Loggias over Florence

Firenze, Italia | 2013

The capital of Tuscany was founded as a roman city around 80 BCE. Establishing itself way before the arrival of the automobile, Florence grew as a pedestrian-oriented city. Studying there in the Spring of 2013 made it apparent that this is no longer the case. The stone roads are packed with parked cars, speeding Vespas, buses, and sidewalks barely wide enough for one person (if at all).

Since the cars can’t easily be removed, this project purposes creating a new pedestrian plane along the rooflines of the florentine palazzos. Walking in the narrow streets one never has a sense of the porous courtyard-filled space inside the huge city blocks, or experiences the wondrous landscape of altani and red-clay roof tiles the resides above; a truly breathtaking environment.

We were tasked with designing a library in a hidden piazza-turned-parking lot behind an unfinished Brunelleschi rotunda for the University of Florence. This project goes one step further and elevates the library to the rooftops, connecting the dispersed university buildings through a network of floating altani. This provides the campus which urban universities typically lack while providing access to an entirely new sensational space in the underutilized rooftop environment; Reclaiming the city for the pedestrians above it’s busy streets.


architecture, academic