Recognizing the work of Doriana and Massimiliano Fuksas in Foligno

The church of San Paolo Apostolo, built by Doriana and Massimiliano Fuksas, opened in Foligno in April of 2009. The architects were selected from a 2001 national competition and the project has come to symbolize rebirth after the 1997 earthquake which also did extensive damage in nearby Assisi.

Based in Rome, Studio Fuksas has been led by partners Doriana and Massimiliano since 1985. Massimilano was born in Rome in 1944; he studied architecture at the University of Rome and served on Planning commissions in both Berlin and Salzburg in the 1990s.

Also a native of Rome, Doriana received her architecture degree in Paris after studying the history of modern and contemporary architecture in Rome. Together the partners have worked on a range of projects and, as they note in an interview, they are comfortable working at any scale and for a variety of clients. Both partners have received numerous awards for their work.

In November of 2018, Massimiliano received the Premio alla Carriera Architettura lifetime achievement prize from the Istituto Nazionale di Architettura (or INARCH) in Lazio. The exclusion of Doriana from the award led to the writing of a petition, signed by the partners and 150 additional architects (including Denise Scott Brown), in which the authors note that the prize should recognize both partners. The issue of recognition of women architects is addressed by Despina Stratigakos in a chapter, “Architecture and the Boys’ Club,” of her 2016 book asking “Where are the Women Architects?”. In her Introduction Stratigakos notes how the “bias against women as innovative creators” is most evident in the “absence of women” in the “world of architectural prizes.” (p.3)

References: Kaitlyn Rossi. “Architect Visits: Studio Fuksas.” Fuksas website; Merlin Fulcher. “Fuksas blasts Italian institute’s lifetime award for omitting ‘equal partner’ Doriana”. Architects Journal (13 December 2018); “New church in Foligno-Doriana e Massimiliano Fuksas”, Arch Daily (21 April 2009); “Petition calls for Doriana Fuksas to be recognized….” Designboom.com; Despina Stratigakos. Where are the Women Architects? Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2016.


Image credits:

Exterior & Interior views. San Paolo Apostolo (2009). Foligno (Italy) (Image credits: Jennifer D. Webb)


Further Reading: Fuksas, Massimiliano and Doriana. Fuksas: Leading Architects. Victoria Australia: Images Publishing Group Pty Ltd, 2017; Molinari and Massimiliano, Fuksas. Massimiliano Fuksas: Works and Projects, 1970-2005. Milan: Skira, 2006; Stratigakos, Despina. Where are the Women Architects? Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2016.

Posted by Jennifer D. Webb

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