Risorse bibliografiche
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoria
Risorsa bibliografica facoltativa
Scheda Riassuntiva
Anno Accademico 2020/2021
Scuola Scuola di Architettura Urbanistica Ingegneria delle Costruzioni
Docente Zucchi Cino Paolo
Cfu 10.00 Tipo insegnamento Laboratorio

Corso di Studi Codice Piano di Studio preventivamente approvato Da (compreso) A (escluso) Nome Sezione Insegnamento

Obiettivi dell'insegnamento

Within the Studio, advanced methodologies are applied for the description and interpretation of the physical contexts and products - practical and theoretical - of contemporary architectural culture, with the aim of experimenting with the transformation of the built environment through the architectural project. The Studio are based on the integration of specific skills, in the field of architectural composition, with others from different fields of study such as, among others, of urban studies, interior architecture and architectural technology. In this way, the appropriate paradigms are outlined to know and understand, in historical perspective and at different scales, the inhabited space in its multiple configurations: morphological and typological, ecological and environmental, economic and social, anthropological and cultural. In the Studio, integrated knowledge allows you to modulate the choices made by the architectural project in relation to the complexity of the contexts in which it is applied and the technologies it implies. In this context, techniques, tools and methods acquired in the field of architectural design are used to investigate complex relationships such as those that are established between open spaces, built and relationship spaces, infrastructure and landscape, cultural heritage and neglected or vulnerable areas, technologies, materials and construction processes.

The didactic aim consists in preparing students for the task of improving the quality of human settlements, promoting the conscious use of resources and measuring the intrinsic fragility of the built environment.

Risultati di apprendimento attesi

According to the Dublin Descriptors (DD), passing the exam certifies the acquisition of the following results:

DD 1, knowledge and understanding:

- knowledge of the fundamental elements of the architectural composition and its methods of application in the design process for the purpose of transforming inhabited places and spaces.


DD 2, ability to apply knowledge and understanding:

- ability to control the compositional aspects of the project and its typological and functional features, which regulate the qualitative relationships of the architectural forms of the space.


DD 3 (autonomy of judgment), 4 (communication skills) and 5 (learning ability):

- ability to operate and communicate independently the design choices made (DD 3, 4 and 5).


Argomenti trattati


A.A. 2020-2021





The aim of the Architectural Design Studio 1 is to research “on the field” the relationships between the physical metamorphosis of an existing urban landscape and the changes in its environmental qualities and social relevance. The chosen site for the design exercise is located amidst Milan’s urban fabric. Although sited in context which shows a clear urban structure, produced in its present state by a series of facts in time which determined its shape and architectural substance, the area is waiting for a new program and role, respectful of its features but responding to the values and needs of a contemporary metropolis.

The design program will include a number of functions of different nature, capable of producing a building complex enhancing urban life, plus the creation of a meaningful public open space in the form of a new square or urban garden. The design task covers a quite demanding range of scales and themes, from the urban design level and the design of open spaces to the precise definition of an architectural artefact at rather detailed scales through drawings and models. The Studio will offer visits to Milano’s post-WWII architecture, lectures on specific subjects by the teachers and guest critics, and reviews of the student design work, alternating individual moments with collective ones.


1.1 Permanence and change of urban structures

What we call urban design could be seen as an act of “grafting” a new organism onto an existing one, introducing a new physiology in an existing pattern. Rather than the mere application of an abstract model, a new urban intervention is the result of a complex interplay between the typological and morphological paradigms that a design culture feels appropriate in a point in time and the conditions and limits of a specific place and its context.

As in biology structures and organs change to perform new roles, so the topography of an existing environment creates a number of physical constraints and resources which can in time host unexpected activities and lifestyles. In the occasion of an urban transformation, what exists (in a physical sense, but also seen as a “habit”, a “custom” or an expectation) interacts in more than one way with the projections of possible new words onto this background.


1.2 Grafting on an existing urban pattern: the example of Milano

The city of Milano, heavily bombed during WWII, has been reconstructed and expanded upon in the fifties and sixties following peculiar modes, where the needs of “modern living” were fully responded to with a great attention to existing urban morphologies. In many cases, the potential conflict between the permanence of urban form and the evolving patterns of building types was solved by a “double strategy” capable of dealing with each of them individually and then merging their features in a new organism. In the reconstruction of the inner city fabric, middle and high-rise building bodies searching for light and air were often mounted on lower bases reinforcing the existing street fronts, creating a body of rather interesting solutions.


