School of Architecture’s DHARMA team presents Vatican Belvedere Courtyard Documentation at Architecture Conference in Rome

Author: Giovanna Lenzi-Sandusky

Krupali Vitale At Hertziana Prova

Professor Krupali Krusche from the School of Architecture discussed and exhibited the work on the documentation and representation of the Vatican Belvedere so far completed with her Digital Historical Architectural Research and Material Analysis (DHARMA) team and composed of graduate and undergraduate students: Avani Agrawal, Margaret Zhang, Metaya Tilahun, Noah Legare, and Stephanie Kubus.


“The drawings of the Vatican Belvedere created by the DHARMA team from the University of Notre Dame, give keys to some of the secret ways in which Bramante designed and planned the Belvedere courtyard,” says Krusche.


“Since James Ackermann's work in the 1950’s, this is the first time the site has been studied, surveyed and analyzed to this degree. This is great experiential learning for students and faculty alike; and a useful conservation tool for the on-site project.”


The conference The End of Architectural Drawings, was held November 21-23 at the Hertziana Library’s Giornate di Studio Gernsheim, where the question of architectural drawing in our current times was posed from a variety of angles by architectural historians, computer scientists, philosophers and architects; all of them invited to a round table discussion. Some of the DHARMA team’s plates, executed in the 19th c. manner of beaux arts pencil and watercolor drawings, were exhibited with a vernissage on November 21st. Testifying to what architectural drawings have represented for hundreds of years, the drawings are the end result of attentive measured renderings and laser scans which have been providing the Vatican team’s restoration effort with precise visual renderings.


This documentation of the Belvedere courtyard is part of a design project that was conceived together with chief architect of the Sovrintendenza ai Beni Architettonici of the Vatican Museums, Professor Vitale Zanchettin.


“The goal of the projects is the creation of working drawings which will be instrumental in the restoration, for large scale architectural details and the graphic reconstruction of the various phases of the Vatican Belvedere construction over the span of five centuries,” says Zanchettin.


To learn more about the DHARMA project visit: