Academic Year 2023/2024 - 2° Year
Teaching Staff: Eugenio MAGNANO DI SAN LIO
Credit Value: 12
Scientific field: ICAR/17 - Drawing
Laboratories: 144 hours
Term / Semester: One-year

Expected Learning Outcomes

After having acquired the fundamentals of Representation in the first year of their degree course and then having applied the same to the Representation of Architecture, students experience the relationship between representation and reality of the architectural object, in a relationship that is analogous, but inverse , to that between project drawing and concrete reality of the built object.

In preparation for the disciplines of building recovery and restoration, the Architectural Drawing and Survey course intends to provide the specific knowledge of this discipline which constitutes the first phase, especially from the point of view of form, but with implications in historical, structural and technological, of the overall knowledge of a building which is an indispensable premise for the implementation of a correct recovery and restoration project.

Course Structure

Lessons are held mostly in the classroom, providing students with the theoretical foundations of the different methodologies and tools used in architectural surveying. Part of the lessons regarding direct survey will be held for each of the working groups outdoors on the buildings involved in the survey exercise depending on the characteristics of the object itself, the tools used for the survey and the needs of each individual student due to the shortcomings that can be found in each of them.

Some lessons will be dedicated to the geometric shapes used in architecture with particular reference to those found in the themes of the exercise; other lessons will be dedicated to materials and construction techniques with particular reference to the buildings covered by the exercises and their historical and cultural context.

Lessons on the history and evolution of architectural surveying and drawing will be held in the classroom.

Required Prerequisites

Basic knowledge of representation methods (orthogonal projections, orthogonal and oblique axonometries, perspectives) and their use for the representation of three-dimensional architectural objects is required.

Attendance of Lessons

Pursuant to art. 24 of the University Teaching Regulations and point 3.1 of the Study Course Teaching Regulations, attendance at lessons is mandatory.: In the case of in-person lessons not as simple physical presence, but as active and vigilant presence, in which the exercise of taking notes can be a valid support.

The presence of the student during the revision of the papers produced in the exercise is absolutely essential, since the information provided and the corrections given are aimed at filling the specific gaps shown by each student. Beyond physical presence, participation in the laboratory will be evaluated on the basis of the exercises produced and verified during the reviews.

Detailed Course Content

The course will be divided into two parts; that relating to Architectural Drawing and that relating to Architectural Surveying. Although the second is subordinate to the carrying out of much of the first, there will also be moments of overlap and alternation of the topics covered and the exercises to be performed.

The application of the rules of Descriptive Geometry for the representation of Architecture. From Drawing to Architectural Drawing, from Architectural Drawing to Architectural Survey.

Introduction to the course: The application of the rules of Descriptive Geometry for the representation of Architecture. From Drawing to Architectural Drawing, from Architectural Drawing to Architectural Survey.

Historical outlines of Architectural Drawing: The birth of architectural drawing; the classical era; the middle Ages; the Renaissance, the Baroque, the eighteenth century, the nineteenth century, the twentieth century.

Architectural Drawing and Survey: Project drawing as a tool for analysis, verification, prefiguration of reality and communication, from idea to reality. Surveying as an inverse process of analysis, verification and communication, from reality to its representation.

Geometries of Architecture: The shapes of arches and vaults, logic and geometric characteristics of architectural orders, geometries of mouldings; geometric matrices, metric and proportional analyses, harmonic relationships.

Introduction to the survey exercise: Educational and professional purposes of the survey; the survey as a cognitive act; the countryside sketch; the visible relief; the different types of surveys; the scales of representation and the passages of scale; graphic conventions.

The planimetric survey: The plan as a horizontal section; the tools and methodologies; trilaterations and longimetric survey, triangulations, Cartesian coordinates and polar coordinates; errors and tolerances, the closed polygon and its compensation; closed trilateration and its compensation; hierarchy of survey operations, detailed survey; the relief of curved lines; dimensioning of drawings; connection between the different levels.

The survey of the elevations: Levelling, methods and tools, plumb line, telescopic rod; the survey of horizontal structures, vaults and floors; indirect measurements of thicknesses.

The representation of the relief: Iconic representation and conventions; relationship between measurement operations and representation; thematic representations; survey and computerized representations.

The representation of the relief: Iconic representation and conventions; relationship between measurement operations and representation; thematic representations; survey and computerized representations.

