Mediating student and city life

University buildings in inner city centres can play an important role to public life. The presence of students in the historic centre of Genoa (or any other city centre) attracts other businesses like caf ’s, bars, and bookshops. These places serve both students and the general public. City life and students have mutual benefits due of each other’s vicinity and from this starting point, the Genova Student Housing of the Department of Architecture and Design (DAD) should accommodate this fruitful relationship. A building that
is not only in, but engages the city centre.

The hillside introduces multiple datum levels on the site location: the DAD square makes up for the roofs of the apartments down on the Piazza di Sarzano. To accommodate city life down on the Piazza di Sarzano, and student life up in the DAD campus, the Genova Student Housing has the potential to mediate between the two. The housing structure should be an infrastructure that connects the DAD campus to the piazza. The ancient city centre displays a rich tradition of fa ade layouts: base-bodyroof. Traditionally, the base contains most public functions and the roof is an ending of the building. The Genova Student Housing fa ade follows the traditional layout, but at roof level a new public datum is introduced. The traditional layout is altered into: base-body-base.

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