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Second Semester 
Teaching style
Lingua Insegnamento

Informazioni aggiuntive

Course Curriculum CFU Length(h)
[80/72]  ARCHITECTURE [72/30 - Ord. 2017]  ARCHITETTURA E SOSTENIBILITA' 10 100



1. To hone the interpretative tools of the space, its relationships and of its internal code at the different levels;
2. To consolidate knowledge and best practices in building construction and quality urban spaces;
3. To develop the management capacity of the design issues and processes;
4. The awareness of the importance of being part of the reconstruction process of the Italian cultural tradition into the design practice, since both the consciousness rising of Italian own specificity into the global framework and the essential centrality of the ideas of ‘site’, ‘history’ and ‘context’;

In particular:

Knowledge and understanding. The ability to set up and explore the project the consistent, complex and spatial connections among the design components and these latter and history, architecture and the site.
Ability (know-how). The activity of the laboratory prompts the student to fulfill the stages and steps of the design process, to summarize complex issues, to develop the ability to self-relate to others to instruct, conduct and communicate the design concept in a rational, compelling, brief and exhaustive way.
Conduct (to be). The workshop stimulates the student’s natural skill to create logical connections among issues. It encourages the increase in awareness level of observable physical space syntax and trains the taste elevating the critical sense and ability in distinguishing the beauty.
Outcomes. At the end, it is expected that the student will be able to: autonomously instruct the design concept since the reading of the relationship system of the urban/landscape context in which the architecture has been located; identify a formal-spatial-building-aesthetic and relational target; identify congruous and useful materials of architecture (topics, examples, archetypes, models and type) to develop the design concept, achieving his/her goal; assess the project’s internal coherence; depict the design efficiently through the conventional tools of the subject; be able to argue and defend his/her own point of view on the studied topic, on the project and, generally, on the architecture


The educational objective of the Course is to provide critical and operational tools necessary for the knowledge of building materials that are alternative to conventional materials: earth, straw, bamboo, etc. An in-depth analysis of the basic materials will be the premise to address the study of problems related to the building factory.

Knowledge (to know):
The training contents are:
- knowledge of historical / traditional materials and techniques in the world that can be used as new building materials, verification of the possibility of their use for contemporary architecture
- new construction techniques with earth (adobe, pisè, BTC, torchis, etc ...), straw, bamboo.
- practices of interpretation of the principles of vernacular architecture for a sustainable architecture (Italian and international examples)
- normative outlines

Capacity (to know how to do):
- the construction with alternative materials, methods and techniques
- the structural design of walls made of non-conventional materials
- theoretical and technical knowledge for the conservation and reuse of traditional architectures
- solving the specific architectural and construction problems of raw earth architectures
A practical workshop will be held at the LAT Laboratorio Arti della Terra di Serrenti



The student should have achieved a minimum capacity of analysis on the context, observation of the direct/indirect relationships (spatial, historical, building, topographic, economic, social and functional) and of structuring the logical path of the project at least at the minimum, or intermediate, level of complexity. The student should be able to autonomously provide himself some references within the architecture’s history coherently to the design issues, interpreting those appropriately and not purely figurative. As a minimum prerequisite, the student has to be sufficiently able in the architectural depiction of the project, mastering the drawing rules (thickness, dotted lines, and heights), the orthogonal projections, the perspective and the axonometry. The student has to be able to depict the project three-dimensionally using models of study. Also, it is considered useful to be able to use the 2d/3d software. There is no preliminary test of propaedeutic knowledge; nevertheless, if the professor recognizes the lack of some requirements during the workshop, he will bring it to the student’s attention, identifying together the modality to fill the gap.

Architectural Engineering module



The design studio develops a building design in a real (or plausible at least) context.