1.3 New urban environments

While treasuring the experiences of good design of the recent past, today’s new conditions and goals lead us to reflect in an innovative way. The new demands of our society – the blurred borders between living, working and leisure spaces, a collective sensibility toward ecological issues, the need to redesign modes of transportation in the modern metropolis, the questions raised by multicultural society - do not act as a “program” onto which construct from scratch, but should rather be used as a demanding “checklist” with which to test the response of tentative spatial hypothesis pursued through culture and innovation. As opposed to the approach of the first modern age and its obsession for the “degree zero”, a contemporary designer should to be aware of the complex resonances every act or spatial decision can create, recombining known events in unseen configurations.

How can we design collective places today, and the in-between spaces which act as “buffers” or mediators between the individual dimension and the public one? Today’s metropolitan dimension - with an increasing “transient” population whose social focuses or modes of aggregation are often quite far and independent from their physical neighbours - adds a problematic side to the design of shared spaces.


1.4 A recursive design method

The overall philosophy of the studio is that a form is not logically contained in a program, and it cannot be mechanically derived from it through a deductive logical process. We can only work by guessing a draft hypothesis on the base of our insights and culture and quickly subject it to intense criticism by confronting it against experimental data. As Christopher Alexander says, we can only check “misfits” or “malfunctions” on a first hypothesis and ameliorate it until they reach a satisfactory state.

In this sense, rather than deducing the scheme from the site itself, we have to confront our formal “prejudices” (an intentionally disturbing way to name our models) with the limitations of the place.

The analytical part of the studio will put together a shared set of models to discuss and evaluate. Fragments or deformations of these models can be freely used in the actual design phase, and this “sampling” method is welcomed; but the student is still responsible for the choice of which one to pick and the transformations needed to fit the requirements of the program and site. This proposed “recursive” mode appears to constitute a contemporary alternative to the “modernist” one, treasuring its functionalistic attitude without ignoring a certain resilience of existing forms.




- Gio Ponti, Amate l’architettura, Rizzoli, 2008, ISBN: 9788817027755

- Christopher Alexander, Notes on the Synthesis of Form, Harvard University Press, 1964, ISBN: 0674627512

- Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein with Max Jacobson, Ingrid Fikdahl-King, Shlomo Angel, A Pattern Language. Towns, Buildings, Construction, Oxford University Press, 1977, ISBN: 9780195019193

- Corinna Morandi, Milan. The great Urban Transformation, Marsilio, 2007, ISBN: 978-8831793650

- San Rocco 4, Fuck Concept! Context!, 2012, ISSN: 203849124

- Cino Zucchi, “Urbanity” as Emulation and Habit in Common Ground. A Critical Reader, Marsilio, 2012, ISBN: 9788831714358

- Cino Zucchi, Innesti. Il nuovo come metamorfosi/ Grafting. The New as Metamorphosis, in Innesti/Grafting, catalogue of the Italian Pavilion, 14.Architecture Biennale, Marsilio Editore, Venezia 2014, ISBN: 9788831719711

- Cino Zucchi, Un galateo urbano/ Urban Manners, in Carlo Berizzi, Milano. Architectural Guide, Dom Publishers, 2015, ISBN 9783869223964

- Pierluigi Nicolin, La verità in architettura. Il pensiero di un’altra modernità, Quodlibet, 2012, ISBN: 9788874623044

- Cino Zucchi, Everyday Wonders - Meraviglie Quotidiane.  Luigi Caccia Dominioni e Milano: il complesso di corso Italia, Corraini, Milano 2018, ISBN: 978-88-7570-724-8


Modalità di valutazione

The evaluation of the work of the students will take in consideration (in order of importance):

- the quality and depth of the design work by the student, concerning urban strategy, open space design, building distribution, architectural character, structural, material and linguistic details.

- the quality of the intermediate and final presentation in terms of conceptual clarity, graphics and architectural models.

- the attendance and participation of the student to the individual and collective reviews and discussions.

- the capacity of the student to interact with the teachers and his/her progress in relationship to his/her previous design experiences.

The laboratory will alternate individual and collective reviews of the design work by the students, emitting intermediate design progress evaluations which will contribute to the overall grade given at the exam on the basis of the final design outcome.


Forme didattiche
Tipo Forma Didattica Ore di attività svolte in aula
Ore di studio autonome
Laboratorio Informatico
Laboratorio Sperimentale
Laboratorio Di Progetto
Totale 120:00 130:00

Informazioni in lingua inglese a supporto dell'internazionalizzazione
Insegnamento erogato in lingua Inglese
Disponibilità di materiale didattico/slides in lingua inglese
Disponibilità di libri di testo/bibliografia in lingua inglese
Possibilità di sostenere l'esame in lingua inglese
Disponibilità di supporto didattico in lingua inglese

Note Docente
schedaincarico v. 1.6.5 / 1.6.5
Area Servizi ICT