Joanna Byrne and Costanza Montanari | July 24, 2019
When Margaret Derwent Ketcham was a third year student of architecture in Rome, the predominant palette of the city was a terracotta orange. Today, the hue is different.
“It has been gradually changing to a light blue, white palette,” says Ketcham. “It just changes the whole look of it.”
Ketcham has seen this change occur in Rome over the years, and has most recently spent time there for the 50th Anniversary of the School of Architecture. Over several weeks, she visited Notre Dame’s campuses in London and Rome, and remarked on how the University’s buildings worked alongside each city’s wider architecture to shape the students’ experience in Europe.
“These cities inform students that there’s a type of walking life that you can have that’s very rich,” explains Ketcham. “You can walk for miles and miles and see wonderful buildings, squares and piazzas.”
It is unsurprising then that the location of Notre Dame’s buildings in both cities allow students to fully embrace the city lifestyle, being just a stone’s throw from key cultural, historical and architectural sites. This is something long-known by the School of Architecture which, since 1969, has required undergraduates to spend their entire third year in Rome as part of their Rome Studies Program. Directors believed the Eternal City offered students an opportunity to immerse in the classical and vernacular urban architecture which are foci of the five-year program.
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