The idea of hosting university students in his office came to Renzo Piano in 1992, in memory of his late brother Ermanno.

The agreements with Rice University in Houston (1992), the University of Brasilia (1999) and Harvard University (2001) enabled the first students to arrive in the office.

In 2004, with the establishment of the Foundation, the promotion of internships at the Renzo Piano Building Workshops in Genoa and Paris has become one of its principal activities, with the aim of offering training experiences to students and recent architecture graduates.

During the six-month internship the students have the opportunity to visit the Foundation’s headquarters and archives, conduct an inspection in one of the building sites in progress, accompanied by an architect from the office. In Genoa, students are hosted in the apartments of the Foundation while in Paris they are assisted to find accommodation in the city.

In the office the students work like any other architects, joining one of the teams and actively participating in every phase of the project and the construction site. The goal is learning by doing, bridging the gap between university teaching and the profession.


From 2022 the Renzo Piano Building Workshop becomes the holder of the agreement while the Fondazione Renzo Piano continues to follow the training project for the students.

Currently affiliated

Rice University School
of Architecture
Houston, USA (since 1992)

Faculdade de Arquitectura
e Urbanismo
Brasilia, Brasil (since 1999)

Harvard Design School
Cambridge, USA (since 2001)

Università degli Studi di Genova
Scuola Politecnica - DAD
Dipartimento Architettura e Design

Genoa, Italy (since 2004)

School of Architecture,
Planning and Preservation
Columbia University

New York, USA (since 2008)

Ecole Nationale Superieure
d’Architecture Paris-Malaquais
Paris, France (since 2008)

ETSAM Universidad Politecnica de Madrid
Madrid, Spain (since 2015)

USEK Université Saint-Esprit de Kaslik
Jounieh, Lebanon (since 2013)

The University of Texas at Austin
School of Architecture
Austin, USA (since 1998)

TUM The Technical University of Munich
Munich, Germany (since 2016)

Politecnico di Milano
Milan, Italy (since 2015)

Università di Roma, La Sapienza
Rome, Italy (since 2020)

Previously affiliated

Waterloo University
Ontario, Canada
(from 1995 to 1997)

Facultad de Diseno, Arte y Arquitectura
San José, Costarica (from 2003 to 2013)

Czech Techincal University
Prague, Czech Republic (from 2000 to 2015)

Waterford Insitute
of Technology
Wateford, Ireland (from 2000 to 2015)

Instituto Tecnològico
de Monterrey
Monterrey, Mexico (from 2001 to 2014)

CEPT University
Ahmedabad, India (since 2009 to 2020)

School of Architecture,
Tsinghua University
Bejing, China (from 2011 to2015)

University of Cape Town
Cape Town, South Africa (from 2008 to 2015)

Faculty of the Built Environment, 
Uganda Martyrs University
Nkozi, Uganda (since 2017 to 2020)

UNSW University of New South Wales
Sydney, Australia (since 2017 to 2020)

MIT Massachussetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, Massachussetts, USA

Tokyo Institute of Technology
Tokyo, Japan

Technische Universitat Dresden
Dresda, Germany

Università degli Studi dell'Aquila
L'Aquila, Italy

Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio
Mendrisio, Switzerland

Makerere University 
Kampala, Uganda

Waseda University,
Tokyo, Japan

School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Chicago, USA

AA Architectural Association 
School of Architecture

London, UK 

Università degli Studi di Padova
Padova, Italy

Florida International University
Miami, USA

Università degli Studi di Catania
Corso di Laurea in Architettura

Catania, Italy

Università degli Studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli
Aversa (NA), Italy

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