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).
The transformation of heritage is not replicable but an adaptable and transferable process, considered as an essential operational tool for architecture. Each project is a critical matter and needs a response tailored to its precise context or setting and modifies the architectural layers and the space that contains it. The transformative process involves a physical intervention made to the built environment that has inherited significance from the past, in order to revive its relevance and meaning in the present using associated memory as a tool.
The laboratory acquaints the architectural project in its multiple meanings associated with the relationship between the pre-existences, the memory and identity of the places: it means to understand the relationships between the physical metamorphosis of an existing landscape and the changes in its environmental qualities as well in the social relevance.
Re-use and memory
The architectural project gets involved by modifying and modelling places, interpreting and proposing strategy in an intricate relationship between new and existing components. The studio context is a complex and stratified settlement: historical landmarks, consolidated urban fabrics combined with scattered inhabited areas and surrounded by a dominant natural landscape, abandoned territories and discontinuous plots.
In this multiplex context, the challenge is to understand how to redesign a natural territory and settlement, which has been destroyed by seismic events. The question concerns how original identities and characters stratified over the centuries, but which have suffered a split due to unexpected events, can be safeguarded. Rebuilding after earthquakes means to accomplish an ontological and perceptual horizon. Following this concept, the memory becomes an active element for designing the existent matter, since the design solutions arise from the reinterpretation of the building fabric in a dynamic dialogue with the cultural and formal heritage of the city. In this panorama, the architectural approach seeks to read and recognise which fragments of the urban fabric can still set up a consistent meaning through their significance. These interventions can be brought back into play with the same intensity initially thought.
In this framework, the transformation project overlaps the identity character of existing built heritage with the goal of re-inhabiting a place destroyed by natural events. The rebuilding of economy/identity/memory moved through the re-use and re-activation of existing fragments. The theme of resilience and architectural and urban recycling are assumed as strategic tools for design experimentations. In line with this, the architectural heritage is recognised as cultural testimony of the history and tangible resource for a contemporary re-activation and re-use. Considering this direction, we face the environmental issues and the natural risk as a constitutive part to be taken into consideration.
The grounds of contemporary design - as results and quality - is the judge of built heritage, the broadness of preliminary knowledge for establishing the new project, the skill to apply to the case study - like structural and material texture - consistent but harmless design solutions.
>>>> Project site
The chosen site for the design exercise is located in the called “fragile territory”, declined in a context subject to the devastation of seismic events. The objects of this experience are the places where historically communities have expressed themselves in a different relationship between the urban dimension and natural territory. Therefore, they are spaces where invaluable cultural heritage is still a physical matter. In these territories, it is possible to recognise several lines, natural or anthropic, which have determined in the past - and still today - their development and landscape morphology. In particular, the historical traces are a vibrant document for recomposing the complex framework of physical and cultural, commercial and artistic, political and economic connections of the places. Reading their historical watermark means understanding the material and immaterial physiognomy, which nowadays marks the territory with visible signs.
The studio will work on the historic city of Arquata del Tronto, a town in the Marche region (central Italy). In August and October 2016 an earthquake caused considerable losses in the city of Arquata and its surrounded settlements, with severe damages as regards the architectural heritage. Ancient churches, civic towers, fortifications, cases of ancient construction have been mostly damaged or demolished by shakes, while temporary houses partially host the population.
Rocca in Arquata del Tronto (AP) was erected starting from the XII century, as an outpost to control the passage along the via Salaria. From the central nucleus of the fortress, the enclosure walls and other towers or bulwarks were built along the southern slope, towards the inhabited town of Arquata. The gradual abandonment, rising from the eighteenth century, made it necessary substantial restorations of masonries and battlements in the early years of the twentieth century. So, the stronghold of Arquata del Tronto is halfway the result of restoration works carried out during the 20th century (from 1903-06 till 1991-94). The 2016-earthquake damaged all inadequate additions, repairs and prevention systems. The few damaged ancient parts were where maintenance was omitted, and waterproofing had not been realised, severely weakening the walls. Nowadays an intervention of re-use and consolidation is needed, for giving back the stronghold and its park as an integral part of the Arquata village and place of identity.
>>>> Studio pedagogy
The teaching activities will be articulated through detailed fieldwork, a series of theoretical lectures, practical studio exercises and interactive presentations and discussions which will enable students to actively approach the design project: this will be oriented towards the preservation of finishing and structures. However, the issues of safety and re-use will involve the implementation of existing structures or new buildings. Theoretical readings and discussions on critical issues will be done periodically to reinforce conceptual tools to approach the site studies and the subsequent development of the conservation and regeneration proposal. This is fundamental for the acquisition of a critical understanding about the project of knowledge, transformation and re-use of the buildings, useful for research and design.
All the activities will be coordinate blending the two modules, in order to create a multidisciplinary approach, links and common grounds for the definition of a coherent re-use project in such complex context.
>>>> Studio structure
The design task will cover a demanding set of themes and range of scale, from the urban level and design of open spaces, to the correct definition of an architectural project at rather detailed scales through drawings and models.
The design program will include several different functions, which will be defined by the students at the end of the explorative step (1st phase), which will be able to enhance a new urban life.
The studio activity is divided into two main phases, where the student builds problematic and thematic questions, the design approach and final results.
