Academic Year 2023/2024 - 2° Year
Teaching Staff: Fabrizio FOTI
Credit Value: 12
Scientific field: ICAR/14 - Architectural and urban design
Laboratories: 144 hours
Term / Semester: One-year

Expected Learning Outcomes

The course provides some design exercises pertaining to the “Architectural and Urban Design” anticipated by some visits on the project site. The visits will be recorded by critical descriptions in a textual and graphical form.

The exercises will be held individually or in a group form and will be related to two project themes, one for each semester: the design of a small pavilion within a middle age castle ruin (1th semester), the project of a co-housing complex re-using abandoned residential buildings in decay state (2nd semester).

The architectural theme of the house or concerning the housing and, in a more general way, of the historical and contemporary forms of dwelling and inhabiting, is a main topic in the process of acknowledgement and training for an architect. Such theme will be addressed by a monographic cycle of lessons and trough a study of some relevant cases of XIX and XX century dwellings. To the students is asked the comprehension of the general typological characters that define the various declinations of the collective inhabit within the relationship among type and urban form, in order to recognize the correspondences and the analogies with the singular solutions of the existing historical fabrics.

The comparison of typological norm and its exceptions, together with the understanding of the relationships between general principles and site-specific conditions will be the essential requirements for the laboratory’s project exercises. In that regard, it will be studied, in addition to each residential architectures, even the ensemble constituting the small boroughs inserted in a broader urban system, more widespread in the Italian inner territories.

The recent pandemic seems to have accelerated, with its effects, the need of a new urban strategies prevision inherent to future human settlements and to inner area’s communities, i.e., those furthest from the coastal conurbations. The inner area’s settlements of Sicily suffer for a decay of the territorial socio-economical system, in which the more evident effect is the abandonment of the historical central borough.

As a main goal, the studio addresses the student’s training to the themes related to the architectural design for the single or collective building. In this context, the project is interpreted such an essential instrument for the urban form constitution, but also of the place’s renewal, such the borough, the village, the urban ensemble, the preexistences in waste condition. Therefore, to the essential prerogatives of the heritage’s safeguard and protection, it is joined the prediction of several regenerative interventions that implies the graft of the new within the existent buildings.

 In that regard, the studio exercises will regard the design of a co-housing complex, trough the re-using of abandoned building in a ruderization state into the Castelvecchio borough of Palazzolo Acreide, and the design of a small pavilion for public facilities and co-working spaces on the medieval castle’s site. 

Course Structure


The lessons, the exercises and the final exams will be held on presence.

The studio’s first part will be characterized by monographic lectures focused on the theme of the type and on its relationship with the urban form.

Lesson’s themes will be:

-       Recurring forms of architecture. The type: topics and evolutions.

-       The patio and the historical evolution of the inhabiting around a void idea. 

-       The single house’s theme. From the domus to the ancient Mediterranean city and from the roman villa to the Palladio’s villa; the suburban villa of the modern and of the contemporary. 

-       The relationship between the house’s type and the form of the city.

-       The historical evolution of the block’s form; the townhouse’s type, the gothic lot and the intra-mœnia compact city, the traditional townhouse’s type hybridizations in some modern and contemporary experiments; the courtyard’s palazzo and the renaissance’s city.

-       The collective dwellings, from the roman insulæ to the Fourier’s Phalanstery, the Viennese Hofe, the Le Corbusier’s “Immeuble Villa” and the contemporary housing. 

-       The Pavillion’s type.

-       The types of the city: the block, the square, the street, the walls and other infrastructures.

-       Types of the Modern: the museum, the skyscraper, the station, the terminal.

-       Rem Koolhaas, the culture of congestion and the bigness in architecture (Delirious New York). 

-       The city of the Modern and the urban dichotomy diffusion (ancient city vs modern city, compact city vs sprawl city, city vs countryside) and the developing of the urban dispersion and of the urban pulverization. 

Main didactical moment of the first studio’s part will be, above all, a programmed external activities cycle (RICOGNIZIONI a mano libera), alternated to classroom’s laboratory activities focused on the deepening of the topics addressed during the external activities.

During the reconnaissance and the studio’s activities will be request the processing of a CARNET DE VOYAGE, an on-board diary sort like that will collect all the materials and the reflections useful for the exercises. The CARNET DE VOYAGE is a sketchbook, with a horizontal A5 shape and stiff cover, in which the student will collect his own graphic or written jottings, in addition to the LETTERE ALL’ARCHITETTO (notes to the architect). The work on the sketches and on the notes collected into the CARNET DE VOYAGE is individual. The first semester’s exercise consists in the project of a small pavilion inside the acropolis site of the medieval castle’s ruins placed into the Castelvecchio borough in Palazzolo Acreide. The aim of the pavilion presence is to supply to the lack of facilities both for to castle’s site (a cafeteria and food shop, a small multifunctional space, toilets) and to the city, in order to convert the place to public uses for inhabitants and visitors. The second semester’s exercise consist in a settling strategy hypothesis that provide the re-use of parts of the abandoned urban context in order to realize urban co-housing complexes.  The main characteristic of the co-housing lodgments projects will both consist in an experimentation of site-specific solution -starting from the acquired knowledge of the essential typological characters of the main house’s types- and the radicalization of the characteristic dwelling standard of the small living. The course’s exercises will be focused on the reaching of the disciplinary and critical skill of interpretation of reality and of the elaboration of the project of the new in relationship with the urban located historical pre-existence or inside archaeological sites, with a conceptual approach not based on the contraposition or on the alterity, but always founded on the sense of the continuity.

Required Prerequisites

Former requirements are: the basic knowledge of the architectural project methodologies, the basic knowledge of the technical drawing methodologies and the basic knowledge of the theory and history of contemporary architecture. 

