Academic Year 2022/2023 - 4° Year
Docente: Maria Rosaria VITALE e Chiara CIRCO
Crediti: 12
SSD: ICAR/19 - Architectural restoration
Organizzazione didattica: 300 ore d'impegno totale, 156 di studio individuale, 144 di laboratorio

Expected Learning Outcomes

The Laboratory aims to provide the tools for the elaboration of the restoration project of a historical building with conservation problems. The elaboration process is based on "a knowledge that is historical, but also geometric, dimensional, physical, technological". The main objective is therefore the acquisition of a project methodology based on three phases (knowledge, interpretation, and definition of the intervention) presented through lectures and put into practice through a project exercise. 


One of the objectives of the course is to allow students to integrate the historical, technological, and structural knowledge acquired in the previous years of the curriculum, using it appropriately for the conservation of the architectural heritage. 


The steps of the design process are illustrated using frontal lessons that provide the minimum knowledge for understanding the architectural artefact (geometric and material consistency, interpretation of deterioration mechanisms and transformations that have occurred over time) and for defining the appropriate intervention criteria for its conservation.

Course Structure

The class includes:

1) lectures focused on methodological topics and disciplinary contents. 

2) Practical activities aimed at testing the methodology application on the study-case (workshop activities). 

Required Prerequisites




-       Design Studio 3

-       Theory and history of restoration


Basics of: History of Architecture; Historical construction technologies, static behaviour of masonry buildings.

Attendance of Lessons

Attendance is compulsory at 70% of the overall number of hours in the laboratory. For those entitled under Article 23 of the University Teaching Regulations, the percentage of compulsory attendance is 50%. 

Detailed Course Content

Knowledge of historic buildings: the methodological path of restoration (knowledge, interpretation, and design). The knowledge phase: survey and historical bibliographic research; architectural survey fundamentals, graphic restitution, methods, and scales of representation; the main documentary sources and their relationship with the building; the survey of construction technique (elements and assemblages).

Analysis and interpretation of the state of conservation: examination of the traces on the building and of the stratifications and transformations that have occurred. Identification of the state of decay and deterioration. Identification of current and predictable damage (cracking frameworks, collapse mechanisms, damage scenarios).

The restoration project: 
intervention methodologies, guiding principles (reversibility, compatibility, and minimum intervention) and operational solutions. Reorganisation of the architectural space, compatible reuse of the built heritage, local and global interventions on masonry construction); conservative intervention techniques: reinforcement and seismic improvement. The urban scale of restoration: redevelopment of public space in historic contexts.

Textbook Information

CAROCCI, C.F.Metodologie di analisi sul costruito murario storico, in Carocci C.F. (a cura di), Conoscere per abitare. Un seminario di studio a Motta Camastra, (pp. 17-42)Lombardi2008
 VARAGNOLI, C.La materia degli antichi edifici, in Trattato di restauro architettonico, diretto da G. Carbonara, vol. I (pp. 303-470)UTET1996
FIORANI, D.Rilievo del degrado e diagnostica, in Trattato di restauro architettonico, diretto da G. Carbonara, vol. II (pp. 523-580)UTET1996
GIUFFRÈ, A.Guida al progetto di restauro antisismico, in Giuffrè, A. (a cura di), Sicurezza e conservazione dei centri storici. Il caso Ortigia, (pp. 151 -180).Laterza1993
DOGLIONI, F. Ruolo e salvaguardia delle evidenze stratigrafiche nel progetto e nel cantiere di restauro, Atti del Seminario Internacional de Arqueologìa de la Arquitectura- Vitoria-Gasteiz, 18-21 febbraio 2002, in “Arqueologìa de la Arquitectura”, n. 1, Università dei Paesi Baschi, Vitoria-Gasteiz, (pp.113-130).2002
CARMASSI, M. Approcci Metodologici, Progetto di restauro, Metodologie di progettazione del Restauro, in Il Manuale del Restauro Architettonico, (direttore scientifico L. Zevi), (pp. 151-21). Mancosu2001

Course Planning

 SubjectsText References
1Knowledge of historic buildings1, 2 (Carocci 2008, Varagnoli 1996)
2Analysis and interpretation of the state of conservation3, 4 (Fiorani 1996, Giuffrè 1993)
3The restoration project4, 5, 6 (Giuffrè 1993, Doglioni 2002, Carmassi 2001)

Learning Assessment

Learning Assessment Procedures

Full completion of the exercise topic and active participation in the teaching activities of the course are necessary conditions for admission to the examination.    

The seminar exercise involves the production of assignments that demonstrate the execution of the theoretical-practical activities proposed by the lecturer.

The examination is individual and will be based on the exercise topic as a starting point for a discussion of the topics covered in the lectures as well as the contents of the bibliography provided during the course.


The knowledge of the contents of the textbooks in the Syllabus is necessary to participate in the examination.

Examples of frequently asked questions and / or exercises

Activities of the knowledge phase in the restoration project; definition of restoration project criteria; effects of earthquakes on masonry buildings: damage mechanisms; assessment of the mechanical quality of masonry; definition of restoration project criteria.