Übung Ergänzungsfach


Tools for housing in the existing city

The soil consumption of the XX century and the first decades of XXI one asks to the architects to find new strategies to intervene in the already urbanized territories with the aim to preserve virgin and agricultural areas. The needs to build new neighborhoods where living and producing coexists with the demand of protecting the natural conditions of the lands. Balancing this opposite goals means a mind shift for professionals, that implies to address design and construction efforts to the existing territories of the city (already transformed, dense or not, used or dismissed, historical or modern).

From the XVIII century onwards, architects have being trained to think the discipline with the goal to realize isolated whole buildings, possibly classified by typologies, to inhabit, produce and organize the modern city. We have learnt that what pre-exists is a problem of conservation; step by step Modernity has transformed the historical cities into monuments impossible to inhabit, with the paradox that dwelling and housing have been reduced to a potential never ending suburban dorms rounding a void city-center.

Working on the existing city implies the research of new approaches while blurring and overlapping the concepts of modern, contemporary or historical architecture in order to bring back housing to the city.

This mini-series course is an excavation to call back the tools of the architects before the idea of Modernity, when we were used to think the space as a whole to be infilled by singular elements or architecture, that were useful to complete unfinished buildings or transform the existing ones for new purposes.

In the lesson of Rome, a façade, a roof, a floor, the stairs were thought as projects themselves: independent figures to be applied to a specific urban condition able to realize additions, build up new wings, make a building higher - in other words- stratify the city. This approach, every time applied to different sites, has invented a catalogue of operations to be rediscovered and studied for new experiments in contemporary architecture for dwelling and housing.

The communications will present the dissertation on 3 specific elements - the façade, the roof, the stairs – starting from the lesson of Rome. The discussions present precedents and declinations, then are supported by exercises investigating concepts of housing in contemporary design.


2h, 2.5 ECTS
HS 7 Schütte-Lihotzky
The exercise will be introduced and the task explained on Mon 19 Dec 22 from 5-7pm.
Submission of the project: 10 March
Presentation and feedback of the exercise on 10 and 11 March.
Examination modalities
A project on a scale of 1:100, illustrated in an A3 folder and a model.