VIA Lecturer Alan Berger wins Rome Prize

May 8, 2007 at 3:03 pm Leave a comment

Alan Berger, this year’s speaker for the VIA Architecture Urban Design Lecture, has won the Prince Charitable Trusts Rome Prize for Landscape Reclamation and the Pontine Marshes.

The Trustees of the American Academy in Rome provide awardees with a stipend, a study or studio, and room and board for a period of six months to two years.

Berger’s Rome Prize Fellowship research extends his work on reclaiming despoiled and derelict places for productive reuse by examining the role of design and landscape in the reclamation of Rome’s environs. The Pontine Marshes will serve as the point of departure for this research.

The Pontine Marshes are located southeast of Rome and comprise an area 780 sq. km. (approximately 300 sq. miles).  As early as 312 B.C., attempts to drain the marshes were made when the Via Appia was constructed through them.  Mussolini, who realized that the Marshes were a vast landscape resource for Rome, successfully drained the marshes by 1935. Today the Marshes contain myriad land uses and more than 500,000 permanent residents. The Fellowship work will critically analyze the reclamation of The Pontine Marshes landscape as significant in the development of Rome itself, and contribute a chapter to Berger’s book-length manuscript on the implementation of landscape reclamation in urbanized regions.

The VIA Lecture will be on Wednesday, May 23, 7–8:30 pm, at SFU Harbour Centre.  Email cs_hc@sfu.ca or call 604.291.5100 to register.

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