Earthquake Architecture


The isolated "Dome Building" of the Emergency Management Centre in Foligno, Italy designed by Alberto Parducci (University of Perugia) & Guido Tommesani (Regione Umbria)
- Marco Mezzi et al.

>> New photos added <<

Henry (Hank) Lagorio, Professor Emeritus of Architecture and former Associate Dean of the College of Environmental Design at the University of Califonria, Berkeley, died on October 2, 2013.

From 1947 until his retirement, Lagorio served as a professor at the University of California, Berkeley in the Department of Architecture, where he was a much beloved and respected teacher and colleague. A licensed architect and member of the AIA, he also served as Director of the UC Berkeley Center for Environmental Design Research and Director of the UC Study Center in Italy. He published widely in the areas of architecture and earthquake engineering, design and seismic hazards reduction, and the assessment of earthquake vulnerability. He was also an active contributor to public policy, serving as a member of the California Seismic Safety Commission.  Lagorio was long affiliated with EERI (Earthquake Engineering Research Institute).  He was also a Program Director at the National Science Foundation, where he established research programs focusing on seismic rehabilitation and repair of existing buildings.

A funeral mass was held on 
Oct. 17, 2013  at 10:30am
Newman Hall - Holy Spirit  Parish
2700 Dwight Way at College Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94704.

More information may be found at the following links:

"Earthquake engineering" is a familiar term, but "earthquake architecture" is not -- very few architects have devoted themselves to that subject, and Henry ("Hank") Lagorio was one of those few.

He was one of the key members of a nucleus of U.C. Berkeley professors in the Department of Architecture in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s who specialized in seismic design topics, along with fellow architecture faculty Christopher Arnold, Mary Comerio, Gerald McKue, George Simonds, and Karl Steinbrugge. He authored one of the few books on earthquakes written specifically for architects, Earthquakes: An Architect's Guide to Nonstructural Seismic Hazards (Lagorio, H.J.,1990, Earthquakes, An Architect’s Guide to Nonstructural Seismic Hazards, John Wiley and Sons, Inc.,New York, New York.)

Lagorio also wielded considerable influence when he took a leave of absence from Berkeley to work at the National Science Foundation in the earthquake engineering program, stimulating the development of architectural research in that area.

Past Events:

Special Session at 15WCEE for Architects and Urban Planners

As part of a new initiative to involve architecture and planning in improving resilience, a special session on architecture and urban planning at the 15WCEE in Lisbon in September has been organized. If you are interested in the special session, or if you like to be involved in the initiative, please contact Adriana Guisasola at

If you will not be attending the 15WCEE, you can find out more information about the initiative on the organizers' blog at:

Special Session #27-10. The role of architecture and urban planning in the earthquake-resilience of cities: Encouraging cross-disciplinary engagement [more]

Seismic Design on the Edge Exhibit
Opening on September 12, 2012, and running through November, an exhibit titled “Considering the Quake: Seismic Design on the Edge,” hosted by the Design Exchange in downtown Toronto, will explore the intersection of architecture and structure through the lens of earthquake engineering. EERI member firms participating in the exhibit include Arup, Degenkolb Engineers, and Tipping Mar Engineering. International in scope, the exhibit has been tailored not only for the architecture and engineering design industries, but also for an invested public.

Envisioned as a “science center” for design, the exhibit will feature full-sized seismic technology utilized in buildings and in architectural and structural models, seismic testing video, other visuals, and related lectures. Supported by the Canadian Seismic Research Network, the exhibit will house a sampling of the most celebrated projects, research and technology throughout the world that surpass conventional approaches to seismic design, and stand exemplary in thought, design and practical application.

For more information, visit

Source: EERI Newsletter - August 2012
Photo: San Francisco PUC Headquarters (Tipping Mar)

Exhibit on Innovative Projects and Research Related to Seismic Design

The exhibit will feature full scale seismic technology, research, architectural and structural models, renderings, animation and other multimedia platforms, from some of the most prolific architects and engineers throughout the world.

The exhibit will be held at the renowned Design Exchange in downtown Toronto, Canada, during the months of September and October, of this year, with the possibility of touring throughout Canada and the United States thereafter.

For more information:

Exhibition on Seismic Design to be held at Design Exchange

Seismic Design - Proposal submission deadline is June 1, 2012.

Designing for Earthquakes Available in Print

An EERI-FEMA publication entitled "Designing for Earthquakes: A Manual for Architects" is now available in print. With a writing team consisting primarily of EERI members headed up by Chris Arnold, this publication is intended to explain the principles of seismic design in ways that are easy to understand for those without rigorous technical backgrounds in engineering and seismology.

The primary intended audience includes practicing architects, architectural students, and faculty in architectural schools who teach structures and seismic design. A secondary audience includes facility managers, building owners, and tenants. This publication takes the form of a set of chapters whose topics are arranged in rough order of their consideration in the design process.

Hardcopies can be ordered by calling (800) 480-2520 M-F: 8:00 am-5:00 pm Eastern Standard Time or faxing the FEMA Publication Warehouse.

Order forms can be downloaded from Publication Order form IRL.doc.

The publication is also available online from A two-day course teaching the main principles of this publication will be available in the RMS website soon at

A limited number of printed and bound copies are available from EERI:


Seismic Design for Architects
Andrew Charleson
Architectural Press - Elsevier, Oxford, UK, 2008

Also available:

Structure as Architecture:
A Source Book for Architects and Structural Engineers
Andrew Charleson
Architectural Press - Elsevier, Oxford, UK, 2005

Articles in the Italian journal Essempi di Architettura
on seismic design and architecture.
[read more]


The Involvement of Architecture in Seismic Design -
Base Isolation in Italy before and after the 2009 Abruzzo earthquake
Parducci, A. Santiago de Cuba. May 10, 2012. [download]

[view complete list]

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Consortium of Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering
last updated 10.17.13