Phase 1a. Architectural and urban regeneration masterplan: territorial reading with the interpretation of issues and project themes (natural landscape + urban open space + architectural aggregate)
Phase 1b. Architectural knowledge: building construction techniques, characters and conservation state analysis;
Phase 2. Architectural design: morphological, typological and constructive characters definitions with the development of linguistic and expressive contents.
> Phase 1: Context knowledge and resilience strategies.
- interrelationship linking built and open components, where space in-between determines cohesion within the existing fabric and new interventions;
- historical research allows the students to identify buildings transformations and relate them to the structural elements. The data from the stratigraphic analysis of elevations, the description of construction techniques, the survey of materials and damages will be correlated with each other, identifying duration and causes;
- definition of a function integrated program, according to the typological characters of existing buildings.
Phase 1 | Table of Contents:
T1: Analysis and interpretation of the context | maps, interpretative diagrams, ... [Scale 1: 5.000, 1: 2.000]
T2: Masterplan [Scale 1: 2.000]
T3: Landscape transect and urban elevations [Scale 1: 1000]
Territorial Perspective views
Survey of the stronghold | architectural photogrammetry, survey of structural damages, survey of materials, stratigraphic analysis, ... [Scale 1:100]
Booklet 1 | Knowledge:
Research on the typological and constructive characters of the fortress systems between Umbria, Marche and Lazio.
Analysis of contemporary castles and fortresses restoration projects
Statement of the project, with references to the current architectural culture.
Model 1: scale 1: 1000.
> Phase 2: Architectural design phase
Based on the masterplan, the building or aggregation of buildings will be deeply designed in the relationship between built and open space, functional, typological and technical-construction contents.
Conceptual diagram which highlights the primary, secondary objectives, tools and methods adopted.
Coherent study on the theoretical approach with bibliography.
Model 2: Model of the buildings [scale tbc]
>>>> Studio organization
Students will develop the different phases of the work in groups made up of at most three components. Students are encouraged to carry out innovative research in comparison with current and international architectural studies and experiments and, consequently, articulate their thoughts. Drawings, sketches, diagrams, models will support theoretical understanding. Making scale models will be an essential step of the studio work too.
Modalità di valutazione
Studio attendance is compulsory, according to the established academic statute. According to the two studio’s phases, the atelier will schedule one midterm review, whereby the students' teams will present and discuss the ongoing work. A midterm evaluation will be a pilot for the final evaluation.
The final review will be held with an external jury. Moreover, the exam will be made up of a discussion of their own works.
The evaluation is aimed at appraising the achievement of the following students’ abilities according to the Dublin Descriptors:
Knowledge and understanding of the course topics (DD.1): the knowledge of tools and methods necessary to read and interpret the territorial context, its history and the sense of the place, as well as the building artefacts will be necessary for the understanding of the architectural project.
Ability in applying knowledge and understanding (DD.2): the student’s work will demonstrate the ability to apply basic knowledge and investigation tools to the case study and to develop personal proposals, both for interpreting the existing situation and for modifying them.
Ability in making judgements (DD.3): the accuracy of the drawings and the design narrative will recognise the skills of avoiding simplifications and interpreting the theoretical references or the current practice. The achievement is to articulate the acquired knowledge through a personal interpretation and coherent design proposals.
Communication skills (DD.4): the communication skill will be assessed, socially, and culturally (balance between different goals and verbal communication), and graphical/technical presentation.
Learning skills (DD.5): the studio aims to acquire a working method to be applied and adapted in other case studies, providing necessary skills for independently implementing new forms of knowledge and developing analysis and resolution techniques of intervention.
Bernardini A., Seismic damage to masonry buildings: proceedings of the international workshop on measures of seismic damage to masonry buildings: Monselice, Padova, Italy: 25-26 June 1998, Editore: Rotterdam Balkema, Anno edizione: 1999
Connerton, P., How societies remember, Editore: Cambridge University Press, Anno edizione: 1989
de la Torre, M., Assessing the Values of Cultural Heritage: Research Report, Editore: The Getty Conservation Institute, Anno edizione: 2002 https://www.getty.edu/conservation/publications_resources/pdf_publications/pdf/assessing.pdfHalbwachs, M., On Collective Memories, Editore: The University of Chicago Press, Anno edizione: 1992
Jokilehto, J., A History of Architectural Conservation, Editore: Butterwort/Heinemann, Anno edizione: 1999
Marini S., Corbellini G., Recycled Theory - Dizionario illustrato / Illustrated Dictionary, Editore: Quodlibet Studio Città e paesaggio, Anno edizione: 2016
Ricoeur, P., La Mémoire, l'histoire, l'oubli, Editore: Points essais, Anno edizione: 2003
Rossi, A., L'architettura della città, Editore: Quodlibet, Anno edizione: 2011
Yourcenar, M., Le temps, ce grand sculpteur, Editore: Gallimard, Anno edizione: 1983
Nessun software richiesto
Tipo Forma Didattica
Ore di attività svolte in aula
Ore di studio autonome
Laboratorio Di Progetto
Informazioni in lingua inglese a supporto dell'internazionalizzazione
Insegnamento erogato in lingua
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
Thematic bibliography will be specified during the semester, following the specific lectures.
The studio materials will be published on "BeeP" or "one drive" website.