Necessary and therefore preparatory to take the final exam is the attendance of 70% of the lesson’s hours at least, all the exercises and to have taken the first year’s “Laboratorio di Progetto”. 

Attendance of Lessons

The frequency of 70% of lesson’s hours at least and the completion of all the studio’s project exercises is required. According to the art.24 of the “Regolamento Didattico di Ateneo” and to the point 3.1 of the “Regolamento Didattico di Corso di Studio”, the attendance of the courses named “Laboratorio” is binding. Students can ask a total or partial attendance exemption for serious and justifiable reasons. The exemption is released by the council of the Corso di Studio and must contemporarily provide the permission to participate to the related exams sessions. 

Detailed Course Content

The course offers an analytical study of some projects and works of architecture.
It allows the student to the understanding of the complex design process through the analysis of some "principles of composition"; principles understood as processes to assimilate and not to repeat such acts, as established design practices.

The student is thus initiated to the study of some emblematic buildings, mainly of relevance disciplinary buildings for their historical-architectural nature, morphological, environmental and compositional and technical. The experiences gained within the study of the reference architectures will find corresponding elements and analogies into the project exercises.

Textbook Information


Testi di riferimento

Saggi sulla teoria dell’architettura e sul rapporto tra architettura e città

  • Quatremére de Quincy, C., Dizionario Storico dell’Architettura. Le Voci Teoriche, a cura di Valeria Farinetti e George Teyssot, edizione italiana a cura di Marsilio, 1985.
  • Le Corbusier, Vers Une Architecture, Crés, Paris 1923, 1°ediz. Italiana: Verso una Architettura, a cura di Pier Luigi Cerri e Pier Luigi Nicolin, “I Marmi” 1976, Longanesi, Milano, 2004.
  • Loos, A., Parole nel vuoto, edizione italiana a cura di Adelphi, Milano, 1992. 
  • Aalto, A., Idee di Architettura. Scritti scelti 1921-1968, edizione italiana a cura di Zanichelli Editore, 1987, Bologna.
  • Mies van der Rohe, L., Gli scritti e le parole, a cura di Vittorio Pizzigoni, Piccola Biblioteca Einaudi, Torino, 2010.
  • Rossi, A., L’Architettura della Città, ristampa CittàStudiEdizioni, 1995. 
  • Grassi, G., La costruzione logica dell’architettura (1967), nuova edizione riveduta, FrancoAngeli, Milano, 2018.
  • Schulz, C. N., Genius Loci. Paesaggio Ambiente Architettura, edizione Mondadori - Electa (Collana Documenti di Architettura), Milano, 1979. 
  • Schulz, C. N., Louis I. Kahn. Idea e immagine, Officina edizioni 1980.
  • Venturi, R., Complessità e Contraddizioni nell’Architettura, traduzione italiana a cura di edizioni Dedalo, Bari, 1980. 
  • Cornoldi, A., L’architettura della casa, Officina edizioni 1991.
  • Siza, A., Immaginare l’evidenza, edizione italiana a cura di Editori Laterza, Bari, 1998.
  • Marti Aris, C., Le variazioni dell’identità. Il tipo in architettura, edizione italiana a cura di CittàStudiEdizioni, Novara, 1994.
  • Marti Aris, C., La centina e l’arco. Pensiero, teoria, progetto in Architettura, edizione italiana a cura di Christian Marinotti Editore, Milano, 2007. 
  • Frampton, K., Tettonica e Architettura, Poetica nella forma architettonica nel XIX e XX secolo, SKIRA, Milano 1999.
  • Venezia, F., Che cosa è l’architettura. Lezioni, conferenze, un intervento, Mondadori-Electa edizioni, Milano, 2011. 
  • Campo Baeza, A., L’idea costruita, edizione italiana a cura di Alessandro Mauro, LetteraVentidue edizioni, Siracusa, 2012.
  • Valéry, P., Eupalino o dell’architettura, traduzione di Raffaele Contu, ed. biblioteca dell’immagine Pordenone 1986.

Bibliografia di approfondimento

RICOGNIZIONI a mano libera. Metodi e strumenti operativi 


  •  Gresleri, G., Le Corbusier. Viaggio in Oriente, ed. Marsilio E FONDATION LE CORBUSIER, 1984.
  • Ruskin, J., Elementi del disegno, ed. italiana ADELPHI, Milano, 2013.
  • Foti, F., La Via del Disegno, LetteraVentidue Edizioni, Siracusa, 2016.
  • Cullen, G., Townscape, The Architectural press, London, 1961.
  • Cacciatore, F., Afferrare lo spazio. Dispositivi, pratiche e strumenti
    per un approccio tridimensionale al progetto di architettura
    , LetteraVentidue editore, Siracusa, 2021.
  • Cellini, F., Manualetto, Norme tecniche, costruttive e grafiche per lo svolgimento progettuale sul tema della casa unifamiliare, Città Studi Ed. Torino 2000.

Il docente fornirà, inoltre, il materiale documentario di alcune architetture emblematiche e di casi studio. 

Course Planning

 SubjectsText References
1The comprehension and the development of two project topics for small size interventions (the pavilion and the co-housing) deal within the studio’s exercises according to the theme of the project on the historical preexistences and on abandoned buildings. 

Learning Assessment

Learning Assessment Procedures

The final exam consists in a presentation/discussion, a verify of the graphic works produced during the course’s exercises and an interview on the lessons topics and on the perusals suggested during the studio. The student must demonstrate to have acquired the theorical notions and the project methodology needed to his formative growth. The schedule of lessons and of the exams will be released by the professor and published on the SDS website.

Examples of frequently asked questions and / or exercises

The questions are strictly related to the confrontation, to the discussion and to the value of the design drawings. Further questions could be related to the course’s monographic lesson topics.