With their Residenza Studentesca Praticelli Salvatore Re Architects have created new student accommodation for Pisa University with an industrial aesthetic. The end walls of the student wings have a dark louvred surface, looking like enormous shipping containers, complete with shipping numbers stencilled on. However, these are in fact conventionally constructed buildings. This contrasts with the Laurus Wing of Ursula Hall at the Australian National University, which is actually built with shipping container modules, but where the container corrugated walls have been hidden.
Also there appear to be a cultural differences between the Italian and Australian buildings. The Pisa University building provides wings containing single bedrooms for students, with larger apartments only in the end building for "Professors". In contrast the ANU is providing self contained bed-sit apartments for single accommodation and apartments with a bedroom for couples.
Height is another differentiator, with he Pisa building limited to three stories high, whereas the Canberra building is six stories (the maximum height shipping containers are designed to be stacked). Both buildings use the approach of a long accommodation wing with a services core at one end joining the wings and stairways at the other.
The Italian design appears to be for a bespoke building, whereas the Australian design is available in modular form Quicksmart Homes for assembly into student and other accommodation.The next due for completion is at Sydney University Camden campus with accommodation for 150 in 2010/2011.