The new headquarters of the Federico Zeri Foundation

In accordance with the wishes expressed by Federico Zeri (1921-1998), who in 1998 bequeathed his photographic library to the University of Bologna, the University of Bologna, through the establishment of the Foundation that bears the scholar's name, has set up a centre for advanced research in the field of Art History and at the same time a centre for the promotion of culture. The Federico Zeri Foundation has its headquarters in the convent of Santa Cristina, located in the historic centre of Bologna, where the Department of Visual Arts with its library and the 'Igino Benvenuto Supino' and 'Carlo Volpe' photographic collections are located.
The layout of the new premises was designed to make it easy, from a conservation and functional point of view, to consult the original materials, while at the same time exploiting the vast rooms to house the library so that scholars can quickly and independently access the volumes "on the shelf".
The centrepiece of the fitting-out project is the vast hall with a trussed roof (454 square metres), which originally served as the novices' dormitory. The space has been used as a consultation room with 40 workstations distributed over 5 batteries of 8 workstations enclosed in 3 islands defined by low bookcases, which provide a convenient surface for quickly consulting texts and always allowing a complete perception of the space. This solution does not alter the visual unity of the old environment, while at the same time offering ideal use of the room for events such as presentations, meetings, conferences.

  • Location

    Bologna, ex-Convento di Santa Cristina, piazzetta Morandi 2

  • Year


  • Client

    University of Bologna

  • Architectural project and Construction management

    Sergio Bettini, Elena Marchi

  • Furniture production

    Bi-elle falegnameria

  • Lighting


  • Electrical installations

    CIEM srl

  • Financial contribution

    Unicredit Banca