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Clemson Celebrates 40th Anniversary of Architecture Center in Genoa

Peter Laurence Mar 25 '13 0
Clemson's Charles E. Daniel Center for Building Research and Urban Study, "The Villa," by Joe Young, 1993.
Clemson's Charles E. Daniel Center for Building Research and Urban Study, "The Villa," by Joe Young, 1993.

CLEMSON — Clemson University will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Charles E. Daniel Center for Building, Research and Urban Studies in Genoa, Italy, Monday, March 25, with a virtual handshake that spans two continents and four cities.

Simultaneous events get under way at noon EST at all four campuses of the School of Architecture: Genoa; Barcelona, Spain; Charleston; and Clemson.

Alumni, supporters, students, faculty and staff of the Clemson architecture program will participate in events at all four locations. The Clemson event will be streamed live on the university website.

Since opening its doors in 1973, the Daniel Center — Clemson’s longest-serving off-campus facility — has provided educational opportunities to more than 1,400 Clemson students of design, art, language and more.

The Genoa center is named for Charles E. Daniel, founder of Daniel Construction Co. (now Fluor) in Greenville. The Daniel-Mickel Foundation provided the funding to purchase the facility in the early 1970s. That gift was followed with three substantial endowments, made possible by members of the Daniel and Mickel families, to fund scholarships, provide for the maintenance and establish an operating budget.

“I consider the timing of that gift in the early ‘70s to be one of the benchmarks in Clemson’s evolution as a great university,” said Clemson President James F. Barker. “The gifts that followed since the major purchase gift have allowed the center to thrive. Further, it was the first step for Clemson’s study-abroad program, which now sends 1,000 students abroad each year.”

Based in a historic villa in the heart of the city, the Genoa center was the intellectual inspiration of Harlan McClure, professor and dean emeritus of the College of Architecture. McClure invented the idea of a living/learning center and, together with his longtime friend and colleague, Cesare Fera, administered and directed the program through its first quarter century.

“Students who have lived at the villa and studied architecture in Genoa and across Europe have experienced what immersive education is truly about,” said Richard E. Goodstein, dean of the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities. “Clemson is greatly indebted to the Daniel and Mickel families. Their gifts, some of which were made more than 40 years ago, are bearing remarkable fruit today.”

In honor of the anniversary, original music will be premiered at the Clemson event. Composed by Mark Spede, professor of music and director of Tiger Band, the “Fanfare on a Theme of Paganini” was inspired by the work of Italian composer Niccolo Paganini.

Original fabric art has also been commissioned for the occasion from architect and fabric artist Christine Tedesco. Her artworks have been exhibited in galleries throughout the Southeast and are in a variety of collections around the world.  Many of her artistic quilting patterns are based on her travels in Italy and her time spent in residence at the Daniel Center in Genoa.  She has selected two companion pieces for the celebration, one that will hang in the villa in Genoa and the other in Lee Hall at Clemson.

Keynote addresses will be delivered in Genoa by Kate Schwennsen, chairwoman of the Clemson School of Architecture; and in Clemson by Robert Miller, director emeritus of the Clemson Architecture Center in Charleston and director of the School of Architecture at the University of Arizona.

This is the first major event in the Clemson School of Architecture's centennial year. To learn more about how Clemson is celebrating 100 years of architecture education, visit clemson.edu/caah/architecture/celebration/.

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