Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Sustainable cities Responsible consumption and production Partnerships for the goals

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

At the end of the class, student has knowledge of the history of architectural conservation and its evolution during the two last centuries. In particular, at the end of the course he/she is able to critically identify the principle of historical building conservation and the effects of their application on the present built environment.

Course contents

Heritage preservation, referred to buildings and monuments, in its modern meaning, is a relatively recent field of study, being born in the early nineteenth century. However, in just over two centuries, many theories have been developed, creating a story - it would be better saying: stories - and a very articulated discipline; in many ways, a fascinating one. During the course will students will be provided with the basics of the history of the discipline, trying to link, as far as possible, the theoretical statements of the actors who are protagonists to the practical results of their action, dealing with theories and ideas, but also work, projects and technical aspects. The course will also be organized through visits to monuments and restored buildings, where specialized scholars will help us to understand in depth and "on the spot" what and how it was done.


  • J. Jokilehto, An history of Architectural conservation, Routledge, 2017 (2Ed.).
  • J. H. Stubbs, Time Honored. A global view of Architectural Conservation, Wiley & Sons, New Jersey 2009

Readings regarding specific topics will be suggested during the lessons. 

Teaching methods

Ex-cathdera lessons; visits on site

Assessment methods

The final exam consists of a discussion on the topics covered during the course, aimed at the evaluation of the theoretical knowledge acquired during the course, the possession of a specific language and the acquisition of an organic vision of the topics covered in class; and of the explanation of the work by the students (organized in groups of 3-4) related to case studies, proposed by the teaching team.
Good or excellent grades can be achieved by students who demonstrate a critical knowledge of the subject, who are able to apply theoretical concepts to practical examples and make use of an appropriate language. Mostly mnemonic knowledge, limited abilities of synthesis and analysis and imprecise language lead to grades ranging from discrete to sufficient. Important gaps, inappropriate language, lack of an overview of the topics covered will inevitably lead to a barely adeguate grade or to a negative evaluation.



Teaching tools

The course is organized through lectures, visits to monuments and individual and collective checks. During the lectures, we'll discuss some general theoretical topics and illustrate restoration cases, considered particularly meaningful in several respects. The visits, which will be organized in various cities, will be prepared through specific lessons in the classroom and conducted by specialists on site. The tests, which consist of exercises for the recognition of specific methodology of intervention, critical readings of specific restoration or in the preparation of restoration projects "in the manner of ...", will allow students and professors to take stock of progress their preparation.

Office hours

See the website of Marco Pretelli