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Curriculum (English)

Please note that the english version of the Curriculum is a subset, only mentioning some of the works that I made. A full curriculum with all the works  and links to pictures is at the moment only available in the italian version. 

Name Stefania Spina

D.O.B. 06/05/72

Address Via Ippolito d'Aste 3/12 scala sinistra, 16121 Genova GE

Contacts stefania.spina@archiworld.it phone 0039 010 564226 cell 0039 339 8089026

Education 1997 Laurea in Facoltà di Architettura Genoa University

                    2003 Specializzazione in Landscape Architecture, Genoa University

Profession Landscape architect

Some words about my job and the way I do it

The Landscape architect creates the landscape around us. The work always begin from a “reference” landscape, not always still present and visible, which poetically someone calls “the genius loci”. The Landscape architect plans, designs and manages open spaces including both natural and man-made environments. My work in short is to provide innovative and aesthetically pleasing environments for people to enjoy it, whilst ensuring that changes to the natural environment are appropriate, sensitive and sustainable. The work covers diverse kinds of activities - both urban and rural - that range from the design of the layout of parks, gardens and housing estates to the re-design of city-centres or the recovery of land affected by mining or motorway construction.

I have always been a freelance and a self-taught person as I have never been employed in a large organization structure, not only due a personal choice, but also because in Italy there aren’t important organizations operating in the field of landscape architecture.

However on some projects I have worked with experienced landscape architects, or for important architects providing the landscape skill component to their projects.

For projects requiring a multidisciplinary approach I have worked in temporary groups of professionals with engineers, architects, geologists, foresters. Such a work was especially interesting; as my background is that of a broad-spectrum architect I was, and am able to understand the issues specific of each of their area of expertise and to propose solutions in my area that are well suitable .

Watching backwards, I may say that I started my professional career looking for small jobs that I was able to do on my own from private customers, and at the same time, I began to find some opportunities of design works from local government offices: when this happened, I was ready - thanks to the works done for privates .

I have also taught in the Genoa University at the "Laurea di Specializzazione in Architettura del Paesaggio" as a contract professor in the “Laboratorio di Progettazione Parchi e Giardini” from 2006 to 2011, when this type of part-time contract was no longer allowed.

A short description of some of my works

Parco di Villa Shelley a San Terenzo

In 1822 the english poet P.B. Shelley arrived in Liguria and settled down with his wife in San Terenzo, a small village by the sea near La Spezia. The house in which he lived had a garden facing the sea, which is now a public property. The Comune di Lerici (that now includes San Terenzo) decided to restore this garden and gave me the job of the design and supervision of the work. The objective was to recreate with an harmonic melt of the english and italian garden style the atmosphere of the garden in which the poet lived and composed his verses. Inside the garden there is also a vegetal theatre formed in the vegetation where during the spring and the summer people may listen concerts, attend conferences, watch theatre.

Parco delle Fontanine a Rapallo

Rapallo is known in the world because of its coastline (an icon of the Riviera) and also because an intensive process of urban development almost destroyed its historical layout. Today in Rapallo there are some districts where buildings and former rural areas are close to each other without any relationship between them. One of these places is the “ Via Rizzo Area”. Here, I designed an urban park which recovers an ex agricultural area transforming it in a brand new place, with areas where children can play, or people may run and make physical exercises along an organized “nature trail”, or old and young people may play together “bocce” or the typical Ligurian pétanque.

Giardino di Villa Leopolda a Nizza

Because of the new ecological consciousness, public administrations urge building firms to invest money in the reuse and restoration of ancient buildings instead of the construction of new buildings. In Nice (France), a building contractor contacted me because – after having effectively restored and divided into apartments an ancient villa - he didn’t succeed in selling them. An obvious reason was that the restored villa stood in a nightmare of dust and rubbles. I recreated around the villa a garden which is contemporary but inspired to an early 20th-century villa garden with a style similar to the Art Nouveau style of the villa; I also used the plants which were popular at that time. Important, even not immediately visible was that the design included attention to the control of the maintenance costs.

The result was that prospective customers were presented as first impression of the property a garden perfectly matching the house.

Giardino di Cascina Castelli a Villa Carolina

A low maintenance garden is a common target for both public and private owners. In the area of Villa Carolina Golf course (Novi Ligure) I designed (and supervised the creation of) a private garden – built over what was the external area of a typical farm, now days restored as a villa for a golf player. To place the garden in the landscape without discontinuity was the topic issue – so that everybody could say “it has always been there as we can see it now!”, I found a two hundred years old mulberry-tree (Morus alba) in the international expo in Genoa; this plant is indeed typical of that area, known for its traditional agricultural role. The client fell in love with this tree, and now it is the central episode of the ancient farm yard.

Restoration of the historic park of Villa Tigullio, Rapallo

The waterfront of the city of Rapallo is known throughout the world, not only for its beauty but also because it is a privileged point of view of the promontory of Portofino. At the extreme east of the waterfront of Rapallo stands Villa Tigullio, one of the most important historic villas of the Riviera di Levante, surrounded by a prestigious historic park. When my work began the park was in very poor condition. The project started with a framing studio which rebuilt the original layout and the historical evolution of the park. The study pointed out that the original structure as well as the best preserved was the romantic garden and then it was decided to restore the garden restoring not only its physical features, but all the elements that contributed to its romantic aura. In addition to cope with an important new requirement, the large original open area facing the view of Portofino was provided with a summer arena that could accommodate almost thousand people, with all structures are removable or disappear below ground when the arena is not used. So that visitors only see a large lawn with a stage on earth and grass,

Design completed, contractor selected, work due to begin next fall.

How I design, and supervise the work of new or restored gardens

I establish a strong connection with my clients and and make all efforts to match his wishes not only those clearly stated, but also sometime the unexpressed. First of all I establish the general landscape requirements with the clients and on the other side I always conduct preliminary studies of the site (including current landscape, soil, ecology, existing buildings, roads) for assessing the site's potentials to meet the client's specifications

If the customer is local government I always seek and take into account the views of local residents, potential users, and parties with a vested interest in the project; in this case sometimes I have to consider the design of a variety of side-projects, including urban regeneration schemes, pedestrian schemes, road or retail schemes, that are compatible with the character of the site and its natural beauty

Since my work is to design and direct the work to make new gardens or parks, or to restore them, I always prepare and present detailed plans and working drawings, including applications, construction details and specifications for the project. After, I have to work with my customers to select among many alternatives the ones that will better meet his expectations. This involves the preparation and presentation of alternative proposals to clients, answers to enquiries and discussions of amendments until the final design is reached. When we arrive to a complete definition of the future garden, I have to achieve the authorizations that may be needed.

After this phase the executive design is made (including the list of elementary work-items, with quantities)I often as result of contacts with potential suppliers. With this list prospective contractors are invited to submit quotations.

I seldom select the contractor, because the Public Administrations use their own procedures and offices for it and it is a generally better practice that also private customers finds their own.

Once the construction site opens, I visit the site periodically monitoring how the work progress, to ensure that the deadlines are met and the quality of the work is satisfactory, and to authorize the payments when the milestones are reached, and finally when the work has been satisfactorily completed.