Kent State University, Florence Program | CAED - Most Inspiring Students' Projects (Spring 2018)

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Most Inspiring Students’ Projects SPRING 2018



Most Inspiring Students’ Projects SPRING 2018

Most Inspiring Students’ Projects

Index Introduction . 06 (Fabrizio Ricciardelli and Paola Giaconia) Presentation of architecture studio projects . 10 (Filippo Caprioglio, Enzo Fontana, Alberto Francini, Paola Giaconia, Andrea Ponsi) Jacob Bryda, Sharp Thresholds . 16 Benjamin Cyvas, Material Connections . 18 Nathaniel Holland, Transposition . 20 Joshua Myers, Typolocus . 22 Brian Pekar, Modular Humanism . 24 Benjamin Seger, Sunken Invitation . 26 Michael Wazevich, Echoed Disposition . 28 Meagan Zablocki, Intersections . 30 Presentation of interior design studio projects . 32 (Fabio Barluzzi, Federico Grazzini, Colomba Pecchioli) Karly Basara, Made in Italy . 38 Pear Boonwisut, Spazi . 40 Natalie Hanna, Tasting Tuscany . 42 Shelby Laser, DOT . 44 Katelyn Woodford, Museo della Laguna .



Most Inspiring Students’ Projects




When the end of the semester comes, I am always fascinated at seeing Architecture and Interior Design students, busy in preparing their studios’ final presentations. The energy and enthusiasm they put in their work is well documented in this little booklet which collects the most inspiring students’ projects of the Spring 2018 semester. This publication series, which was started by prof. Paola Giaconia in Spring 2013, in the course of the years will provide important documentation of the activity of Kent State University Florence Program in Architecture and in Interior Design. The studio projects were quite challenging for our students, both sites being possessing some very special qualities: • Piazza Brunelleschi (the site for the Architecture studios) has the potential to become one of the most lively public spaces in the city, its proximity to Piazza del Duomo and to the Ospedale degli Innocenti providing true assets for its future development; • Palazzo Spini Feroni (the site for the Interior Design studios) is a very grand prototype of medieval architecture and was the seat of the City Council in the decade when Florence was capital of Italy. As director of the school, I am also very intrigued seeing students’ explorations and

design proposals for our city and for Tuscany. Their restless explorations result in lively discussions on the occasion of midterm and final reviews. I especially commend the students whose projects are featured in these pages. They all demonstrated high commitment to their work. I am sure that absorbing the vitality of Florence’s art and culture during this semester has been especially beneficial for them all. Finally, I congratulate their professors (prof. Filippo Caprioglio, prof. Enzo Fontana, prof. Alberto Francini, prof. Paola Giaconia, prof. Andrea Ponsi, prof. Fabio Barluzzi, prof. Federico Grazzini and prof. Colomba Pecchioli), whose intellectual and artistic abilities I am very aware of. I know well what each of them had to offer to our younger generation of designers. A special note goes to Professor Paola Giaconia, whose work as coordinator of the KSU-Florence Program in Architecture and Interior Design is invaluable. Thank you all for your intense work!


This booklet collects the studio projects of the students awarded in the “Most Inspiring Students’ Project” competition that launched in the Spring 2018 semester. This is a recognition that, as coordinator for the Architecture and Interior Design program at KSU Florence, I deem especially important. First, because it constantly documents the growth and evolution of our didactic program. Secondly, because it enhances a dialogue among students and challenges them individually, while also reminding them of the experiences and abilities of their own colleagues. In particular, the competition was open to all students enrolled in the Architecture and Interior Design studios at Kent State University, Florence Program. It celebrated emerging student talent by awarding the top student work. We evaluated a very varied array of design proposals (on two different sites - Piazza Brunelleschi and Palazzo Spini Feroniand with different design programs - a humanistic library and a museum for

the visual arts) which represent, overall, a testimony of this semester’s activity. A jury composed by Kent State University Florence design studio faculty and invited Kent State University faculty from Kent campus (prof. Diane Davis-Sikora, prof. Mark Mistur, prof. David Thal) selected the winners. The top projects were selected based on: • quality of the project; • effectiveness of its presentation. 8 merit awards were issued to these Architecture students: • Jacob Bryda • Benjamin Cyvas • Nathaniel Holland • Joshua Myers • Brian Pekar • Benjamin Seger • Michael Wazevich • Meagan Zablocki 5 merit awards were issued to these Interior Design students: • Karly Basara • Pear Boonwisut



• Natalie Hanna • Shelby Laser • Katelyn Woodford A commencement ceremony was held at the Teatro della Compagnia on Thursday May 10, 2018, on the occasion of the endof-semester school celebration. Winners were given a certificate, in the presence of arch. Silvia Moretti, President of the Fondazione Architetti Firenze; prof. Fabrizio Ricciardelli, director at KSU Florence; prof. Paola Giaconia, coordinator for the Architecture and Interior Design

programs at KSU Florence. Winners were awarded with the publication of their project in this booklet. Also, the winning entries were displayed on boards at the end-ofsemester school reception. As a series, these booklets represent a comprehensive trajectory of the school’s design work and pedagogical identity developed at Kent State University, Florence program. They reflect the students’ educational experience during their semester abroad and together they aspire to gauge the progress the school has made in the course of the years.


