Francesco Borromini, Anniversary

Konferenz, Roma

Partner institutions:
La Sapienza University of Rome
Accademia di San Luca
Vatican Museums





Partner institutions:
La Sapienza University of Rome
Accademia di San Luca
Vatican Museums

On the occasion of the 350th anniversary of death of baroque architect Francesco Borromini (1599-1667), a symposium will be held, organised by La Sapienza University of Rome, the Istituto Svizzero, the Accademia di San Luca, and the Vatican Museums. The symposium will take place accross several venues. Among the speakers confirmed are Paolo Portoghesi, Professor emeritus at the Sapienza University of Rome, Joseph Connors, Professor at Harvard University and Werner Oechslin, Professor emeritus at ETH Zürich.

In addition to exploring past and present connections between Switzerland and Rome, the symposium will offer various perspectives from internationally known experts of history of architecture. The lectures will offer particular insight into baroque architecture as they examine one of the movement’s most significant architects, who was born in 1599 in Bissone, a municipality in the today’s Canton Ticino (Switzerland).

Prof. Dr. Paolo Portoghesi was born in Rome in 1931. He studied architecture at the Università di Roma. In the following years, he taught at the Università di Roma and studied Borromini’s works in-depth. From 1967 to 1977 he was a professor of History of Architecture at the Politecnico di Milano and from 1995 to 2007 he taught Architectural Design at the Università di Roma. Beside his academic career, he is the architect of numerous large projects, like the Mosque of Rome. Furthermore, he was the director of the Venice Biennale of Architecture between 1979 and 1982. Portoghesi was nominated Cavaliere di Gran Croce della Repubblica Italiana (2002) and is a member of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei (2000), of the Accademia delle Arti di Firenze (1977) and of the Légion d’honneur of France (1985).

Prof. Dr. Joseph Connors was born in New York in 1945. He studied at the Boston College, the Cambridge University and the Clare College. In 1978, he received his Ph.D. at Harvard University. He taught at University of Chicago, Columbia University in New York, University of California Berkeley, the Harvard Graduate School of Design and was Slade Professor at Oxford. Since 2002, he is Professor at the Department of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University. Furthermore, he was Director of the American Academy in Rome from 1988 to 1992.

Prof. Dr. Werner Oechslin was born in 1944. After a humanistic education in the Benedictine monastery in Einsiedeln he studied history of art, archaeology, philosophy and mathematics in Zurich and Rome. During his time in Rome, he was a scholar at the Istituto Svizzero di Roma. He taught at several universities in Europe and Northern America, such as Harvard Graduate School of Design, MIT, Freie Universität Berlin, Universität Bonn and Ecole d’Architecture Geneva. He was a full Professor at the ETH Zürich from 1985 to 2010 and heading the Institute of the History and Theory of Architecture (gta) from 1986 to 2006. He is the founder of „Stiftung Bibliothek Werner Oechslin“, which transformed his famous architectural library into a foundation in 1998.


Monday, 11 December, 5:30 pm
Accademia nazionale di San Luca

Panel discussion with
– Joseph Connors (Harvard University, Cambridge (MA))
– Werner Oechslin (ETH, Zürich)
– Paolo Portoghesi (architect)

Eugenio Gaudio (Sapienza Università di Roma)

Introduction and moderation
Francesco Moschini (Accademia Nazionale di San Luca)

Tuesday, December 12, 9:30 am
Conference talks
Vatican museums

Vatican museums
Opening reception of Francesco Borromini’s exhibition
„I disegni della Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana“
curated by Alessandra Rodolfo

Wednesday, December 13, 9 am
Conference talks
La Sapienza University of Rome