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Landscape Architecture’s Rome Studio

MLA Rome 2012 Study Abroad

Thirteen students accompanied Professor Rod Barnett to Rome during last Summer semester, ten of whom were Master of Landscape Architecture students and three were from the Master of Community Planning program. The students worked and played throughout Rome for five weeks.  They all stayed in the old Travastere district of the city, on the west side of the Tiber River and about twenty minutes from the Rome Center where they spent their days.

The students’ task for the semester was to work with an abandoned light industrial site directly on the banks of the Tiber and just inside a beautiful gate, called the Porta Portuense, within the  sixteenth century wall of the city. The students were charged to develop the site into a contemporary piazza that links the surrounding residential district to the river below. This involved considerable ingenuity as the proposed piazza is about thirty feet above the river, and the ancient buildings on the site, which was once an arsenal, or ship-building and ship supply facility, required extensive refurbishment.  Rather than developing an urban design language for the piazza that mimics the classic language of architecture they saw all around them, students were required to engage this architecture by developing subtle references to it. Students worked to transform existing historical buildings into attractive commercial, retail, arts and residential amenities to attract people to the new piazza.

For more information on Study Abroad opportunities in the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture: