In the search for solutions to the global housing crisis, more than ever housing design needs innovation. The Architectural Design Studio 1 shall introduce students to tools and strategies aimed at improving accessibility, health, flexibility and community building concepts in contemporary residential architecture.
In the course of the year, students will be asked to design two types of residential developments defining the internal layout, the composition of the façade and the relationship with the surrounding context.
The first development will have touristic purpose and will be composed of multiple small-scale residential units, the second one will be a multi-storey collective house in Milan.
The students will get familiar with the fundamental topics of the housing design: the relationship with the place, the access, the layout arrangement, the relationship between construction and exterior form.
The teaching method includes lectures, seminars, practical design activities, discussion, brainstorming, and site visits. The lectures as well the suggested bibliography will provide the theoretical input while the output will include drawings and the models of various scales that the students will make. Students will be motivated, encouraged and supported by the teaching staff by means of single or collective reviews.
The theoretical background:
The architectural project is set up on typological research: the latter associates, from a critical point of view, the definition of the new architectures with the experience, the memory, the heritage of knowledge represented both by contemporary and modernist architecture. The design decisions are thus developed along a process of critical knowledge, taking into consideration the balance between imagination and reason.
Architecture is made up by a visible and an invisible part; these two are linked by a relationship which is similar to the distinction, operated by semantics, between the denotative and the connotative significance. The visible concerns the shape, the space, and properties of building materials while the invisible concerns ideas, thoughts, emotions.
The third concept regards the identity: it is something singular and typical, but also a choice, in the sense that it reflects the intentions. A place is given an identity by the project, because it represents what survives the continuous changes of the spatial and functional arrangements of the city, and gives an indelible character to the sceneries where the existence of human beings, and that of forms, merge.
As concerns representation technique, drawing is not just the tool used to communicate the thought; is the tool that allows us to formulate the thought itself.
Similarly, the concept of space is a "cognitive artifact" that allows us to imagine and project new spaces and objects.
The course will provide to the students the necessary tools for understanding and manipulating the "space" and its communication and correct transmission.
The learning process will be developed in theoretical lessons and practical exercises by hand and with computer. The theoretical part will explore aspects of thinking about the space both Cartesian mode and non-Cartesian mode. We will study the possibility of overcoming this concept using alternative space systems such as, for example, topological or fractal.
The Core Topic: the Contemporary Dwelling
Living in a home is a first-hand experience for everybody. Designing correctly a house, making it a comfortable, flexible dwelling that reflects person’s individual world is a challenge architects often face. Housing design deals on one hand with the physical shape of the building and on the other hand with meaning that turns a house into home. In spite of the increasing needs for low cost housing and the attempt to modernize and make more efficient the housing construction, a house is not a machine for living but the place in which one can make his or her life meaningful.
The concept of dwelling may have very different sense depending on the place, the age of a person, and a wide range of social factors. In Italian cities the welfare is getting worse due to financial global crisis and the housing deprivation is increasing as well.
How Does It Work?
The project work will be developed by the students in groups of two or individually.
Student’s work in the design studio is reviewed through critics..
The Studio should be understood as “a learning environment” in which the individual skills increase through a mutual interaction with the instructors and classmates.
The assigned work will be carried on both in the class and at home, and . discussed every week with the teaching staff. During individual reviews.
Three times in each semester mid-term presentations will take place and the students will get an informal evaluation.
Fall/winter semester (October-December);
Students will be asked to design “mobile” multiple small-scale residential units, suitable for tourists. Relationship with surrounding landscape is of a key-importance in this project.
A mobile small-scale residential unit is a one storey house, usually built with light materials (wood, sandwich panels, dry construction systems) and off site fabrication, even if there are some example of traditional bricks and concrete buildings. Those houses are cost-effective and are often hybrids that blend cabins, advanced shelters, and exhibition houses. The single houses will be vertically stacked, and/or horizontally clustered in order to arrange a small settlement.
Spring/Summer semester (febraury -june);
The students will be work at the second and final project, a multi-storey collective house in Milan. The project site will be selected in an urban area of Milan according to “Rifomare Periferie Milano Metropolitana 2019” . The number of apartments for each floor can span between a minimum of 4 to a maximum of 6. This depends by the layout arrangement and will be planned with each group.The apartments must be sized as follow:.
- Small size apartments: 50/60 sm: one master bed room, living room and kitchen, one bathroom.
- Medium size apartment: 80/100 sm; two bedrooms (one master), living room kitchen, one or two bathroom.
Large size apartments: 120/130 sm; three bedrooms (one master), living room kitchen, two bathrooms.
- On the top floor a penthouse is required; this could be enlarged to 130 sqm