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Personal profile


“Interiors to architecture, architecture to landscape, architecture or landscape to urban fabric, my work finds its foundation in the intersection of different disciplines, creating a bridge which binds them.”

Research profile

Irene Curulli, an architect and landscape architect, is Assistant Professor at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). Her teaching and research interests have been fostered by years of teaching and mentoring at the Università degli Studi Mediterranea (Italy), Cornell University (USA) and the University of Oregon (USA). Irene’s subject expertise lies at the intersection of architecture and landscape architecture, focusing on the transformation of urban wastelands and post-industrial landscapes, particularly water-related ones, towards the implementation of a sustainable city. She is author of three books on this subject. She is currently developing the research ‘Water Wise Landscapes’ focused on industrial heritage reuse with relation to water and the climate change. 

In 2007, Irene organized the International Conference ‘Urban Wastelands’ at the TU/e, where she also developed a two-year research program into the transformation of abandoned industrial waterfronts. The research was funded by the 'Excellentiefonds' at TU/e and from the Provincie-Noord Brabant (The Netherlands). This research folded in a 2011 European Commission-funded project named E.L.I.R. (European Laboratory of Industrial Reuse) of which she was scientific coordinator. The project involved 7 European Universities. She is the coordinator of several multi-disciplinary ERASMUS+ projects.

 (weblink: http://industrialwaterways.weebly.com)

Academic background

Irene’s emphasis on synergetic and integrative exchange across design disciplines is rooted in her educational background, comprising a degree in architecture from the Università degli Studi Mediterranea (Italy), and in Landscape Architecture from the University of Wageningen (The Netherlands), a post-graduate Master at the Berlage Institute Amsterdam and a Ph.D. on the ‘Landscape Attitude’ in contemporary Architectural Design’ from the University of Naples (Italy).In 2000 she won a fellowship from Cornell University, USA where she taught and also researched the subject of wastelands and was awarded of a jury position at Harvard University and at University of Pennsylvania. In 2012 she was visiting assistant professor at the University of Oregon, USA where she taught several design studio courses and researched on five abandoned industrial sites along the Willamette River.  Irene was awarded the prize ‘Best Master Teacher’ of TU/e in 2010.

Irene Curulli runs the Amsterdam based office Terrafirma. The strength of her projects lies in the inextricable weave between landscape and architecture and the specificity of the contexts represents the raw material for the design. Irene Curulli’s experience includes projects with Gigantes Zenghelis Architects, de Architekten Cie and with Inside Outside in several designs by OMA. She has also published numerous articles on Dutch architecture in ‘Space & Society’ magazine.

(weblink: www.terrafirma.nl )


Affiliated with

Affiliated with

2015-present: Member of the research group INTEGRO

2014-present: Member of ICOMOS, The Netherlands

2014-present: Member of TICCIH

2016: Expert reviewer for Change Over Time, International Journal on Conservation and The Built Environment, USA

2015: Expert reviewer for Journal of Architecture and Urban Design, Taylor & Francis, UK

2013: Expert reviewer for ICOMOS-UNESCO, Dossier for The Grand Canal of China, nomination proposal for the Inscription to the World Heritage List 2014

Member of Editorial Review Board

2010-present: of Journal of Sustainable Design Cultural Heritage, Emerald, UK

2015- present: (Journal) SPACE & FORM, Poland        

Member of Scientific committee

2014- present: (Books series), Cities, Design & Sustainability Altralinea International

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Research Output

Ghost industries: industrial water landscapes on the Willamette River in Oregon

Curulli, G. I., Jul 2018, Florence, Italy: Altralinea Edizioni. 125 p. (City, Design & Sustainability.The New Series; no. 4)

Research output: Book/ReportReportAcademic

  • Transforming Strijp S : from Philips industrial site to new residential and creative area.

    Curulli, G. I. & Babalis, D., 2015.

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractAcademic

    Open Access
    304 Downloads (Pure)

    The making and remaking of dismissed industrial sites

    Curulli, G. I., 2014, Florence: Alinea International. 71 p. (Cities, design and sustainability series; vol. 11)

    Research output: Book/ReportBookAcademic

  • 6 Downloads (Pure)

    Industrial canal waterfronts in The Netherlands : transforming the canal zones of B5

    Curulli, G. I., 2012, Firenze: Alinea International. 128 p. (Cities, design and sustainability series; vol. 10)

    Research output: Book/ReportBookAcademic

  • 9 Downloads (Pure)


    Best Master Teacher at TU/e

    Irene Curulli (Recipient), 1 Sep 2010

    Prize: OtherCareer, activity or publication related prizes (lifetime, best paper, poster etc.)Scientific

  • Industrial (water) landscapes

    Irene Curulli (Recipient), 2012

    Prize: Othervisiting scholarScientific

  • Lawrence Halprin Fellowship

    Irene Curulli (Recipient), 2000

    Prize: OtherFellowships & membershipsScientific


    MateriArt: Arte and Science of Materiality in Architectural Design education

    G.I. (Irene) Curulli (Organiser)
    3 Oct 20194 Oct 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesWorkshop, seminar, course or exhibitionScientific

    MateriArt: Arte and Science of Materiality in Architectural Design education

    G.I. (Irene) Curulli (Organiser)
    3 Oct 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesWorkshop, seminar, course or exhibitionScientific

    e-Fiade Transnational Meeting 6

    G.I. (Irene) Curulli (Organiser)
    19 Jun 201920 Jun 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesWorkshop, seminar, course or exhibitionScientific


    G.I. (Irene) Curulli (Speaker)
    29 May 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talkScientific

    2019 International Conference 'Water as Heritage' (Event)

    G.I. (Irene) Curulli (Chair)
    27 May 201931 May 2019

    Activity: Membership typesMembership of committeeScientific


    The Built-up Heritage Over Time

    1/09/15 → …


    Student theses

    A touch of home: creating a feeling of home in elderly housing through materials

    Author: Broers, I., 19 Dec 2017

    Supervisor: Mohammadi, M. (Supervisor 1), Curulli, G. (Supervisor 2) & Kindt, R. (Supervisor 2)

    Student thesis: Master


    "Between land & water": ecology research center in a context of riparian landscape

    Author: Shilova, A., 31 May 2017

    Supervisor: Curulli, G. (Supervisor 1), Voorthuis, J. (Supervisor 2), Schilperoort, H. (Supervisor 2) & Moonen, S. (Supervisor 2)

    Student thesis: Master


    Blue School

    Author: Fisscher, J., 28 Mar 2017

    Supervisor: Voorthuis, J. (Supervisor 1), Curulli, G. (Supervisor 2) & Schilperoort, H. (Supervisor 2)

    Student thesis: Master


    Changing lanes: vrouwenopvang: het terugvinden van je zintuigen in architectuur

    Author: de Groot, E., 31 Dec 2008

    Supervisor: Molenaar, B. (Supervisor 1), Voorthuis, J. (Supervisor 2) & Curulli, G. (Supervisor 2)

    Student thesis: Master


    Creative tiles: the contemporary museum as part of the creative network of Liège

    Author: Aulenta, D., 30 Apr 2011

    Supervisor: Bosman, A. (Supervisor 1), Curulli, G. (Supervisor 2) & Dehaene, M. (Supervisor 2)

    Student thesis: Master