LUISS Guido Carli University Campus

Surrounded by greenery and with its permeable and transparent skin, the building seems to dissolve into the landscape, evoking the classic tree house, from which it takes not only its outline, but also the welcoming and almost “homely” dimension of the spaces, custom-designed for the students.

Close to Villa Ada, in the heart of the Parioli district in Rome, Alvisi Kirimoto with Studio Gemma has designed a new hub surrounded by greenery for the LUISS Guido Carli university campus. The intervention, which completes the university spaces and enhances the surrounding green areas, has involved the demolition of an existing shed, subject to landscape constraints, construction from scratch, and the expansion of an educational building.

©Marco Cappelletti

The hub, which develops over two levels, for a total area of 1.500 sqm, is positioned in the most accessible and picturesque point of the complex landscape, near a small wood located to the south of the lot, the last extension of the park and the campus main square.

©Marco Cappelletti

The project stems from the idea of raising the volume to put it in direct connection with the treetops, freeing up the ground floor as much as possible. The latter houses the entrance, a classroom, and service areas, while the upper floor encompasses an amphitheater and two classrooms.

©Marco Cappelletti

Surrounded by greenery and with its permeable and transparent skin, the building seems to dissolve into the landscape, evoking the classic tree house, from which it takes not only its outline, but also the welcoming and almost “homely” dimension of the spaces, custom-designed for the students.

The interiors have been carefully designed to guarantee great versatility and host various educational activities, and cultural, artistic, and social events, from conferences to classroom lessons, from gala evenings to film screenings. The amphitheater – designed for multiple uses – and the classrooms, designed to redefine the balance between face-to-face teaching and remote learning, are equipped with sophisticated audiovisual conferencing systems that are perfectly integrated into the architecture.

©Marco Cappelletti

A cross-flight staircase connects the two levels internally via a double-height space, while a third staircase connects the first floor with the outside. The ground floor, visibly set back, further underlines the lightness of the upper volume and creates a simultaneously open and covered space, equipped for courses and outdoor activities.

Clad in natural wood slats and glass, the upper floor projects the building into the treetops, creating a privileged dialogue between architecture and context, and offering a dynamic cross-section of the activities that take place inside.

“The indissoluble link between the structure and the surrounding greenery signals an innovative approach to education which, to encourage learning, focuses on the well-being generated by the relationship with nature. The high permeability that characterizes the skin of the building not only facilitates immersion into the landscape and fosters exchange among the entire student community but is also a conceptual choice that reflects the openness of the campus.” — explains the architect Massimo Alvisi, co-founder of the studio.

©Marco Cappelletti

The colors, textures and materials of the project were chosen with the same sensitivity: the shades of the metal cladding and the scratched plaster mix with the warm nuance of the wood, in a balanced game of references and contrasts. Inspired by sustainable design principles and made of natural materials, the building has earned the prestigious LEED Platinum Certification.

The suspended acoustic panels that define the false ceiling of the amphitheater, with a coral red color, capture attention from the outside, while their organic silhouette reinforces the dialog with the adjacent grove. The same striking red characterizes the furnishings and some elements of the classrooms — a refined detail that gives the entire complex great visual coherence, especially when the building comes to life in the early evening.

©Marco Cappelletti

The outdoor spaces have been redesigned with stabilized gravel flooring, while a deck path, protected by the shade of a row of holm oaks, connects the grove area with the square. All the outdoor areas have been equipped and designed to encourage study, informal meetings, relaxation, and play, offering infinite possibilities for aggregation and great flexibility in use.

Resembling an enormous telescope that juts out over the greenery and watches over the square below, the project by Alvisi Kirimoto becomes the new focal point of life on the university campus.

©Marco Cappelletti

Other images can be seen in the gallery down below

Project Name: New LUISS school building
Location: Viale Romania, 32 Rome, (Italy)
Architects: Alvisi Kirimoto and Studio Gemma – Massimo Alvisi, Junko Kirimoto (Alvisi Kirimoto), Cristiano Gemma (Studio Gemma)
Project Team: Alvisi Kirimoto: Vasiliki Maltezaki, Chiara Quadraccia, Daniel Costa Garriga; Studio Gemma: Alessandro Speranza, Federica Vola
Client: Luiss Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali Guido Carli
Contractor: ECOFAST Sistema srl
GFA: 1.500 sqm (buildings)
Commissioned: 2019
Start of Construction: 2020
Completion: 2022
Structures: INGE.CO srl
Installations: Planex srl
LEED Certification: Habitec Distretto Tecnologico Trentino Scarl
Acoustic: Engineer Andreas Hoischen
Cost management: Engineer Gianluca Gangemi
Budget: €5,116.845
Photographer: ©Marco Cappelletti

Massimo Alvisi and Junko Kirimoto ©Ilaria Magliocchetti Lombi LR

About Alvisi Kirimoto

Alvisi Kirimoto is an international practice that works in the field of architecture, urban planning and design.

