Campus Luigi Einaudi, CLE

Existing structures, topography and contemporary architecture are interwoven in the conversion of one of the city’s oldest derelict industrial sites (1850), built along the course of the river Dora like various other industries in the city. Originally this was a poor zone with few attractions because of its marshy land, in the vicinity of the “Monumental Cemetery” and the industrial activities, which led to it being called the borgo del fumo (“smoky town”). Its river views and closeness to the Royal Gardens and the historic city centre today make it a site with a great potential. The competition, which received submissions from many important names, was won in 2003 with a team which included Foster+Partners and Maire Engineering.
The new university is related to the river through
a public green path which links the Lungo Dora Firenze and Corso Regina Margherita with the extensions to the existing Vegezzi Gardens. The route has its central point in the square inspired by the courtyards of the historic English universities and conceived with a circular design
which recalls the form of the earlier gasometer and the geometry of nearby Largo Montebello. The variety of street axes of historical and landscape signifi cance present in the area has led to the choice of a glass and aluminium architecture which, with a sinuous and dynamic design, seeks to evoke the bends of the river: in the plan devised by Foster the built-up area is imagined as a fluid material distributed along the paths and around the perimeters of the earlier gasometer. To guarantee architectural uniformity it was decided to use the same solution for the facades of all the fronts of the four storeys above grade which emerge from the garden over the underground car park.
The project envisages the completion of two main blocks, one for the unifi ed library and one to house the faculties of Law and Political Science, with lecture halls on the first two floors and the departments on the third and fourth.
The different parts of the project are linked by the unifying sign of roofi ng with a curved profile, which acts as protection from both sun and rain.
Built as an elevated tensile structure above the attic of the top storey, it also conceals the machinery for the utilities.
Within the work team, Camerana specifically developed the design of the new library, which brings together in a single edifi ce the Cognetti de Martis, Ruffi ni, Patetta and Solari collections.
Situated on the northern boundary of the lot, it develops along the Dora and consists of three linear buildings linked on the upper floors. The ground fl oor contains the entrance atrium in the central building, with the cafeteria and services in the other two. The three upper floors are wholly occupied by an open-stack library, equipped with work stations for reading.
They include continuous reading desks running along the sinuous internal perimeters of the glass walls, making it possible to enjoy the light and views of the river or the internal garden.
The rubber fl ooring, acoustically effective, has a different colour on each fl oor, chosen from lively and stimulating tones of a chromatic chain that ranges from yellow to the bright red.
Completion of work is scheduled for 2011.


Project: Benedetto Camerana, Foster and Partners (lead architect), Tecnimont (formerly Fiat Engineering, agent), Mellano Associati, Giugiaro Design, I.C.I.S
Functions: New university campus (faculty of law and political science) and library
Client: University of Turin
Procedure: International design competition, first classified project
Chronology: Competition (2004), final project (2005), executive (2006), opening (2012)
Contributors: Claude Balthasart, Rosanna Bevilacqua, Eugenia Comparetto, Daniela Favero, Maria L’Episcopo, Valentina Negro, Aldo Ponzetti, Nicoletta Pramaggiore, Alessandro Rigazio, Alessia Venturini, Marco Caretto
Photographs: D’Ottavio, Nigel Young, David Vicario
Dimensional area: 45.061 sq.m.
Building cost: € 58.504.897,00


  • A.A.V.V., a cura di M. Bonino, G. Farassino, D.T. Ferrando, C. Spinelli, Torino Atlante
    dell‟Architettura 1984/2008 Urban Center Metropolitano, Umberto Allemandi & c. Editori, Torino 2008, schede. 69.
  • A.A.V.V., “Torino contemporanea. Guida alle architetture”, Ed. Urban Center Metropolitano,
    Torino 2011, pp.44-45.

Italian newspapers and magazines

  • E. Lisa, “L‟università che nasce dai gasometri dismessi” in La Stampa, 20 maggio 2011, pag. 71.

Architecture and design magazines

  • M. C. Voci, “A Torino vede la luce il campus Einaudi”, in Progetti e Concorsi di edilizia e
    territorio, 12 settembre 2011, pag. 7
  • “Biblioteche dove le mettiamo? Un campus dove c‟era l‟Italgas…”, in Il Giornale
    dell’architettura”, 01 giugno 2001, pag. 17.
  • P. Pierotti, “Dai „tendoni‟ all‟architettura, il salto high-tech di Canobbio”, in Progetti e Concorsi di edilizia e territorio, 06 aprile 2009, pp. 10-11.M. C. Voci, “Torino, via al campus firmato Maire e Foster”, in Progetti e Concorsi di edilizia e territorio, 24 dicembre 2007, pag. 2.