London’s Squares, and Rome’s Piazzas: Notre Dame's architecture in Europe

Notre Dame in Rome


The School of Architecture made it a requirement for students to spend their entire third year in Rome as part of their Rome Studies Program.


A study abroad program for other undergraduates was developed.


The Rome Global Gateway officially opened its doors for all Notre Dame students.


The University inaugurates "the Villa," a residential building for all Notre Dame students in Rome.

Rome Global Gateway

The building, dating back to the turn of the twentieth century, originally hosted the pharmaceutical company “Organon Italia.”

The Gateway is situated in a microcosm that reflects the same essence of Rome: the coexistence of monuments that are not simply the vestiges of a remote past, but which have been progressively re adapted, through the centuries, to the transformation of the city and of its life, in harmony with the changing practical needs and tastes.

Notre Dame in London


Notre Dame Law School begins sending students to London to study for the academic year.


The Law School secures a long-term lease a 7 Albemarle Street in London’s Mayfair neighborhood, allowing it to finally settle into a permanent location after residing in several temporary locations during previous years.

The University starts a program that enables undergraduate juniors in the College of Arts and Letters to study in London for a semester.


The University starts a comprehensive London program for all undergraduates in the Colleges of Arts and Letters, Business Administration, Engineering, and Science.


The University relocates its London programs to the Marian Kennedy Fischer Hall, allowing it to accommodate the increasing number of students studying in London.

London Global Gateway

Aside from its location, Fischer Hall is a history lesson. The building has had several occupants over the years, including the United University Club, the British School of Osteopathy and even Coutts bank. Designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield in 1923, the building maintains a sense of Edwardian grandeur through its original features. Dark mahogany doors are contrasted by sparkling Sienna marble pillars and fireplaces, and a domed glass ceiling shines light on the sweeping central staircase. The history that’s in London is demonstrated to students by the very building they take classes in.

Rome: The Villa

The value that studying abroad adds to students’ lives continues to be recognized by Notre Dame, and is reflected in the expansion of their global network of buildings. The newest of the Notre Dame building family, inaugurated in the fall of 2017, is Rome’s residential living-learning community: Notre Dame’s Villa on the Celio. The Villa is located only two blocks away from the research, teaching and learning facility in Via Ostilia. It brings together undergraduate Notre Dame students from across the arts and sciences that have a shared interest in expanding their academic and cultural horizons through study in Rome.

The Villa has a history as an educational facility: when Italy’s racial laws during Fascism led to the eviction of Jewish children from the Italian schools in 1938, the Jewish community used the Villa as a school. A commemorative plaque is located at the entrance of the garden surrounding the Villa. The plaque was placed on November 24, 2008, 70 years after Italian racial laws were promulgated.

Notre Dame’s buildings in its European locations reflect the rich history that runs through the continent. Often learning in renovated buildings that once served a different purpose, students are reminded that while a building may change its color or design, there is an architectural permanency that lives longer than its current residents.

London Conway Hall

Notre Dame’s first residence beyond campus, Conway Hall, reflects this remarkable history, even at first glance. Grand letters decorate the top of terracotta building, labelling it as “The Royal Waterloo Hospital for Children and Women.” The letters continue to the lower floors, showing that the hospital was supported by various British monarchs and even describing various departments of the hospital, such as “Out Patients.”

The building, originally built in 1823 and rebuilt in the early 1900’s, was restored to its former glory by Notre Dame, boasting an art-nouveau facade and a renovated interior. Notre Dame trustee Robert M. Conway ‘66 and his wife Ricki made this restoration possible, giving all Notre Dame students a home in the UK’s capital city.

Learn more about Notre Dame's presence in London and Rome.


Created with an image by Eva Dang - "untitled image"

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