The Architecture of Immunity: Planning, Building, and Reclaiming Baroque Rome (1656–1668)

Name of applicant

Fabio Gigone




Det Danske Institut i Rom, and ETH Zürich


DKK 1,060,000



Type of grant

Internationalisation Fellowships


The research re-evaluates the architectural historiography of 17th-century Rome, a period in which epidemic and diplomatic crises significantly influenced Rome’s urban and architectural developments. It contends that ‘immunity’ provides a crucial framework for identifying those overlooked actors, buildings, and urban strategies that played a pivotal role in shaping the Baroque urban identity.


The recent pandemic and current diplomatic emergencies motivate the need for timely research capable of re-evaluating the architectural response to the state of crisis. Roman Baroque city is examined as the political battlefield between Alexander VII and Louis XIV, who exploited architecture for political dominance during the plague outbreak and the extension of the French franchise du quartier.


The contribution of medical and diplomatic knowledge to architecture is considered in two cases: (a) Alexander VII’s Architectural Prophylaxis System for the Plague (1656-57); and (b) Louis XIV’s Urban Tactics to Reclaim the French Quarter (1662-68). It does so by examining unexplored archival material and employing digital humanities tools to implement geographical data and archival records.

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