For over fifteen years, the Canova Association, in collaboration with Italian and foreign universities, has organized field schools and hands-on workshops dedicated to architectural restoration. Theoretical aspects of design are integrated with practical work on building sites, thus providing participants with the direct experience of "making architecture". Important in terms of both intercultural exchange and local awareness, the educational sites offer an opportunity for rediscovery and the revival of often forgotten and abandoned places.
The first workshops organized by the Association concerned community projects (local chapels, wash houses, communal ovens, mills ...). Breathing life back into these ancient buildings, all fundamental historical and cultural testimony within the villages, has given the community a new perspective on the past and brighter hopes for the future.
Laser scanner survey
The Village Laboratory is a major project launched in 2012 in collaboration with the Milan Polytechnic University. It consists in the analysis of historical buildings through the use of the most advanced technologies and the most innovative techniques, such as laser scanners and photogrammetry.
Awareness of traditional stone architecture inevitably involves not only buildings, but also the surrounding environment, including the thousands of kilometres of dry stone walls covering hills and mountainsides. The project on the terraced landscape began in 2013 in collaboration with the Polytechnic University of Turin, through field schools aimed at the recovery of dry-wall construction within the Ossola Valley. In 2016 the Canova Association took part in the third world conference on the theme with a construction day held in the village of Ghesc. In 2017 a workshop was organized there with the "dry-stone school" of Japan.
The Association's house
Within the project of the village laboratory of Ghesc, the complex of buildings owned by the Association aims to be an on-going educational site where contemporary housing needs are combined with the use of traditional techniques and materials. The project is a continuous work-in-progress and transformation of the hamlet, thanks to each participating field school’s contribution.
The Villa Caselli estate in Masera is one of the most important and impressive historical properties of the Ossola Valley. Since 2016 the Association has collaborated with the municipality of Masera in organising restoration workshops of the park's facilities, such as the greenhouse and the porter's lodge. The aim is the rediscovery and enhancement of a place full of history and beauty, making it accessible to the public.
Download here the catalogue and discover all the field schools
organized by the Canova Association since 2002
Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Politecnico di Torino, Italy
ITGC Einaudi Domodossola, Italy
Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy
Università la Sapienza di Roma, Italy
University of Oregon, USA
Spring Hill College, USA
University of North Carolina, USA
Yestermorrow Design Build School, USA
Willowbank School of Restoration Arts, Canada
Dry Stone Walling School of Japan, Japan