Founded by Massimo Alvisi and Junko Kirimoto in 2002, the firm stands out for its sartorial approach to design, “sensitive” use of technology and control of space, starting from The Hands Work – the manipulation of “sheets of paper”. Dialogue with nature, urban regeneration and attention to social issues make its projects unique in the international architectural scene.

By merging Italian and Japanese sensibilities, the office has carried out numerous projects in and beyond Italy. These include the Medlac Pharma industrial plant in Hanoi, Vietnam (2011); the Incà complex of small and medium industries in Barletta (2010), the new Molino Casillo headquarters (2012) and the restoration of the Teatro Comunale di Corato (2012) in Puglia; the refurbishment of the Alexandrinsky Theater in St. Petersburg (2013); the Podernuovo Winery in Palazzone, Tuscany (2013); the executive offices for a private client on the 32nd floor of a skyscraper in the heart of Chicago (2018) and the reconstruction of a new Pavilion (2022) within the LUISS Guido Carli Campus in Rome; the training centers within Whittle School and Studios shopping centers in Nanjing and Shanghai in China (2019); the restoration and expansion of Villa K, a historic farmhouse in the Langhe, Piedmont (2018); and the Great Hall of the LUISS Guido Carli University in Rome (2018); the social housing complex Viale Giulini Affordable Housing in Barletta, Puglia (2020); and the renovation of Casa C, an apartment in Rome (2020).
In addition to this, the firm collaborated with OMA as Executive and Local Architect at the Prada Foundation project in Milan (2015).

Alvisi Kirimoto has won international competitions and prizes, such as the 2012 AIT Award for the Teatro dell’Accademia di Belle Arti in Naples and the International Architecture Award 2021 of The Chicago Athenaeum for the Camerino Academy of Music for the Andrea Bocelli Foundation for the Museums and cultural buildings section. The Viale Giulini Affordable Housing project in Barletta, Puglia, won the Best Residential Architecture award at the BigSEE Architecture Award 2021, the In / Arch Puglia and Basilicata 2020 Award for new construction projects and a nomination for the EU Mies van der Rohe Award in 2021. The Chicago Executive Offices won Interior Design Magazine’s Best of Year Awards in 2019, the Recognizing Exemplary Design (RED) Award from the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), and the Global Design & Architecture Design Awards for the Interior Corporate Building category. Casa B + B and Casa C recently won the Best Project 2021 award. The office participated in the International Architecture Exhibition –La Massimo Alvisi was born in Barletta in 1967 and graduated in Architecture from Florence university with honours in 1994, having undertaken an international thesis in collaboration with the École d’Architecture de La Villette. During his time at university he received a one-year scholarship to Darmstadt, Germany where he studied environmental sustainability with Thomas Herzog.
Massimo Alvisi was Design Architect for the Renzo Piano Building Workshop from 1995 to 2002, through to the completion of the Parco della Musica Auditorium in Rome.

In 2002, he founded Rome-based Alvisi Kirimoto together with Junko Kirimoto.
Massimo Alvisi deals with architectural planning, paying particular attention to the urban and social spheres. He has been a technical consultant for Casa Italia and a tutor for the G124 Project dedicated to “the mending of the peripheries”.
He taught in the Urban History course at the Faculty of Building Engineering and Architecture of the Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata (2014-2016), and in the “Architecture of Regeneration” course at the YACademy of Bologna (2018-2021). He has held seminars, workshops and lectures all over the world, including “Working in the Urban Periphery” at the Royal Academy of Arts in London (2018).

Junko Kirimoto
Junko Kirimoto was born in Japan in 1970 and graduated in Architecture from Kyoto Seika university in 1992. Her thesis earned her the Golden Thesis Award from the JIA – the Japan Institute of Architects.
She has collaborated with several architects, including Shin Takamatsu, Kazuyo Sejima and Massimiliano Fuksas

In 2002, she founded Rome-based Alvisi Kirimoto together with Massimo Alvisi.

Her cultural identity manifests in her attention to detail, design rigour and minimalist approach. She leads numerous projects, mainly related to the spheres of interior and industrial design. These include Whittle School & Studios in Nanjing and Shanghai, in collaboration with the Renzo Piano’s Building Workshop, and the Foldable Layers furniture design project.