10
Oct 2023

Yale University and Civita di Bagnoregio: a partnership for the study and conservation of a suspended village

Civita di Bagnoregio, a suspended village in Italy, is once again a laboratory for architectural studies for Yale University students.

In recent days, an agreement of collaboration was signed between the Municipality of Bagnoregio and the prestigious US university. The agreement was signed by the mayor Luca Profili and Professor Norma Barbacci, a faculty member at Yale School of Architecture.

The story of Civita and American students dates back to the 1970s. It was a professor of architecture from the United States, Astra Zarina, who fell in love with the suspended village in the Valley of the Calanchi and was among the first to cultivate the idea of an authentic recovery of the place. She also organized study experiences with American architecture students through the Civita Institute. This initiative led to the training of some of today's internationally renowned architects, including Steven Holl, a world-renowned architect who returned to Civita in 2019 to pay homage to his teacher Astra Zarina.

Today, that experience, so rich for students and residents of the village, is coming back to life. Last June, a group of American students had the opportunity to live a study stay in the town of Civita for about a month.

“With enthusiasm we signed a memorandum of understanding between the Municipality of Bagnoregio and Yale University,” said Mayor Luca Profili. “Professor Norma Barbacci is carrying out a beautiful project that will lead, as happened this year, Civita di Bagnoregio to become a study laboratory for students from all over the world. I want to thank from the bottom of my heart Professor Norma Barbacci, all her students, as well as our geologists from the Geological Museum and Landslides of Civita di Bagnoregio. A great collaboration that is with the Yale School of Architecture, which I am sure will be consolidated in the coming years.

It is a precise and precious work that continues the tradition of students in Civita, following in the footsteps of what Astra Zarina did. Our village as a study laboratory, a dream that over the years seemed to have vanished and that now thanks to Yale University is coming back to life.”

“The agreement with the Municipality of Bagnoregio underlines the dedication of the Yale School of Architecture to immerse its students in the many aspects of architecture, conservation, culture and social contexts,” said YSOA faculty member Norma Barbacci. “By exploring all the structures, open spaces, historical narrative and environmental context of Civita di Bagnoregio and formulating design suggestions for the future, we are firmly convinced that this alliance will favor sustained and productive collaboration with local residents.”

 

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