Topographic instruments for indirect surveying: goniometers, azimuth and zenith angles, tacheometer and theodolite, level, laser distance meters; forward intersection relief; Surveying with the 3D laser scanner; three-dimensional models.

The photogrammetric survey: Perspective restitution with a vertical and inclined frame; orthophotos, straightening; stereophotogrammetry, biocular vision, the stereoscopic model, analog and digital restitution; architectural photogrammetry and aerial photogrammetry, 3D surveys through the digital processing of photographic images.

The lessons of the course will be conducted on two parallel tracks: one dedicated to architectural design, to the understanding of the geometries used in the most recurrent lexicons and to their representation; the second dedicated to architectural survey. The two topics will be treated almost simultaneously, however giving priority to topics relating to architectural design and the study of architectural vocabulary.


A first part of the exercises will consist of the redesign of architectural orders, construction elements and vault systems.

A fundamental part of the course is the execution of the survey of a building in working groups, ranging from two to five, the choice of which is agreed with the teacher. The survey is carried out using methods that are as similar as possible to those of a professional survey aimed at a subsequent restoration intervention, especially deepening the knowledge of the geometric and lexical aspects of the building surveyed. The graphic results of the survey will be compared with the initial processing of the order drawings, construction elements and vault systems.

Exam methods

The final exam will be based on the evaluation of the final papers of the exercise and on a verification of theoretical knowledge, both with regards to the survey instruments and methods, and with regard to the understanding of the geometries most used in architecture, especially of those and those of which it was not possible to gain direct experience in the exercises that each one conducted.

Course Planning

 SubjectsText References
1Introduction to the discipline of Architectural Surveying
2The planimetric survey
3The  elevation survey
4Detail survey. Direct survey.
5The architectural order
6The geometric shapes of architecture.
7  Photogrammetry
8History of drawing and architectural survey

Learning Assessment

Learning Assessment Procedures

Ongoing evaluation: the redesign of an architectural order taken from the tables of the treatises of Serlio, Palladio, Scamozzi or Vignola will be carried out by hand in the classroom to verify the learning of forms and proportions in the classical language of architecture used in the buildings covered by the survey exercise. Ongoing evaluation: the manual execution with the measuring points method of a perspective is foreseen for the evaluation of the learning of this system of representation which is also part of the topics covered in the Drawing Laboratory in the first year.

Examples of frequently asked questions and / or exercises

Planimetric survey methods and tools. The survey by polar coordinates or celerimetric. The survey by trilateration. The survey by forward intersection or by triangulation. The closed polygonal: purpose and its execution. The closed trilateration: purpose and its execution. error verification and compensation in the closed polygon. Error verification and compensation in closed trilateration. Survey of curved planimetric sections. Partial and total quotations. Progressive dimensions. Connection of planimetric surveys of multi-storey buildings. Topographic instruments for surveying. leveling; tools and methods. Closed leveling. The optical level. 3D survey with topographical tools. Photogrammetry. Perspective rendering in a vertical painting. Perspective restitution with a tilted frame. Photographic straightening. The orthophoto. The photographic survey by forward intersection.

Geometries of architectural moldings. Barrel vault sections: Barrel vault lunette. Cross vault section. Pavilion vault. Ribbed vault and its section. Spherical plumes. and their section. Drawing and relief of elliptical shapes. Design and relief of a three-centred arch. Design and relief of a pointed arch. Drawing and relief of various shapes of arches. Ovals, characteristics, Huygens construction. Bosse construction. The ellipse: characteristics and tracking.

The methods of photogrammetry. Perspective surbey in a vertical and inclined frame. Photographic straightening, orthophotography. Limitations of the object shape of the objects detectable with the previous methods. Stereophotogrammetry. Aerial photogrammetry. Computerized photogrammetry with the forward intersection method.

The Forma Urbis Romae. Desciptio Urbis Romae. Leonardo da Vinci's map of Imola. Characteristic of the Peutinger table. Pseudo-perspective or pseudo-axonometric representations. The relief of the monuments of Ancient Rome in the Renaissance. The Praetorian tablet. The baculo. the lame team. Characteristics of architectural design in Mesopotamian civilizations and ancient Egypt. The Groma and the centuriation. Cardo and decumanus.