The Modernity of Tradition

Como: The Modernity of Tradition chronicles University of Notre Dame's School of Architecture studio section which studied and proposed interventions for the eastern edge of the historic center of Como. The first phase of the project began with a two-day analysis of the historic center of Como. Students familiarized themselves with the city by completing a rigorous block by block study of the city within the walls. Every type of urban space and building that contributed to Como's unique character was identified. Typical details, materials and construction techniques were catalogued. Examples representing the full spectrum of hierarchy, from the most commonplace and vernacular to the most articulate and refined were documented for each type.

The criteria for the students' evaluation of the city's present state was to what degree its building and urban spaces contributed to the public realm.  Where they found deficiencies, they proposed ways in which these areas could be enriched and improved. But, rather than imposing upon Como predetermined ideas about what they imagined might be good for it, the students proposed interventions that were based on an understanding of what was already good about Como.