Rome: Architecture and Urbanism in the Eternal City

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The Spanish Steps of Rome.

The city of Rome has played a central role in the development of architecture and urbanism for millennia. Just a few of the many key sites includes: Ancient works such as the Colosseum, Pantheon, and Forum; the medieval palazzi that still form the core’s urban fabric; great Renaissance and Baroque churches and piazzas; and contemporary works by Renzo Piano, Zaha Hadid, Massimiliano Fuksas, Richard Meier and many more.

In the Spring semester of 2013, twenty students from the College of Architecture will spend a semester living and studying immersed in the Eternal City of Rome.  The program will be led by Assistant Professors Stephanie Pilat and Catherine Barrett. It will include a number of day trips as well as a 4-day/3 nights trip to Florence.

We invite you to follow our travels and adventures here.  Please join in our conversations by blogging responses.

Sites of Contest: Power and Politics in Urban Rome

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Mussolini demolishing buildings surrounding the Mausoleum of Augustus, from the Journal Capitolium.

Rome’s many rulers—emperors, popes, kings, dictators, presidents and prime ministers—have all attempted to shape and reshape the city as an expression of their power.  Sites in the city have been subject to serving political needs on the world stage that is Rome; architecture and urbanism have been used to represent, codify, and solidify power.  This course examines the sites that have been the focal point for such expressions from ancient through modern times.  Our study will range from ancient sites such as the Imperial For a and Hadrian’s Villa, to Papal constructions during the counter-reformation such as Piazza del Popolo, as well as more modern projects including the EUR, a city district designed to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Fascism.  Additionally, we’ll explore the periphery and surroundings of the city including sites such as the Centocelle Airport, and the Fascist New Towns outside of Rome.

Through readings, writing, discussions, and site visits students will analyze and deconstruct these sites in order to understand how architecture and urbanism can be used to express political intentions.  We’ll examine sites where intended meanings have been transformed and changed by the people who use them through resistance, new constructions, and the development of collective memories.