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Italian architecture students learn about the Mediterranean influence on Coral Gables

May 5th, 2014UM News

Students at the University of Palermo’s School of Architecture show off models of historic Coral Gables landmarks such as the Biltmore Hotel that they created for a workshop taught in Italy by University of Miami School of Architecture faculty Carmen Guerrero. The workshop was phase one of Guerrero’s proposal “Coral Gables: An American Mediterranean City” funded by the Italian Ministry of Education’s Messengers of Knowledge program. The models and analyses of relevant urban design themes created by the Italian students then visited Coral Gables where they were on view through May at the Società Dante Alighieri, the Italian cultural center in the Gables.

Phase two of Guerrero’s project enabled a few of her Palermo workshop participants to spend two months with her and UM students in Coral Gables to continue their architectural exploration of the City Beautiful on site. Before returning to Italy, Flavia Benfante, third from left, Alessandro Colace, and Marcello Messana worked on redesigning three blocks of Miracle Mile, broadening its sidewalks to provide outdoor public living rooms, new bus stop structures, and garden areas. The students presented their proposals to Ramon Trias, director of the City of Coral Gables Planning and Zoning Division; Guerrero, who is a member of the Coral Gables Historic Preservation Board; and School of Architecture faculty Adib Cure and Jaime Correa.

The project, says Guerrero, who is associate professor in practice and undergraduate Rome Program director, broadened awareness of the history of Coral Gables and its connection to Mediterranean regions, contributed to research and documentation of historical and Mediterranean-influenced buildings in the city, and fostered a new academic relationship with an Italian institution.

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University of Palermo architecture students, from left, Flavio Falcone, Giulia Fucarino, Flavia Benfante, Marco Cirrincione, Daniela Bonfardeci, and Veronica Angarella show off their model of the Biltmore.

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