FIU architecture in genoa

FIU-UniGe collaborative workshop in the upper loggia of the convent of S. Maria di Castello, fall 2014

The aim is to develop an understanding of contemporary and modern architectural design grounded in disciplinary knowledge and a grasp of changing social and cultural contexts.

student comments

Making Genoa my home for this past semester was truly a life changing experience, both personally and professionally. Its authenticity inspired me and allowed me to find out a little more of who I am and what I want. Through our many trips in Europe, I have acquired a new vision of architecture and I believe this has made me a better and more conscious designer. My experience was everything and more than what I had hoped for. Thank you!

Alexis O., Fall 2014

Comments by Fall 2014 Architecture students; video shot in the garden and in our classroom in the convent of S. Maria di Castello; video editing by Gio Guadarrama (Master of Arts in Architecture 2014-2015)


urbanism & community

contemporary, modern and traditional European and Mediterranean urban structures (fabric, networks of public space, urban objects) as they relate to existing and emerging cultures

media & design

representation and insight; analysis and communication; mapping and thinking; forming and communicating urban/architectural vocabulary and design strategies

continuity & change

place, culture, identity; transformation & sustainability; globalization and local particularity

dam-gur exploded model
building within shells, exploded digital model (Alan D'Amore, Kevin Gurley)
dam-gur model
Building within shells (Alan D'Amore, Kevin Gurley)
Intervention in Piazza Dante, model (Rosa Corrales, Claudia Alonso)
Intervention in Piazza Dante, model (Rosa Corrales, Claudia Alonso)
Facade and public space (Larisa Marenco, Andrea Rivera)
bahamon dandoval model
Insertions in drydocks of ship repair area (Lorena Reyes Bahamon, Jennifer Sandoval)
Masterplan of urbanizing the city/water's edge between the Expo (port) and the Fiera, with four individual proposals
piazza colombo
Spatial analysis of Piazza Colombo and surrounding area (FIU: D. Motta, J. Bohorquez; UniGe: A. Giovanelli, S. Colosimo)

One of the great opportunities of living and studying in Europe is to examine different patterns of social life and urban structure. This means not only the traditional European model (center-periphery, urban fabric and morphology, networks of public space, etc.) but also contemporary ideas of pluricentric and hybrid cities, explorations of a periphery that is no longer peripheral, gray-scale figure-ground, reclaiming disused industrial areas, protecting or creating networks of green space, infrastructure as architecture…

Urban design strategy in the ghetto of Genoa (J. Sandoval, R. Matos-Lopez, T. Mayard)


process & design media

Model representing the grain of the centro storico (J. Maloney, C. Gaudrault, D. Krull)

While the quality of the final product is important, we stress the importance of understanding the process: how what we make is bound up with how we think and make. This refers both to how the student can establish a reading of the context, experiment with design possibilities, formulate a design strategy, then articulate and follow a design trajectory, but also the material processes of making that are engaged in generating and concretizing design ideas.

statuto axon
project for Piazza dello Statuto (E. Navarrete, M. Sacher)

The eye, the hand, and the mind are the architect’s, and the student’s, most powerful tools. One of the most valuable lessons of studying in Genoa and Italy is the direct experience and close examination of architectural structures and urban spaces, and analyzing them through drawing to extract possible lessons. Drawing becomes a tool for a process of decoding/encoding that both informs and participates in the design process. The drawings move from specific example, through diagram to general spatial motifs, into a design vocabulary to be explored in new contexts.

brignole model
Model of urban strategy between Piazza della Vittoria and Stazione Brignole (C. Hernandez, L. Bartroli, 2009)
feito digital model
Monument/museum for the 1930s Italian cruise ship Rex (Josue Feito 2011)

context & mapping

disciplinary context

map industrialization
Map of Genoa's industrialization and ship production, and their relationship with modern architecture and the city's urban transformation (E. Hernandez, M. Sacher, S. Salvat, J. Schwiering)

Approached in another manner, context may refer to the position the design work occupies, consciously, in the tradition of architecture or the tendencies of the times. With a critical reading of context and the concept of “context”, the project offers a different sort of opportunity for reflection and speculation.

social/cultural context

map tourism
detail of map showing different areas of genoa promoted to or concealed from visitors and tourists (M. Bennett, A. Mendoza, E. Navarrete, A. Pina)

The social and cultural context, how various groups live in this place, may be examined so that the design goes blond the student’s design habits or cultural values.

architecture in genoa

Genoa has a variety of urban fabric and spatial types, and architectural works ranging from the medieval through significant interwar and post war works of Modern architecture, and finally to contemporary architectural projects that are defining Genoa's identity in the 21st century.

contemporary architecture genoa
Various contemporary architectural works and proposals in Genoa
moden architecture genoa
"classic" modern architecture in Genoa


Standard courses for the semester long architecture program:

  • ARC 5343 Design 8 or ARC 6356 Design 10 - 6 credits
  • ARC 5756 Architecture of the City – 3 credits
    To analyze the layering that composes urban form and to offer a basis of historical and theoretical information in order to take advantage of particular experience. Different periods of urban history are presented.
  • ARC 5734 Culture and Art in Italy – 3 credits
    Catalog description: Course describes the evolution of culture and aesthetics and their immediate relationship with the creation of these works. Consists of site visits and class lectures. (This is actually our Italian Language and Culture course for 3 credits.)
  • ARC 5745 Urban Arch 20th Century – 3 credits
    Catalog description: This course will examine debates on urban architecture surrounding the rise of Modernism in the 1920s and will follow those lines of thought into current discussion of architectural design in cities. (This is a Modern Italian Art and Design course taught by the curators of the Wolfsoniana collection in Genoa for 3 credits.)


Typically included in a full semester program for architecture students:

  • Workshop(s) with the students and professors of the School of Architecture of the University of Genoa
  • One-week academic travel to Rome and Florence
  • Modern and contemporary architecture trip to Lyon, Basel, Como and Milan
  • Day trips to nearby towns and sites