Sede di Roma
In 1992, Penn State's Department of Architecture negotiated a long-term lease with the Doria Pamphili family for instructional facilities within the Palazzo Doria Pamphili.
This uniquely historic site and building, located in the very center of Rome and fully equipped for architectural and other design studio operations, is the home of Penn State's Sede di Roma.
Penn State Architecture student Eric Weiss kept a digital diary of his experiences in Rome. Read his full blog here.
Palazzo Doria Pamphili
From its initial trace established in 220 B.C. by Caius Flaminius, Via Lata (now Via del Corso) formed the principal northern route from central Rome to Rimini. At the intersection of this road with the base of the Capitoline hill is the Palazzo Doria Pamphili.
The building forms a connector between Piazza Venezia and Piazza del Collegio Romano. It borders on what is perhaps the most well known and central of Roman streets, Via del Corso. The location boasts the Roman Forum, the Capitoline, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, and the Trevi Fountain, all within a five-minute walking radius.
For scholars, the immediate neighborhood includes the Herziana Library, the Casanatense Library, the Archivio Storico Capitolino, Santa Maria in Via Lata, the Collegio Romano, Palazzo Venezia, and numerous other archives of primary source material. Within the building itself are the Archivio Doria-Pamphili, and the world-famous Galleria Doria-Pamphili.
The present baroque building grouping has its documentable origins in the 1430s as private residences adjacent to the church and monastery at Santa Maria in Via Lata. Family names associated with the buildings include Aldobrandini, Salviati, Orsini, and the Doria-Pamphili. The interventions of the fifteenth through eighteenth centuries have given the building its contemporary form, and are the work of architects like Bramante, Antonio del Grande, and Gabriele Valvassori.
The Penn State facility is located in the Piazza del Collegio Romano addition designed by Antonio Del Grande in 1661. The oblique facade on the piazza was part of a symmetrical design originated by Sixtus V for the piazza, but only partially implemented a century later.
The Penn State leased space includes multiple studio spaces, classrooms, a library and seminar room, and administrative support areas. Studios are each approximately 800 square feet in size and are furnished to accommodate a maximum of 75 design students. The classroom is 900 square feet in size and can easily accommodate 70 students. The library is in its infancy, yet its quiet space is ideal for small group discussion or individual research. Student accessible computers for basic operations and CAD are also located in this space.
The administrative area is equipped with telephones, a fax machine, and computer. Faculty desks are provided and support services are available from complete assistance with field trip arrangements to simple telephone calls in Italian. A permanent administrator staffs the program and can assist faculty and students with the logistics of housing and can provide more "general living in Rome" insights.