48295 - Architectural and Urban Composition

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Gino Malacarne

  • Learning modules Gino Malacarne (Modulo 1)
    Gino Malacarne (Modulo 2)

  • Credits 8

  • SSD ICAR/14

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures (Modulo 1)
    Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)

  • Language Italian

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

The goal of the graduation laboratory is to offer students a moment of critical and operational overview on the necessary expertise to the development of an architectural project, in a process that involves the study of the site, the identification of themes and theoretical approaches, the consistency of architectural and compositional choices, the architectural building control through the issue of the construction. Through the instruments of the discipline, the student will be led to develop an autonomous vision on the problems and appropriate solutions for an urban complex project.

Course contents

The Final Workshop Urban Design (16 ECTS, 192 hours) consists of the modules Architectural and Urban Composition (8 ECTS, 96 hours), Town Planning and Design (2 ECTS, 24 hours) and Architecture for the regeneration of urban landscape (6 ECTS, 72 hours).

The field of experimentation of this workshop experience is defined around the issues related to the project of the processing areas to urban and regional scale; starting with an analysis of the different settlement systems of the city the attempt will be to discuss and define the principles and the ways of the construction / reconstruction of the possible forms of the contemporary city.

In a moment of crisis in which urban design often its solved as a summation of individual architectures apart from their urban context we will try to focus on ways and means that have a large degree of generality in theory, corresponding to different positions of contemporary architectural culture.

Within these general theoretical purposes, the research will be developed through the design applied to different themes in different real settings, which have paradigmatic value: unused areas to repurpose and reconfigure, districts to be redeveloped, margin areas to be complete; these urban issues represent valuable opportunities to give shape, quality and new identity to parts of fragmented, frayed, unfinished and peripherals cities.

Many cities, large, medium and even small size, have numerous and extensive areas to be converted or retrained substantially. After the divestment of the large industrial areas - the first occasion that has put the issue of urban transformation thirty years ago - other large system are becoming unused for several reasons: infrastructure systems such as airports, railways and ports, military areas and buildings no longer in use, hospitals no longer adequate, large wholesale markets, slaughterhouses and large convents, all places full of potential but that today they leave large voids, sometimes even in central cities areas, while decreeing the abandonment of valuable buildings that deserve to be inhabited again.

Along with these, whole peripheral urban areas, usually in residential or mixed use, need to be extensively redesigned, adapted and retrained. Still, many fringe areas lack a unified design able to complete it, to connect the system to a bigger urban scale, and capable to defines a new shape and identity.

Starting from the current high degree of concern and complexity of these areas of application the projects are the opportunity to set up a broad debate on the urban development, not as a mere extension but as an attempt to redevelopment and regeneration of existing parts of cities, which, however, still do not possess their stable form.

This makes it necessary to investigate the problem of the possible city construction mode; trying to clarify ideas and principles through the materialisation of the appropriate forms; establishing new relations with the context, in particular the natural one radically transformed in its meaning and significance comparing to the settlement choices to be taken.

It is a crucial and strategically important issue, rich in potential applications, which, through the systematic study of some areas, analyses the urban transformation requirements, providing the tools to rethink many areas today in a conversion.

The proposed project allows to rethink the ways of growth and regeneration of the city through the current urban issues, such as: the protection of soil, the comparison with the natural elements and the existing buildings, the consideration for the character of the places, the attention to the aspects of savings and energy efficiency, quality and cost of building systems, new forms of live.

Precisely on this last point, the laboratory will propose a research on the various possible forms of the collective home; firstly by investigating this topic through the study of the examples provided by the history of architecture, which are particularly interesting in defining the boundaries of a typological reference horizon. However, from this knowledge base, the current issues involved in this architectural theme will be explored. In particular the character of the shared spaces and of the areas of relationships that qualify the collective home, will be considered with respect to contemporary living. The collective home is also thought as an opportunity to rethink social housing, trying to simplify and optimize times and ways of construction, thus limiting costs, while responding to new issues of building sustainability. The objective is therefore to redefine "a home for all", through a qualitative idea of living.

The laboratory work is therefore thought as a collective work with students that sees in the various projects the opportunity to experiment with different design interventions and redesign of significant parts of the city and their territory.


Readings/Bibliography

A. Rossi, Scritti scelti, Milano, Clup, 1975.

A. Rossi, L'architettura della città, Milano, Clup, 1978.

O.M. Ungers, La città dialettica, Milano, Skira, 1997.

Colin Rowe e Fred Koetter, Collage city, Milano, Il Saggiatore, 1981.

LA RICOSTRUZIONE DELLA CITTA', Berlino-IBA 1987, XVII Triennale di Milano. A cura di M. De Michelis. P. Nicolin, W. Oechslin, F. Werner, Milano, Electa, 1985.

La Casa. Forme e luoghi dell’abitare urbano. A cura di Gino Malacarne, Milano, Skira, 2013.

Specific Bibliographies will be provided during the workshop.


Teaching methods

The workshop will consist of a series of lectures and seminars on theoretical content and objectives of the workshop. In the lessons we will try to investigate, through the example of works and projects of architecture, the logical principles of architectural composition; other lessons instead will be devoted to readings of "architectural texts" - projects and achievements - significant, which will be investigated links between design practice and theory, and with particular attention at the thinking of some of the masters of modern architecture. In addition to lessons, there are design exercises that will take place during class. Deadlines and procedures for lodging the exercises will be announced at the opening of the workshop. The lessons will be joined by the periodic reviews of the work of individual students and some group seminars on the state of the work. The lab will develop drawing on content from the disciplines related to urban planning and landscape architecture.

Assessment methods

The Final Workshop Urban Design (16 ECTS, 192 hours) consists of the modules Architectural and Urban Composition (8 ECTS, 96 hours), Town Planning and Design (2 ECTS, 24 hours) and Architecture for the regeneration of urban landscape (6 ECTS, 72 hours).

The final exam of the Urban Design Workshop includes the assessment of the contents of all the modules that constitute the integrated Laboratory; the verification will take place in a single exam.

The assessment of the themes of the Laboratory will concern the evaluation of the project's elaborations, of the exercises carried out during the year and the verification of the knowledge of the theoretical issues dealt with during the lessons.Documentation required for the final assessment: historical, cartographic and environmental documentation appropriate to the intervention context; documentation on town planning tools related to the city and to the site; models and plans of the actual site and of the project.

To illustrate the fundamental design intentions, the project will be developed through:

- texts, tables, drawings at different scales collected in a laboratory book;

- drawings in A1 / A0 format.

Basic materials required:

  • Historical analysis (historical, topographical and figurative references related to the area; relationships between the project area and the urban context; the architecture of the city, characters and developments; evolution of urban development).

  • Planimetric insertion at urban scale (1: 2000 or 1: 5000)

  • Planivolumetric insertion with existing situation and project (scale 1: 1000)

  • Ground floor and / or floor plans (scale 1: 500)

  • Significant profiles (scale 1: 500)

  • Perspectives, axonometric views

  • Architectural study of at least one building (for students who support individual assessment) and at least two buildings (for groups consisting of 2 students), through plans, elevations, sections in scale 1: 200.

  • Architectural model in scale 1: 500


Teaching tools

Teaching tools

Laboratory for class exercises, models laboratory, PC, digital video projector, printers and plotter.


Office hours

See the website of Gino Malacarne