exploring Rome’s heritage, summed up by the expression 'urban civilization'. The intervention is thus one in which the proposed built structures allow for the reading of every historical layer without the introduction of ambiguities and/or distortions. The resolve lies within the use of the least invasive construction material for this type of intervention: steel. Steel structures can be founded isolatedly, are prefabricated and, therefor, assembled with ease and, more importantly, can be dismantled with almost the same ease. They are characterized by slenderness, allowing the reach of large spans with a reduced number of elegant structural elements, which do not impose themselves through size to the remains of the castrum and thus have a reduced impact on the integrity of the archaeological site. Due to the aesthetic and structural possibilities, it was possible to create a family of objects that consists of two types of architectural structures with the following two specific differences:  those designed to meet the tourist needs of the ensemble whose steel structures are hidden behind their respective shells and  those conceived to suggest the templates of some of the most important Roman constructions whose steel structures are exposed, somewhat like a skeletal system.
The main entrance area, through the former Porta Decumana, coagulates 3 of the 8 proposed objects. They all revolve around a central public space, as follows: on the northwest the Pergola, the Pavilion on the southwest, and the structure that hints at the template of the former Porta Decumana on the southeastern side.
The Pergola serves as a meeting point, a break before and after the tour of the 23ha archaeological site. It falls into the first typology of the family of objects as it is a steel and wood structure designed to protect against the whims of weather.
The Pavilion houses the information point, the audio-guide rental and ticketing area, luggage storage, gift shop, the bistro, the restrooms and several storage and office spaces. It is part of, like the Pergola, the first typology of the object family and is also its generator. The bar-shaped building is supported by 21 isolated foundations and is dominated by the digital frontispiece whose role is to greet visitors in their own languagend to support a selection of posts, likes, comments or hashtag. The idea is to attract, promote and integrate the archaeological site not only in the physical tourist circuit but also in the virtual one, a world that is transforming the whole set of social customs, from how we all work, play, think, feel, and relate to each other.
On the south-eastern side of the public space lies Porta Decumana, which falls into the second typology of the object family, being also its generator, designed to hint at the template of the former Roman gate. The access to the site will be done by crossing the pedestrian bridges designed to avoid any contact with the ruins of the Roman gate.
The Observation Tower, similar to a military assault tower, is positioned so as to provide 360° perspective mainly over Principia (The Roman High Command Building), but also over the Thermae. The tower is clothed in a brass mesh that, like a veil, is permeable to the sight trying to be present without over-imposing itself to the archaeological site.
One of the elements that best illustrates the advantages of using steel structures is the pavilion designed for the protection and exploring the ruins of the Thermae. Its 14 pillars structure, similar to a large spanning pergola, allows for the suspension a walkway system designed to offer a 170 meters long visiting route.
Design Team: Paul-Mihai Moldovan, Anamaria Moldovan, Eszter Szoke, Gloria Gagu, Madalina Sasa, Adrian Urda, Adrian Ovidiu Bucin
Collaborator[s]: Alexandru-Ivan Greceniuc
Design Year: 2016
Status: Competition 1st place
Execution | Completion Year: -
Location: Turda, Romania