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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

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.

Photo of the front door of the Villa. The doorway is arched and set in a beige stone facade. Within the doorway a metal bell and bowl are visible.

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.


Clemson School of Architecture alumni, friends, students and faculty are invited to an exhibit reception in the Lee Gallery at Clemson University’s main campus on February 24. The exhibit will run from February 24 - March 10, 2023. Alumni who attended the Villa during their Clemson Experience are encouraged to share sketches and stories for compilation in a commemorative book to be released in conjunction with the celebration using the form above. 

Additional events to celebrate the anniversary will be planned and announced here throughout the year.

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.

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.