Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

The course deals with the theoretical and operative instruments pertaining to architectural composition at different scales of intervention, from architecture to urban design, to relationship between architecture and landscape. The main objective of the course and the design workshop is the design of new residential constructions: architecture, collective spaces, landscape and green areas, with a specific attention to the topic of energy efficiency.

Course contents

Places and architecture, both built or just imagined, are considered as borders within which the entrenchment of architecture is defined: they are space intended as the main scenario of the constant reinvention where the past and new are part of the same elaboration. The work that this studio intends to carry out focuses on the definition of the architectural project in relation to the construction of the urban space; if we consider architecture as a science characterized by its specific multidisciplinary corpus, and intended as a process of acquiring knowledge urban facts and elements, we can therefore infer that shape coincides with the result of such a process, and with the most suitable solution to the same needs which have required the construction of architecture in the first place. Therefore, the design defines itself in a technical-practical dimension, which leads to the analysis of how during times and years, answers have developed to specific questions of architecture, creating typical solutions; finally the design separates itself from its historical dimension as it leaves behind the very meanings which gradually have been associated to the forms. The main field of action of the design work will indeed be the relationship which is established with architectural tradition and with building typologies in which the correct response to problems posed to architecture has crystallized in permanent forms.


Bruno, Francesco. Ludwig Hilberseimer. La costruzione di un’idea di città. Il periodo tedesco, Milano: Il Libraccio, 2010 (Milano: Il Libraccio, 2015);

Rational architecture. The reconstruction of the European city, Bruxelles: Editions des Archives d’architecture moderne, 1978;

Focillon, Henry. Vita delle forme. Milano: Minuziano, 1945 (Torino: G.Einaudi, 2002);

Grassi, Giorgio. Scritti scelti 1965 -1999. Milano: F. Angeli, 2000;

Grassi, Giorgio. Dead Language (Lotus Documents). Milano: Electa/Rizzoli, 1988;

Hilberseimer, Ludwig. Architettura a Berlino degli anni ‘20, Milano: F. Angeli, 1979 (Milano: F. Angeli 1981);

Hilberseimer, Ludwig. Mies van der Rohe. Milano: Clup 1984 (Milano: CittàStudi, 1993);

Hilberseimer, Ludwig. Un’idea di piano. Venezia: Marsilio, 1967 (Venezia: Marsilio 1985);

Lévi-Strauss, Claude. Tristi tropici. Milano: Il Saggiatore, 1960 (Milano: Il Saggiatore 2015);

Loos, Adolf. Parole nel vuoto. Milano: Adelphi, 1972 (Milano: Adelphi 2014);

Lord, James. Un ritratto di Giacometti. Roma: Nottetempo, 2004;

Progetti per Ca’ Venier dei Leoni” in Progetto Venezia -Terza Mostra Internazionale di Architettura, II voll. Venezia: Biennale di Venezia/Electa Editrice, 1985;

Rossi, Aldo. Autobiografia scientifica. Parma: Pratiche, 1990 (Milano: Il Saggiatore, 2009);

Rossi, Aldo. “Caratteri urbani delle città venete”, in Aymonino, Carlo et al. La città di Padova. Saggio di analisi urbana. Padova: Marsilio, 1970, pp.419-490;

Rossi, Aldo. Scritti scelti sull’architettura e la città 1956-1972, a cura di Rosaldo Bonicalzi. Milano: Clup, 1978 (Macerata: Quodlibet, 2012);

Martí Arís, Carlos. Le variazioni dell’identità. Il tipo in architettura. Milano: CittàStudi, 1990 (Milano: CittàStudi, 1993);

Muratori, Saverio. Studi per un’operante storia urbana di Venezia. Roma: Istituto Poligrafico dello Stato, 1960;

Pracchi, Attilio. Il tetto e le stelle. Osservazioni sulla casa tradizionale e le fiabe. Bologna: Ogni uomo è tutti gli uomini, 2015;

Rogers, Ernesto Nathan. Esperienza dell’architettura. Torino: G. Einaudi 1958 (Milano: Skira 1997);

Savini, Maura et al., a cura di. La città interrotta. Bologna: Renoedizioni, 2010;

Scotti, Francesca. Ludwig Hilberseimer. Lo sviluppo di un’idea di città. Il periodo americano. Milano: Il Libraccio, 2008 (Milano: Il Libraccio, 2013);

Tessenow, Heinrich. Osservazioni elementari sul costruire. Milano: F. Angeli, 1979 (Milano: F. Angeli 2016).

Teaching methods

The main area of application coincides with the historic city, and concerns a well known issue, still open and subject of numerous experimentations, the completion of Ca’ Venier dei Leoni (Guggenheim Museum) in Venice. Starting from the uncompleted nature that identifies it, the hypothesis of a completion of or an addition to the Guggenheim Museum aims to outline the project according to composition and structural lines intended to define it as part of an hypothesis of construction that pertains to the entire city; in this way, the design will relate with the actual reading of the architecture of the place for which is intended, with the extraordinary Venetian architecture, but also with the clear and repeated character of the urban texture, with the structure of settlement. Therefore, it also relates with the concatenation of urban facts at different scales, that ties the “house” to the division and occupation of urban parcels, the characters of the canals, streets and different urban voids and open spaces. The design, looking at an established experience, looks at built architectures aiming to understand the connections which are already fixed, the different urban parts and elements built through time measuring them with what has already been designed and realised. By doing so, it will be possible to introduce once again the urban space and the ways of its construction within the architectural design. The necessary re-formalisation that such a relationship requires, induces the deepening of the relationship between new hypothesis and consolidated city, between old and new, showing that the problem coincides once again with the need to reason upon the transformation of urban facts by analysing their nature, their specific characters, so that the act of understanding and actually designing architecture are inextricably linked in one process.

Assessment methods

The exam is centred upon a discussion concerning the choices operated during the design process regarding the main architectural problems and questions identified in the project.

Teaching tools

The didactic structure of the studio supposes a structure based on the necessary continuity and relation between theory, hypothesis of construction, technical elements and drawing, and will be centred upon the discussion with the different work groups and upon the moments of collective discussion within the entire workshop.

Office hours

See the website of Maura Savini