ARCH 477 – Architecture in Context: City, Spaces and Urban Design

  • Discipline(s): Architecture & Historic Preservation

  • Credits: 3

  • Available: fall semester 2024, spring semester 2025

  • Instructor: Carlo Achilli, M.Arch., Licensed Architect

*This course is exclusive to the Roger Williams Advanced Architecture Program

The course explores today’s Florence, seen as a living city rather than as an open-air museum for tourists. This approach helps students interpret and understand the city beyond its monumental highlights. We investigate the various meanings of “context”. We explore the multifaceted, sometimes conflicting, co-existence of modern/global needs & practices and traditional/local spaces. We address the contemporary urban fabric, its environment, its historic process, and its stratified layers; we consider the cityscape, the skyline, the surrounding landscape, the geography of Florence, and its terrain. Starting from the “finished” urban fabric, the course focuses on processes, ideas, and programs behind the contemporary city and teaches students to recognize “hidden links” and connections architecture in context. We explore how contemporary architects and masters of the past used the context as a rich, active source of inspiration, rather than as a limit to their creativity.

– to develop methods and tools for analyzing, understanding, and evaluating a city or a site and its context;
– to use Florence as a study case;
– to discover the hidden dynamics of the urban fabric of Florence, beyond the city’s monumental buildings;
– to look at the architecture of Florence with new eyes, focusing on the invisible links between life, space, and buildings.

Course descriptions may be subject to occasional minor modifications at the discretion of the instructor.

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