Most Inspiring Students’ Projects

Presentation of architecture studio projects



The area of study of the Architecture Design Studio is the relationship between a building and its context. In particular, students were challenged with the task of understanding the role and place of contemporary architecture in the historic city center of Florence. They learnt to recognize and interpret the special character and quality of the historic environment; they understood the significance of the place; and they proposed new projects that, while speaking the language of their time, considered the authenticity and integrity of the local urban heritage. The Spring 2018 project dealt with the redesign of Piazza Brunelleschi and addition to an existing building complex. This is an architectural intervention that bears significant urban implications and one that is especially significant for our city at this time. Under the guidance of professors Filippo Caprioglio, Enzo Fontana, Alberto Francini, Paola Giaconia and Andrea Ponsi, the students worked on the design of the new entrance facilities for the Humanities Library of the University of Florence and of the piazza. The addition accommodates a cafe of about 200 square meters, an exhibition area of about 400 square meters, two auditoriums (a large one for 300 seats and a small one for

100), a bookshop and free reading areas and study rooms, directly connected to the library. Piazza Brunelleschi is located between two major piazzas of Florence (Piazza Duomo and Piazza SS. Annunziata) and is just one block southeast of one of the main axis of the historic city (via dei Servi). A historical building is facing Piazza Brunelleschi: the “Rotonda degli Angeli�, designed in 1427 by Filippo Brunelleschi. More to the southeast, but a bit away from the piazza, are the remnants of a XIII century convent (Santa Maria degli Angeli), which underwent various renovations and refurbishings over the centuries. Finally, on the southwest side of the piazza, is a residential building by Giovanni Michelucci, one of most renowned Florentine architects of the 20th century. The project site and its program offered the students an opportunity to focus their attention on issues related to construction in historical contexts as dealt with by contemporary architectural culture.




Students’ Projects Architecture


Sharp Thresholds JACOB BRYDA

prof. Filippo Caprioglio’s studio


Material Connections BENJAMIN CYVAS

prof. Filippo Caprioglio’s studio




prof. Paola Giaconia’s studio




prof. Paola Giaconia’s studio


Modular Humanism BRIAN PEKAR

prof. Andrea Ponsi’s studio


Sunken Invitation BENJAMIN SEGER

prof. Alberto Francini and Enzo Fontana’s studio


Echoed Disposition MICHAEL WAZEVICH

prof. Alberto Francini and Enzo Fontana’s studio




prof. Andrea Ponsi’s studio


Most Inspiring Students’ Projects

Presentation of interior design studio projects



The main Interior design project for the 2018 Spring semester has been centred on the adaptation of a historic Florentine Palace, Palazzo Spini-Feroni, into a Museum for the Visual Arts. One important characteristic of this site is that the building is located within walking distance of the school and it’s fully accessible, at least in the parts which the students were asked to intervene on. During the first site visit students had the chance to experience and familiarise themselves with the typical features and irregular plan layout of the medieval/renaissance urban fabric of Florence’s city centre. In the first two-staged research and analysis phase, students have tried to read out the plan of the building highlighting the various elements belonging to different epochs and comparing them with similar precedents. Subsequently they have carried out a detailed analysis of at least three contemporary examples of museums located in a similar historical context. During the Study Tours course, which runs in parallel to the Studio, students had also the chance to visit many other similar structures, both in Florence, Rome, Venice and other italian cities.

Besides the historical analysis, the definition of the collection of the museum has represented the other important part of the definition of their project. Defining their own theme and collection for the museum ensured that the museum’s spaces were designed around the selected artworks. This put the young designers in the special and interesting condition to be both the curator and the designer of their own museum. The interplay of these two equally strong influences, the historical and the essentially contemporary nature of the museum as a cultural institution, has in a few cases led to very interesting results, but, what’s more important, has enabled all the students to elaborate a complex answer to the brief based on the threefold concepts of their instinctual reaction to the site, the historical analysis and their rational attitude as editors of their own path through the visual arts.




Students’ Projects Interior Design


Made in Italy KARLY BASARA

prof. Colomba Pecchioli’s studio




prof. Federico Grazzini’s studio


Tasting Tuscany NATALIE HANNA

prof. Federico Grazzini’s studio




prof. Fabio Barluzzi’s studio


Museo della Laguna KATELYN WOODFORD

prof. Colomba Pecchioli’s studio

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