The following is a brief description of the buildings that house the Rectorate, departments, centres and other sectors of the University of Trento.
Since 2014, the offices of the Rectorate and several management units have been located in the Palazzo Sardagna, at 14 via Calepina, a masterpiece of Mannerism and the early Baroque period in Trentino.
The building dates from the 16th century, considered the golden age of Trentino, due in large part to the patronage of the prince-bishop Bernardo Clesio. There are no documents relating to the first owners of Palazzo Sardagna, and it is not known when construction began. The only certain dates are 1535-1540, the period in which Marcello Fogolino painted frescoes in two of the ground floor rooms. In the seventeenth century alterations were made to the building, including the construction of the façade. The building is centred around a large courtyard, the largest of all those in the city’s historic buildings. The entrance hall, decorated with coats of arms and flanked by Fogolino’s frescoed rooms, leads to from the outside to the courtyard, with its double loggia and long galleries
The Paolo Prodi Building
The building at 14 via Tommaso Gar was opened in June 2012, and is home to the Department of Humanities and the School of International Studies. It is located on the border between the city centre, bounded by via Tommaso Gar, and the area currently undergoing redevelopment and characterized by the wide curve of the Brenner Pass railway line.
The building was designed to be open to the surrounding landscape, able to take advantage of its surroundings by favouring architectonic languages that are innovative but coherent with those of the surrounding context.
What distinguishes this architecture is the use of transparent elements, interspersed with facades in stone materials with a matt finish.
The surface area of the building is approximately 25,000 square metres, spread over five floors. The building consists of three volumes alternated with two glass-covered atriums, of which one is of double height and the other is of full height, creating an indoor piazza. The building has 32 lecture rooms, including 4 computer labs and the new 330-seat university conference room. The total seating capacity is 2,500, including 170 spaces in computer labs.
The design was developed by a group led by Ishimoto Architectural & Engineering Firm Inc., based in Tokyo, including Ishimoto Europe S.r.l., Tekne S.p.a. and Corbellini S.r.l., all based in Milan.
The Economics Building
The University building at 5 via Inama is home to the Department of Economics and Management.
It was opened in 1998. The building sits on the corner of via Verdi and via Inama, with a net area of 19,000 square metres and a large garden of 3,000 square metres, where cultural and recreational events are held in the summer months for the university and local communities.
The lecture rooms, computer labs and multimedia labs seat a total of 1900 people.
The building was designed by Italposte S.p.A., in cooperation with the technical office of the University.
The Law Building
The Law faculty is in via Verdi, opposite the Department of Sociology and Social Research. Previously on this site there were a large number of buildings, which the site’s owner, Ferdinando Wolf, had pulled down to make way for the current building. From the 1940s to the 1980s, the wing facing onto via Rosmini housed the offices of several newspapers, "Il Brennero", "Il Trentino", "Liberazione Nazionale", "Il Corriere Tridentino" and "l’Adige".
While the side of the building on the corner of via Verdi and via don Arcangelo Rizzi became the home of the Istituto Sacro Cuore, in the mid-eighties the University of Trento bought the “Adige” building. In 1986 renovation work began, under the direction of the architect Mario Cademartori, and during the period 1994-1997 work was undertaken to extend the spaces below ground level, designed by the architect Fulvio Osti.
The construction of the new wing along via Rosmini was completed in October 2006 to a design by the architect Mario Botta, who also designed the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Rovereto and Trento (Mart) in Rovereto.
The new building covers around 11,000 square metres and has numerous lecture rooms and computer labs, with a total seating capacity of 1300, as well as a conference room (created by joining two lecture rooms) with 320 seats.
The Sociology Building
The building at 26 via Verdi is the Department of Sociology and Social Research, the historical nucleus of the University and the scene of student protests in the 1960s.
The building, by the architect Carl Hinträger in 1888, was initially designed as a school. It was indeed used as a school, but also for some 40 years the second floor was occupied by the Museum of Natural Sciences.
After the second world war the building was restored, due to damage caused by bombing, and in the following decade became the home of the Faculty of Sociology. Alterations and restorations have been undertaken to make the building more suitable for this use. Internal restoration work carried out between 2006 and 2009 by architect Sergio Giovanazzi uncovered perimeter walls from the Roman period, now visible from a suspended grilled walkway. A glass and steel skylight was installed over the central courtyard and the attic area was converted into usable space. In the entrance hall, a Greek fret decoration was uncovered and restored.
The building covers an area of around 10,200 square metres. It has a total seating capacity of 1,600 in its lecture rooms, computer labs and multimedia labs, and has a 100-seat conference room, named after the founder of the University, Bruno Kessler.
The premises at 6 via Verdi in Trento are the location of the university administration offices.
The building was constructed between 1911 and 1912 for the Molino e Panificio Trentino company – the Trentino Mill and Bakery – who obtained permission from the local authority to build a mill with grain silos in via Alessandro Vittoria, now known as via Giuseppe Verdi. The name of the building comes from the original name of the street.
