93640 - History of Architecture T-1

Course Unit Page


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

Quality education Partnerships for the goals

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The course aims at providing students with tools for knowledge, analysis and critical reading of the most important and significant architectural and urban works from the Ancient to the Modern age. The objective is to build a knowledge of the evolution of the linguistic, formal and technological processes of the architecture of the past, placing them in the socio-economic and cultural contexts of reference, as a fundamental premise for the development of the understanding of the contemporary world.

Course contents

The program of the lectures will follow a path that will critically analyze the most significant and exemplary phases of the history of Western architecture from the Ancient to the Modern age. It will focus in particular on the formation and evolution of the " classic code" and its "rebirths" over the centuries, until the Baroque age and subsequent developments in the eighteenth century.

Lessons will focus on the following items:

I. Ancient age
- Origins of Greek architecture. The architectural orders. Sacred architecture: the temple.
Greek architecture: Classical and post Classical age. Atene, the Peloponneso and the Ionia. Public and private civil architectures. Space organization and monumental complexes.
- The Hellenistic age in the Mediterranian world. Formal and typological innovations. The cities in the Hellenistic world.
- Roman architecture in the Republican age. Spaces, buildings, building techniques.
Roman architecture in the Imperial age. Public monuments and residential buildings (domus, villae and palatia).
- Late Ancient age. The early Christian architectures. The Byzantine architecture.

II. Medieval age in Italy and Europe
- Carolingian architecture.
- Romanesque architecture in Italy and Europe. Forms, typologies and structures. Romanesque churches, abbeys and monastries.
- Early Gothic architecture in France. Forms, typologies and structures. Gothic architecture spreading throughout Europe.
- Architecture in Italy in 13th and 14th century.
- Architecture in late Medieval age. New perspectives and innovations in Italy between 14th and 15th century.

III. Reinassance in Italy
- Filippo Brunelleschi: forms and building techniques in the Florentine architectures. The birth of modern buildign site: building the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore.
- Leon Battista Alberti between theory and practice of architecture. The De Re Aedificatoria. Architectures in Reinassance courts: Rome, Florence, Mantova, Rimini.
- The revival of "all'antica" architecture in Rome: Donato Bramante and Raffaello Sanzio. The building of the new St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican.
- Early 16th century architecture in the Italian courts: Antonio da Sangallo teh Younger, Baldassarre Peruzzi, Jacopo Sansovino, Giulio Romano.
- Michelangelo Buonarroti architect in Rome and Florence.
- Architectural theory and practice treatises, from Sebastiano Serlio to Jacopo Barozzi da Vignola.
- Andrea Palladio. The Quattro Libri dell'Architettura. Architectures in Veneto: churches, villas, palaces.

IV. Baroque in Italy and Europe
- Early Baroque age in Rome: architectures of Pietro da Cortona, Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Francesco Borromini.

- Guarino Guarini (1624-1683), Filippo Juvarra (1678-1736) and the influence of their architectures in Europe.

V. 18th century: History, Style, Technique

- Giovan Battista Piranesi (1720-1778) and Rome in 18th century

- Architecture in France in 18th century: Neoclassicism and "revolutionary architects". Jacques-Germain Soufflot, Etienne-Louis Boullée, Claude-Nicolas Ledoux and Jean-Nicolas Louis Durand

- England between 18th and 19th centuries. Neo Palladianism; John Soane; Jonh Nash

- Neoclassicim in Germany. Karl Friederich Schinkel and Leo von Klenze


General recommended readings are:

D. Watkin, Storia dell'architettura occidentale, Zanichelli, Bologna 2016 (V Italian edition)

Storia dell’architettura in Italia tra Europa e Mediterraneo (VII-XVIII secolo), edited by M. R. Nobile, A. Naser Eslami, Milan, Pearson 2022

Recommended readings on single program sections are:

Ancient Age:

C. Bozzoni, V. Franchetti Pardo, G. Ortolani, A. Viscogliosi, L'architettura del mondo antico, Laterza, Roma-Bari 2006 (chapters about the topics in the course program)

Medieval Age in Italy and Europe:

R. Bonelli, C. Bozzoni, V. Franchetti Pardo, Storia dell'architettura medievale: l'Occidente europeo, Laterza, Roma-Bari 2012 (chapters about the topics in the course program)

Reinassance in Italy:

Storia dell'architettura italiana. Il Quattrocento, ed. by F. P. Fiore, Electa, Milano 1998; Il primo Cinquecento, ed. by A. Bruschi, Electa, Milano 2002; Il secondo Cinquecento, ed. by C. Conforti, R. J. Tuttle, Electa, Milano 2001 (chapters about the topics in the course program)

P. Murray, L'architettura del Rinascimento italiano, Laterza, Roma-bari 1977 (last edition 2012) (chapters about the topics in the course program)

Baroque in Italy and Europe:

R. Wittkower, Arte e architettura in Italia 1600-1750, Einaudi, Torino 2008 (chapters about the topics in the course program)

18th century:

E. Kaufmann, L'architettura dell'illuminismo, Einaudi, Torino 1981 (hapters about the topics in the course program)

Teaching methods

The lectures will be held in the classroom and illustrated by projections. The topics proposed will be analyzed with particular attention to the evolution of forms, types and construction techniques. Lessons will be accompanied by exercises consisting of inspections of some of the buildings discussed in the program and in-depht analysis of architectures and building complexes. During lessons and exercises the students will be asked to discuss the proposed topics, exercising the ability to critically analyze the architectures and the relationship between forms and building techniques. Punctual information on the methods and the program of the lessons will be provided from time to time during the course.

Assessment methods

The final exam consists of an interview that aims to assess the degree of knowledge reached by the student through the classroom frequency and the study of the reference texts and in-depth analysis, taking into account the critical skills acquired in the analysis of topics and architectures studied. The overall assessment will be based on the results of both the final interview and the activities carried out during the course.

Teaching tools

Lessons will be illustrated by slides and materials specifically prepared by the professor, which will be given to the students on IOL; exercises will consist in visits to some of the analyzed architectures as well as in examinations of single buildings or complexes.

Office hours

See the website of Micaela Antonucci