The architectural engineering module integrates with the architectural design module with elements related to the use of unconventional materials and techniques useful for the definition of the project:
1. From vernacular to sustainable architecture
2. Historical materials for contemporary architecture
3. Characteristics of unconventional materials;
4. the elements of the factory

Teaching Methods


The educational project aims at consolidating the relationship between the design and the sites and setting an approach based on a logical, yet non-linear reasoning, open and continuous in all its different stages: observation and description, the definition of hypotheses and application of techniques, comparison, and verification, communication.
Within the Master course of study, didactics should be grounded in the elementary learning acquired, developed and consolidated during the previous academic studies. Therefore, both lectures and seminars of this class shall provide only very expert theoretical knowledge and specific information which are strictly related to the topics involved the planning process.
Didactics of the project should be implemented using workshop activities and through the direct and continuous discussion between students and teacher. Concerning this point, two different methods for mid-term check have been established: the face-to-face review and the critical debate. In the first case, the teacher, together with the tutors, specifically corrects every single project, suggesting modifications and changes to improve the quality of the proposal, evaluates the technical and economic feasibility of the solution and recommends appropriate examples and references to consult and study. The second consists of a public presentation in which every group illustrates and explains its planning proposal to the others, to trigger a general discussion and to stimulate the collective participation (professors, tutors, and students). Throughout the entire course, the teacher will set and provide a list of compulsory verifications aimed at validating the student attendance at the scheduled activities. Due to the high number of participants in the workshop activities, to the complexity of the subjects and the considerable didactic and workload, students are required to work in groups of about 2-3 persons.

Lectures will be conducted in the classroom with the help of a video projector, showing pictures on the topic and educational videos.
The practical classes provide the involvement of students applying the "learning by doing" methodology . In the educational building-site set up at the LAT Serrenti participants will realize scale models of walls with openings, arches and domes made with different construction techniques.

Verification of learning


During the final exam, the student has to discuss about the architectural choices express in the design documents with reference to the principles of composition, to the relations with the context, to the typological and distributive choices, to the constructive features, to the building sustainability, to the linguistic and formal choices, to the sizing of spaces, to the architectonical references used.
Moreover, the examinee will argue about the structural system chosen concerning the researched spatial values.
At the end of the oral exam, the student will have a vote based on the evaluation of the same and the overall value of the submitted project (completeness, consistency, maturity, representation).
The evaluation will be express by public graded list, defined by a Selection Board, constituted by five architects, two of which, external (teachers of the faculty, visiting professors or famous architects).


The assessment of the level of knowledge achieved by the students will be done through an oral test aimed at verifying the acquisition of the basic notions as by program, the design solutions proposed in terms of materials, construction techniques, systems used for passive energy control of buildings. The evaluation will also take into account the practical work carried out during the practical training.



Campo Baeza A., L’idea Costruita,Siracusa, Letteraventidue, 2012
Coccia L., L’architettura del suolo, Firenze, Alinea Editrice, 2005
Espuelas F., Madre Materia, Milano, Marinotti, 2012
Holl S. Pallasmaa J. Pérez-Gómez A., Questions of perception. Phenomenology of architecture, San Francisco, William Stout Publishers, 2008
Martí Arís C., La cèntina e l'arco. Pensiero, teoria, progetto in architettura, Milano, Marinotti, 2007
Moneo R., Inquietudine teorica e strategia progettuale nell'opera di otto architetti contemporanei, Milano, Electa, 2005
Monestiroli A., La metopa e il triglifo. Nove lezioni di architettura, Bari, Editori Laterza, 2002
Salvadori M., Perché gli edifici stanno in piedi, Milano, Bompiani, 2003
Tessenow H., Osservazioni elementari sul costruire, Milano, Franco Angeli, 1993
Zumthor P., Pensare architettura, Milano, Electa, 2004

M. Achenza, U. Sanna, Manuale tematico della terra cruda, ed. DEI, Roma 2009
CRATerre, TRAITE DE CONSTRUCTION EN TERRE, Ed. Parentèse, Marsiglia 1989, (Versione anche in inglese dello stesso editore)
L. Fontaine, R. Anger, Batire en terre, ed. Lesperou 2010
M. Correia, L. Dipasquale, S. Mecca, Versus, heritage for tomorrow. Vernacular knowledge for sustainable architecture, a cura di, ed. Firenze University Press, Firenze 2014

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