Maria Alessandra Segantini

Architect MARIA ALESSANDRA SEGANTINI (she/her), is a registered architect at ARB, RIBA, and at the Italian, Belgian and Swiss Chamber of Architects. She has recently been awarded with the Albo d'Onore of San Marino Republic, a lifetime membership in the San Marino Chamber of Engineers and Architects. She has obtained a Master in Architecture and Urban Design with honor in 1991 and a Master in Design Management in 1992 both from at the University of Architecture of Venice, IUAV. Since 1994, Segantini is the co-founding principal and partner of C+S Architects, with offices in London (UK) and Treviso (IT). Since 2018 she leads both offices.

Her innovative and inquisitive approach to design, forward-looking but sensitive—unique in its pursuit of expansion of the active role of designers in society, through new technical and material possibilities, combined with the sensitivity towards heritage and community engagement—has distinguished her as a leading architect of her generation. 

Drawing insight from ecological systems and translating the traces of tangible and intangible heritages, she creates striking places that connect people with each other, communities with the environment. Maria Alessandra names this approach to design TranslationArchitecture in search to find a new Aequilibrium between the built and unbuilt environment. 

Her diverse, award-winning portfolio includes cultural, residential, education, retail, workplace, religious and civic projects cultural, residential, education, retail, workplace, religious and civic projects, public and private urban regeneration projects that connect citizens with ecology, high-rise towers and public spaces that foster communities and enhance their sense of identity, installations that foster the role of the designer in shaping the society. Notable among these are the Law-Court offices in Venice, which were presented at the MoMA in New York in the In Pursuit of Architecture Conference and won the Triennale Gold Medal of Italian Architecture (Special Prize) as well as the BigMAT Award 2017 (National).

Other award-winning completed projects include the 325 hectares of the island of Sant’Erasmo in the Venice Lagoon, the Piazza del Cinema, turning the red carpet of the start to a white carpet for all people, the affordable towers in Milan fighting against gated-communities, the low-tech offices in Kortrijk where an algorithm balances the thermal mass of the brick walls and the openings exploring the potential of passive design and cutting-edge techniques of sustainability, the GAMeC Museum in Bergamo as an action of retrofit where art is the tool to give back the community an underused part of the city and a series of school buildings, which have contributed to rewrite the recent codes for school building design in Italy.

Installations include the entrance of the 2003 Art Venice Biennale, with the project The Cord, the entrance of the 2003 Venice Film Festival with the project The Wave, Facecity at the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale and the Aequilibrium at the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale 2016.

Her ongoing work includes major cultural, residential and civic projects throughout Europe, Africa, Russia and the Middle East.

Intertwined with built work, Maria Alessandra also work on research, exhibitions, publications and community engagement events that foster the designer’s ability to create public awareness and give rise to change. Since 2000, C+S Architects has championed innovative design strategies to improve ecological biodiversity, including animal-safe building techniques and natural corridors and a series of green ecosystems reusing the rooftops of existing buildings. During the design development, Maria Alessandra involves communities with story-telling and theatre workshops to push them to get involved in the processes of city transformation. 

Maria Alessandra has challenged the status quo in the architecture practices by closing the gender wage gap in her company. 

Until 2022, Maria Alessandra has been a Full Professor in architecture and urban design at UEL in London and Hasselt University in Belgium, where her teaching and research focused on the cultural and environmental aspects of buildings’ reuse and public spaces. She is now a Visiting Scholar at Cambridge University in the UK. 

Maria Alessandra has also been a Professor of Practice at Syracuse University, New York, USA, a Visiting Professor and a Thesis Advisor at MIT, Cambridge Massachussetts, USA, a Visiting Professor at Bath University, IUAV and Ferrara and she has lectured and been involved in juries worldwide. She is the author of five books on architecture. 

C+S Architects most recent monograph, was published by Hachette. Her work has been exhibited widely, including at the MoMA, the International Venice Architecture Biennale, the Triennale of Milan, the RIBA in London, the National Museum in Oslo, the Citè de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine in Paris, the Architekturzentrum a Vienna, just to quote the major.

Maria Alessandra has won the Italian Architect of the Year 2022 of the Italian National Chamber of Architects as well as the Albo d'Oro of San Marino Republic in 2024 and the Albo d'Oro of the Architects' Chamber in Varese in 2008 for lifetime achievements in architecture.

With C+S Architects she has won more more than 50 awards and recognitions worldwide.

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