Location: Cummings Lecture Theatre, School of Architecture
Cost: FREE - sponsored by Building Waterloo Region & Metrolinx
Paolo Desideri is one of Italy’s most outstanding contemporary architects. He is one of the founding Principals in the firm ABDR Architteti in Rome and has been responsible for the design of projects of all scales and types ranging from private residences to major cultural institutions and, most importantly, projects for transportation. His recent designs for stations on the Rome Metropolitano (Subway) explore themes of procession, natural light in the underground, innovative use of material, relationships to historical context and the role of transit architecture in creating high quality public spaces. Each of his stations becomes the catalyst for ambitious piazzas and parks, civic spaces in newer areas of the city that are typically weak in the public realm. The connection between transportation and urban design is also evident in Desideri’s designs for the new stations for high-speed rail networks in Bolzano, Rome and Casablanca. The enormous scale of the architectural forms follows from the nature of transportation infrastructure, the intensity of the use, the dimensions of the support structure and the relationship to the city itself. As large and abstract as they are, Desideri’s buildings are as vivid and exhilarating as they are an ordinary part of the experience of the city.
Desideri’s recent design credits also include such high profile cultural projects as the new Opera House in Florence and the Archaeological Museum in Reggio Calabria.
Paolo Desideri was born and raised in Rome. His father was a well-known Structural Engineer who was a collaborator of Pier Luigi Nervi. Desideri was educated at the University of Rome. He established his practice in 1982 with partners Laura Arlotti, Michele Beccu and Filippo Raimundo.
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