Composition and Character

My photo
* * * Thank you for visiting Composition & Character! My name is Samuel Lima. I am an alumnus of Judson University's M.Arch program and the Master of Architectural Design and Urbanism program at the University of Notre Dame. I am passionate about excellence in the design of classical and traditional architecture and the creation of new places worthy of the care of future generations!


House Design Competition: New Harmony, IN

This entry for the New Harmony Bicentennial House Design Competition was recently awarded Third Place.  The 1,200 square foot house is designed to be durable, energy efficient, affordable, and in keeping with the character of the historic houses of New Harmony (a small historic city in southern Indiana).  The competition was initiated by Historic New Harmony and the New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art, and was supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.


Restoring Trastevere

Detail Plan, New City Gate, Piazza Perspective, and Aerial Axonometric
The aim of this project was the redevelopment of a poorly designed and rapidly decaying area of Trastevere, in Rome.  The area historically lay outside the city walls, and is adjacent to the Porta Portese, on of Rome's city gates.  Modern high-rises, constructed on the site in the mid 20th century, are quickly falling into disrepair and are eyesores in an otherwise beautiful area. 

The new neighborhood plan is based on the formal planning of Renaissance and Baroque architects (who utilized straight streets with formal relationships to important buildings and piazzas).  The buildings of each block are arranged around planted common courtyards which offer space for gardens and for children to play while under supervision.  Finally, a new outdoor theater is created on the banks of the Tiber, framed by two pedestrian bridges and a dramatic stair on the opposite shore.

Site Plan
Existing Conditions
Site Section


Students for Classical Architecture: 12-Hour Esquisse Competition

This entry was recently awarded First Prize in the inaugural design competition of the Students for Classical Architecture.  We were given 12 hours of design time between reception of the program and the submission of final drawings online.  Entries were to be hand drawn/painted and designed with Palladian precedence in mind.  The site is in the Veneto region of Italy, across the river from Palladio's Villa Foscari.

This drawing and the other winning entries will be exhibited at the Snite Museum of Art on the University of Notre Dame campus between June 5 and July 21 in conjunction with Palladio and His Legacy: A Transatlantic Journey.

For more information on the Students for Classical Architecture, visit: 


Villa Lante

Here is a new watercolor of the plan and section of Villa Lante in Bagnaia, which I visited today!  The painting is very small, at 5.5" x 8.5".  It took 1.5 hours to draw (freehand) and paint.



Lucca, Italy: a view of the city wall from another part of the wall.  Lucca has a wonderful and intact circuit of walls on top of which its citizens regularly walk and bike.


Piazza Margana

A plein air view of  Piazza Margana, in Rome.