Professor Emerita Astra Zarina

General Information

Occupation: Professor of Architecture

Date of Birth: August 25, 1929

Date of Death: August 31, 2008

Birth City: Riga

Archive/Repository: Zarina-Heywood Civita Institute


Subject: As a professor at the University of Washingon she founded the Architecture in Rome program and Italian Hilltowns program. She also founded the Northwest Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in Italy (NIAUSI).

Description: The Architecture in Rome program and the Italian Hilltowns program exposed young architects and designers to the lessons of continuity and change in Italian architecture, urban planning, design and culture. NIAUSI is a non-profit corporation whose goals include working toward a better understanding of complex urban issues, promoting excellence in design quality of the build environment, and providing a public forum for ideas, research and experience related to design issues.



Employer: University of Washington, College of Architecture and Urban Planning

Title: Professor Emerita

City: Seattle

Country: United States

Notes: Zarina taught as a Lecturer in the UW Department of Architecture in Seattle in 1965 and 1968. In 1970. Working with the Department, Zarina initiated the Architecture in Rome program, hosting a small number of students from Seattle in her apartment in Rome. The first year’s success led to the program becoming a regular offering of the Department (Rome I). In subsequent years she added a second quarter in Rome (Rome II) and in 1976 taught the first summer program on Italian Hilltowns based in Civita di Bagnoregio. In 1985 she received a permanent joint appointment as a Professor in the Department of Urban Design & Planning.

Employer: Office of Minoru Yamasaki

City: Detroit

State: Michigan

Country: United States

Notes: She contributed significantly to the design of the Detroit School of Arts and Crafts and the First Methodist Church, located in Warren, Michigan.

Employer: Office of Paul Hayden Kirk

City: Seattle

Country: United States


Country: delete


No apprenticeships on record


Name: University of Washington Distinguished Teaching Award

Notes: Recipients are chosen based on a variety of criteria, including mastery of the subject matter; enthusiasm and innovation in the teaching and learning process; ability to engage students both within and outside the classroom; ability to inspire independent and original thinking in students and to stimulate students to do creative work; and innovations in course and curriculum design.

Name: The American Academy in Rome Fellowship

Notes: She was the first women awarded in the Academy\'s history.

Name: Fulbright Grant


Notable Projects


Institution: University of Washington

Department: College of Architecture and Urban Planning

Degree: Bachelor of Architecture

Notes: At a time when there were very few women in university architecture programs, Zarina emerged as one of the most talented students in the UW architecture program, studying under professors such as Lionel Pries, Wendell Lovett, and Victor Steinbrueck.

Institution: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Department: Department of Architecture

Degree: Master of Architecture


Professional Affiliations

Organization: American Institute of Architects

Role: Honorary Member

Notes: Granting Honorary AIA status demonstrates the Institute's gratitude toward those who support and uplift architects and the profession by acknowledging them as part of the AIA family.

Publications By

Title: I Tetti di Roma: Le terrazze, le altane, i belvedere

Co-author: Balthazar Korab

Publisher: Carlo Bestetti-Edizioni D'Arte

City: Rome

Publications About