The plans were drawn up by the Trentino engineer Tommaso Stolcis.
The building has suffered damage several times: in 1922 it was destroyed by a fire and rebuilt; in 1945 it was damaged during the war and during repairs a new section to be used as living quarters was added to the eastern part of the building.
The University of Trento purchased the property in 1989 from the Federazione Nazionale Consorzi Agrari and in 2000 began restoration. Most of the original elements, such as roof tiles, stairs, windows, ceilings, floors and parapets were restored and reused, and the building is thus considered an excellent example of industrial archaeology.
The Premises in via Adalberto Libera
The premises in via Adalberto Libera, in the Le Albere complex, are home to the University’s new Central Library (BUC). The library was designed by the architect Renzo Piano, and opened in November 2016. It sits on what was once the Michelin industrial area.
The new library has seven floors spread over four building volumes. The building features two large main rooms consisting of two cubes connected by a walkway that crosses over a wide entrance area. Most of the books are stored on open shelves (directly accessible by the users) in fifteen rooms, organized by discipline according to the Dewey Decimal Classification system. Light filters from above though a wide opening that allows the brightness to be controlled.
Also from the outside, the library is characterized by the play of volumes - full and empty -, by the lightness of the architecture and by its use of light.
The Mesiano Campus
Opened in 1988, the buildings at 77 via Mesiano are home to the Department of Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering.
The complex is situated in a beautiful park with century-old trees, and consists of the main building, covering 13,000 square metres, a small building known as the ‘Casa Rosa’ with a net area of 600 square meters, a new 4500 square meters building that houses the ‘Laboratori pesanti’, and other facilities such as the library, the canteen and a 220-space carpark.
The spaces are well-structured both functionally and in the use of space.
The main building has a total seating capacity of 2,300, in its lecture rooms, computer labs and technical laboratories. The large laboratory building seats an additional 300 people, including 250 in the laboratories.
The library offers around 500 places, most with state-of-the-art computer facilities. The plans were drawn up by the architect Gianleo Salvotti.
The university site at 14 via Sommarive, in the suburb of Povo, is home to the Department of Physics and the Department of Mathematics. The buildings were opened in 1980.
The main building has a net area of 11,000 square meters, as well as 6,000 square meters of garden area and a carpark with 130 parking spaces.
To the north of the main building is a prefabricated building with a net area of 1800 square meters, containing lecture rooms and laboratories.
The complex is well-endowed with teaching spaces and can accommodate over 2,500 people in its lecture rooms, computer labs and chemical laboratories.
The buildings were designed, in different phases, by the university’s technical services offices with outside technical support for the design of the mechanical and electrical installations.
Ferrari 1 and Ferrari 2 Buildings
The university buildings at 5 – 9 via Sommarive, in the suburb of Povo, house the Department of Information Engineering and Computer Science, the Department of Industrial Engineering and the Centre for Integrative Biology.
The buildings were opened in June 2010.
The site consists of two connected blocks, Ferrari 1 and Ferrari 2, with an area of 20,000 m2 consisting of lecture rooms, teaching laboratories and research laboratories, as well as study and recreational areas, offices, a canteen, a library, and a carpark.
The buildings were designed by a group led by Ishimoto Architectural & Engineering Firm Inc., based in Tokyo, including Ishimoto Europe S.r.l., Tekne S.p.a. and Corbellini S.r.l., all based in Milan.
The building at 84 corso Bettini in Rovereto is the Department of Psychology and Cognitive Science.
It was opened in May 2008.
The building covers 6,000 square metres and has a total seating capacity of approximately 1,200 in its lecture rooms, computer and multimedia labs and reading room.
The Aula Magna can accommodate up to 150 people.
The renovation plans were drafted by the engineering firm Turrini in Vicenza.
The university premises at 31 corso Bettini in Rovereto are home to CiMeC – the Center for Mind/Brain Sciences and were opened in October 2004.
The site consists of the main building and a smaller building known as the “dependance”, totalling an area of 7500 square meters, immersed in a natural area of particular environmental value. An area of 3,500 square meters is dedicated to teaching and research laboratories, computer and multimedia labs, conference rooms and study rooms.
The renovation plans were drafted by the university’s technical services offices with the support of outside professionals for the structural work and for the mechanical and electrical installations.
The Mattarello Complex
The site at 101 via delle Regole in Mattarello (on the southern edge of Trento) houses the research laboratories of BIOTECH, CIBIO and CIMeC. It was opened in 2005.
The complex consists of the main building, “ex convento” (a former convent); the “ex Maso” building and the “technological block”. It extends over an area of 6,500 square meters, comprising mainly teaching laboratories and research laboratories using advanced technologies.
The site was designed by the university’s technical services offices with outside technical support for the design of the mechanical and electrical installations.