The adventures of a bookworm

Thoughts: Introduction to my studio

So this semester in Milan I will be working on a project about the preservation of twentieth century architecture. I thought it might be nice to introduce my project to you.

I will be working in a group of six to develop a strategy to preserve the Collegi in Urbino.

Urbino Collegi

Collegi

The Collegi is a complex of university dormitories that have been designed and built between 1962 and 1983. They are one of the most famous works by Giancarlo De Carlo who also worked for the city of Urbino itself. However due to changed use of spaces, lack of maintenance and replacement of original materials with cheap alternatives has changed the Collegi.

The project

So for our project we will be firstly analyzing the current situation at the Collegi. We will also be looking at the context during which the Collegi was designed and built. The goal is to develop a strategy to preserve the buildings for the future. This means defining what makes it cultural heritage and what parts of the building should be adapted to modern use.

I am super excited to be working on this project. Especially because we will be learning about modern architecture as heritage. Besides the studio we will also get classes on building preservation and on architectural survey.



2 thoughts on “Thoughts: Introduction to my studio”

  • I realize that this is well after the event, however I had a room in the Collegi in 1996 while I taught at the University of Urbino.
    My then girlfriend was Sandra De Carlo, the Brasilian niece of the architect. I met Giancarlo on several occasions and discussed the college buildings with him. I didn’t like him and he was very defensive about the Urbino project. The student accommodation buildings were always deserted, nobody likes living in them. They were always cold in the winter because the college couldn’t afford to heat them. At weekend there was no one there apart from a few overseas students who had no where else to go. I discovered that Italian students only went away to study as a last resort. They all preferred living at home and at weekends would travel huge distances to the north and south of Italy to be reunited wit their families. I mentioned this to Giancarlo and said all the student communal areas had never been used.
    He said the running and use of the building after he had designed and constructed the building were of no interest to him and that it was a failing of the University. I said that building it along the same lines as a UK or US university where the students never went home had been a mistake. He never accepted that. He was a small and mean spirited man, and I think his buildings reflect that.

    • Hi, thank you so much for your comment. It is interesting to read about the architect and his position towards the Collegi. So thank you again for adding this perspective to my experience of trying to renovate the Collegi.

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