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Genoa 50th Anniversary

Charles E. Daniel Center for Building Research and Urban Studies

Join the celebration of Clemson’s Fluid Campus® in Genoa, Italy

Photo of students listening to a lecture in a room with large windows. White architectural models are visible in the foreground.

The art of architecture is a process. One that takes time, focus and, ideally, a great space to work from concept to sketch and beyond. Since 1973, Clemson University’s School of Architecture has provided its students with such a space in the Charles E. Daniel Center for Building Research and Urban Studies in Genoa, Italy. Known affectionately as The Villa, this “so-much-more-than-a-space” facility is preparing to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2023. For the next 12 months, the School of Architecture and Clemson Architectural Foundation hope you will join the many celebrations we have both in-person and virtually.

Charles E. Daniel Center for Building Research and Urban Studies Website


Clemson School of Architecture alumni, friends, students and faculty invite you to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Charles E. Daniel Center for Building Research and Urban Studies. There are several ways to participate during the year. 

All Genoa alumni are invited to submit sketches and stories from their time at the Villa; the submission deadline is October 24. Scroll down for submission guidelines.

La Villa-Le Storia: The First Five Decades, Lee Gallery: February 24

An opening exhibition and reception on February 24 at 6 p.m. will be held celebrating the work of Genoa alumni. The exhibition will be open to the public from February 24 - March 10 in the Lee Gallery at Clemson University. Please RSVP for the opening reception via Eventbrite by clicking here!

Apertivo and Genoa Student Work Exhibition: March 23

An aperativo and student exhibition will be open to the public at the Villa in Genoa at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 23, 2023. Please RSVP via Eventbrite by clicking here!

Villa Open House Events: March 23 and 24

An open house and tours of the Villa in Genoa will occur at 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. on Thursday, March 23 and Friday, March 24, 2023.

RSVP for the Thursday, March 23 open house via Eventbrite by clicking here!

RSVP for the Friday, March 24 open house via Eventbrite by clicking here!



Genoa 50th Anniversary Celebration + Dinner: March 24

Guests will arrive to the Villa at 6 p.m.on Friday, March 24, 2023 to enjoy a brief program honoring the 50 year legacy of the Charles E. Daniel Center for Building Research and Urban Studies. Following the program, guests will promenade through the Villa garden, crossing over to Castello Bruzzo for dinner and celebration. A limited number of tickets are available. Purchase tickets via Eventbrite by clicking here!

Photo of a patio at the Villa. A small table and chairs are on the patio. The patio has a checkered floor and is surrounded by greenery.

Submit your Genoa sketches and stories

A learning lab for the School of Architecture

The Villa is the flagship of Clemson University’s Fluid Campus®, which stretches from Charleston to Barcelona to Genoa. It launched the journey abroad for generations of architecture students and has served as inspiration for countless designs in that time. We want to bring that inspiration together for this 50th-anniversary milestone.

Genoa alumni are invited to share their stories and sketches for a commemorative retrospective and exhibit that will debut in February 2023. We want to hear your tales of community, collaboration and camaraderie, and how your days at The Villa helped guide your path.

Genoa Call for entry graphic. Includes sketch of the Villa and logo. Text: CALL FOR ENTRY -LA VILLA-LE STORIE: THE FIRST FIVE DECADES


Do you remember the smell of bread in the morning…? Or the taste of fresh pesto…? Strolling down Via Garibaldi…? The sound of the sea from Porto Dei Vacca? The textures and patina of Cattedrale di San Lorenzo…? The laundry eerily flying in the wind above your head…? Wandering through the city, getting lost, and finding yourself in a piazza, sketching…? As we are celebrating the future of the Villa through the lens of its past, we kindly invite each and all of you to contribute personal stories to this larger history of the Villa and its ever-growing community. We expect each submitted artifact to illuminate a particular moment, a cherished memory, a fleeting instance, which will be curated in an exhibition on display in the Lee Hall Gallery. A publication including your invaluable contributions will mark this anniversary year.

Contributions can include, but are not limited to:

  • a sketch (pencil, ink, watercolor, collage, mixed media, etc.)*
  • a photograph*
  • a video/recording/soundtrack*
  • a written piece*
  • a drawing from a design project*

For Professors in Residence (PIR):

  • student work (if available)*
  • project description of the design studio*

*from your time in Genoa


  • visual media (sketch, photograph, etc.): digital format preferred, minimum 300dpi
  • audio/audiovisual media (videos, recordings, etc.)
  • written pieces: about 250 words - doc., pdf. 
  • One contribution per alumnus, accompanied by a brief explanatory note.
  • Please save your contribution as: year in Genoa_last name first name_role (e.g. 1998_smith jane_student OR 1492_columbus christopher_PIR)
  • We will only accept a limited number of original artifacts to be exhibited. Please contact the exhibition curators for further details.

For questions and other inquiries, please contact the exhibition curators: Andreea Mihalache ( & Berrin Terim (

History of the Villa at Genoa

Black and white photo shows two students in the garden behind the Villa in the 1970s. The students are taking a photo of a large architectural drawing which is propped up by chairs..

The Charles E. Daniel Center for Building Research and Urban Studies is the foundational piece of the Clemson University School of Architecture’s Fluid Campus®.

The Villa, as it is known to Clemson architecture alumni, students and faculty, was opened in 1973 in Genoa, Italy. Its program is part of the overall vision of former Dean Harlan McClure who wanted to immerse students in an international city that is just off the beaten path to strengthen their real-world design abilities.

Genoa is a seaport city rich in art, music, culinary expertise, architecture and history. Students there have an opportunity to explore the nuanced layers of history alongside current revitalization projects in and around the urban environment and port.

Students live, eat and work together in The Villa, which was built in 1899 and contains shared bedrooms, living and dining rooms, a library, studio space and related facilities. A large garden overlooks the city, harbor and the Mediterranean. Since its creation, The Villa has provided insight, inspiration and unforgettable memories to more than 1,600 Clemson architecture students.

School of Architecture News

Clemson Architectural Foundation

The Clemson Architectural Foundation (CAF) was founded in 1956 as an eleemosynary corporation to support and enrich the professional programs in the College of Architecture. That partnership has grown from one program in 1956 to five in 1993, including a college name change to support the programs offered.

These are South Carolina’s only programs in architecture, landscape architecture, city and regional planning, and construction science management, and they join the fine arts and humanities in forming a uniquely integrated school of professional studies within the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities.

Benefits of Genoa’s programs

One of CAF’s most significant accomplishments has been the establishment of the Charles E. Daniel Center for Building Research and Urban Study in Genoa, Italy, in a villa owned and operated by CAF for the benefit of the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities and Clemson University. Each semester, 22 students representing all disciplines in the college study and analyze Italian and European building construction, architecture, planning, landscape architecture, art and history. The lessons learned here by the students are brought home to apply post-graduation to the built environment of South Carolina.

Since its inception nearly 50 years ago, the design and build disciplines within the College have established study programs in Barcelona, Spain, and Charleston, both of which CAF also supports.

For Inquiries Contact Kaycee Collins

Black and white photograph of the central staircase of the villa. Photo appears to have been taken in the 1970's. Three women stand on landings on three separate floors.