Sorrento 05:03 AM


Sant'Anna Institute | Department of Study Abroad

Sant'Anna Institute

Architecture Studio Sorrento

As part of its academic programs organized in partnership with American universities, Sant'Anna Institute organizes service learning projects being practical and very useful for the host community. These are projects that allow students to apply what they learn in the classroom, while testing themselves professionally, and, at the same time, to provide a service to the city hosting them.

The architecture students have worked on a number of project areas within the city of Sorrento.
The assignment required that each student select an existing area for improvement, or to propose an entirely new feature for the city. Student proposals were to give special consideration to:

1) Enhancing the tourist experience of Sorrento.
2) Improving the quality of life for the inhabitants of the city.
3) To utilize sustainable materials and traditional techniques of construction in their designs whenever possible.
4) Include, wherever possible, systems for capturing and using alternative energy sources.
5) To be sensitive to the historical context of their designs, and to attempt to create a connection between the traditions of the past, the conditions of the present, and the possibilities for the future.

2017 - Studio Sorrento

This studio course concentrates on developing the problem solving skills associated with the design, documentation and analysis of adaptive reuse and historic preservation building projects. Projects will involve the processing of information gathered on various field trips associated with other course work in the study abroad program. From field information assembled on trips, students will utilize a variety of software applications to develop appropriate building documents. Sketches, photogrammetric scanning, 360 photography and literature searches will provide the basis for the development of historical evolution, two and three dimensional analysis of the building's make-up, material conditions, building form and specific building elements. The documents created will also provide the basis for 3-D printing of building element replication and the creation of physical and digital modes.

2016: “Meta Wayfinding” Project

Meta is a small town close to Sorrento, the students wanted to do something to improve the tourist experience. In order to that, there was a need for a clear graphic description or “wayfinding” path that would lead visitors to all of the interesting sites in town and culminate at the waterfront. The project includes more than just a signage system but also elements such as sculptures, murals, benches for stopping and historical markers along the way.

Departments involved: Architecture, Social Sciences


In the spring of 2013, Sant'Anna Institute has involved 14 students of architecture led by their Professor Jeff Johnston, creator of the project - to realize Sorrento 3D. 

SORRENTO 3D is a multi-year project whose purpose will be to create, on Google Earth, three-dimensional representations of the buildings, the monuments and landscape of the Sorrento peninsula.

Extensive links to street view photos, and to the websites of organizations, institutions and businesses will be included in the project. Sorrento 3D will allow users of Google Earth to visually experience the charmand beauty of Sorrento in three dimensions.

1.   The importance of this project of Service Learning organized by Sant'Anna has been recognized through official newspaper and online articles

2.   On Monday, February 11th, the project “Sorrento 3D, was presented during a dedicated press conference at Sorrento  Town Hall at the presence of the mayor

3.   Students and faculty were invited to present their work at the “Primavera della Partecipazione”, international event held at the Tasso Teatre in Sorrento, in April, 2013.

4.   After the presentation of their works at “La Primavera della Partecipazione”; Sant’Anna Institute students and faculty were invited by the Director of the University of Naples “Federico II” , to show and present their works in the Architecture Department of the University.

5.   The works were presented to the NAFSA 2013 Annual Conference and Expo in St. Louis, Missouri


In the spring of 2011 and 2012, Sant'Anna Institute has involved 18 students of architecture, design and business led by their Professor Jeff Johnston, in the project:

“Visualizing a new future for Marina Piccola”.

The aim of the project was to enhance the appealing of the area and the creation of a turistic and economic centre of culture, active all year long.
In this project, architecture students were split into groups of six and tasked with creating a master plan for redesigning the port, Marina Piccola of Sorrento, Italy. The city is currently building an underground walking tunnel from the parking garage in the city down to the port as a way to revitalize and make travel to and from the port easier. By doing this and redesigning parts of the port they hope to encourage more people to the port. As part of the master plan, our student Anthony Principe from Alfred State College, NY, designed a new piazza called Piazza Sant'Antonino above the existing ferry ticketing office.

The initiative was presented at the town Hall at the presence of the Mayor, Alfred State College President, architects, citizens, faculty and students.

2010: “Refurbishment of the School”

In the spring of 2010, Sant'Anna Institute has involved its students of architecture, design and business led by their Professor Jeff Johnston, in the project of:

“Refurbishment of the School”

The aim of the project was to enhance the facilities, the structure and the furbishing of the School, getting involved in a plan they could themselves take advantage from.
The project was presented at the School, and the President of Alfred State College participated to thank the students personally.



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