Qualifications: Dip. Arch., M.Arch. (Laurea cum laude – Roma III), M.Phil. (Cantab.), Ph.D. (Cantab.), PGCHE (Kent), FHEA, FSA
Manolo Guerci is an architectural historian trained both as an architect and historian in Rome, London, Paris, and Cambridge. His interests and expertise range from domestic architecture in Early-Modern Europe to Modernism, Japan, and Post War; from conservation principles and theories, to construction processes and building techniques. As part of his training on the conservation of historic buildings, he worked in France for the ‘Monuments Historiques’. In 2016, he was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in London in recognition of his achievements in these fields.
Dr Guerci joined the Kent School of Architecture and Planning (KSAP) in 2010, and is a member of CREAte, the Centre for Research on European Architecture. He teaches a range of subjects between design and cultural context throughout all stages. Prior to that, Manolo taught at Cambridge in the History of Art Department, where he carried out all his postgraduate studies. As an architecture student in Rome, he collaborated to research and cultural activities. Overall, he has been an active scholar and teacher in different countries for nearly twenty years.
Manolo sits on the Strategy Group and is closely involved with the running of the school. He manages the Ph.D. programme as the Director of Graduate Studies, is the Erasmus Coordinator and Library Liaison Officer, and a member of the Curriculum Development Group and of the REF Steering Committee. He has held the position of Director of Internationalisation, and established a number of partnerships in Europe and beyond, including the ‘Venice Biennale Fellowship’, whereby students spend a month of research and work at the British Pavilion during the architecture biennale.
As for Dr Guerci’s research:
His ‘Tesi di Laurea’, the Italian M.Arch. final thesis (2003), published as a monograph in 2011, examined the Palazzo Mancini in Rome, a crucial example within the Roman Baroque for the relationships between the Roman and French courts. The French link allowed Dr Guerci to spend a prolonged period of research in Paris (2000-02), where he attended the Sorbonne while also working as an architectural surveyor and researcher for the ‘Monuments Historiques’. As such he followed the restorations of a variety of grade I listed buildings throughout France. This was to form the basis of his interest in architectural conservation and construction techniques, which he teaches in his MSc module on conservation theory and principles, part of our Masters in Conservation.
From the Italian and French contexts Dr Guerci went on to study the English one, with an M.Phil. (2004), a Ph.D. (2007), and two subsequent Post-Docs (2006-10) at Cambridge. These concentrated on the so-called ‘Strand palaces’, eleven great houses built along the strand of the River Thames from the 1550s, which embody a crucial chapter of London’s artistic, architectural, urban, social and political history, whilst literally setting the basis for the development of a ‘truly’ English style. This extensive body of research has attracted fellowships and grants over more than a decade, and is now a forthcoming book on ‘The Great Houses of the Strand: The Ruling Elite at Home in Tudor and Jacobean London’ (Yale University Press). Many articles and book sections on various aspects of the subject have also appeared (see publications).
Alongside this long-standing research Dr Guerci has looked at the broader theme of architecture and water, the subject of an international conference he co-organised at KSAP with Prof. Gerald Adler in 2014. This resulted in a collected book he co-edited with Adler on ‘Riverine. Architecture and Rivers’ (Routledge 2019), which deals with wide-ranging case studies, from Early-Modern Italy to the contemporary Bengal Delta, and investigates the culture of human interaction with rivers and the nature of urban topography.
Equally, Dr Guerci has looked at the influence and relations between Modernism and traditional Japanese architecture, studied during a fellowship at Doshisha University in Kyoto in 2008-09. Part of the work, published in the ‘Giornale dell’Architettura’, was to raise awareness on conservation issues in the Far East. For the same journal Manolo has also written on issues related to the conservation of Modernist and contemporary architecture, from Sterling and Goldfinger’s, to Alison and Peter Smithson’s, as well as on Luigi Moretti, Jean Nouvel, Zaha Hadid, and others.
More recently, Manolo has become involved on a brain storming project to address climate change at a pedagogical level, at the forefront of KSAP’s aims. This is intended to go beyond the ‘sustainable flagship’, often simply understood in terms of materials or climatic performance, as a multi-disciplinary approach as to how we teach design, starting from an appreciation of how to culturally embed such a change.
Current projects include:
|Module Code||Module Title||Information|
|AR844||Conservation Principles (MSc)||Module Convenor|
|AR544||Renaissance to Neoclassicism (Stage 2)||Module Convenor|
|AR552||Architecture and Landscape (Stage 2)||Tutor|
|AR554||Urban Intervention (Stage 3)||Tutor|
|AR597||Dissertation (Stages 3,5)||Tutor|
|AR541||Collective Dwelling (Stage 2)||Tutor|
|AR836||Design 4A (MArch)||Co-unit Leader|
|AR838||Design 4B (MArch||Co-unit Leader|
Dr Guerci is interested in any subject broadly related to his research expertise. Topics he currently supervises, either as first or second supervisors, range from the Henrician castles in the South East, to Post War English Chuch Architecture; from the development of St Radegund’s Abbey at Dover, to strategies for the regeneration on inland areas in central Italy. Completed dissertations included one on the regeneration of small coastal towns in the Mediterranean.