ARCH 391 – Architecture in Italy: History and Preservation

  • Discipline(s): Architecture & Historic Preservation, Art History

  • Credits: 3

  • Available: fall semester 2024, spring semester 2025

  • Instructor: Silvia Catitti, Ph.D., Licensed Architect

Formerly HP 391 – Architecture in Italy: History and Preservation

Since the Middle Ages, European cities of ancient Roman foundation developed by means of a constant transformation and re-use of existing architecture and urban fabric. In Italy, this cyclical adaptation of pre-existing structures always flanked the erection of new, innovative architecture. Since the 1980s, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) started to include many Italian cities in its list of World Heritage sites (Rome, 1980; Florence, 1982; Venice, 1987; Naples and Siena, 1995.) The need to balance the conservation of the historic city and the life of a modern metropolis, as well as both natural and man-made disasters, force us to think about issues of preservation. Against the backdrop of the development of architecture in Italy, the course examines historically significant buildings, which have been preserved or adapted for subsequent uses. Historical, technical, and legal aspects of preservation will be considered. Lectures and class discussions will be followed by site visits. A day trip to Rome will complete the experience.

At the end of the course students will be able to:

– Understand architectural design in relation to the location of the building within the urban fabric, to the building materials and techniques available when the building was designed.
– Distinguish the architectural language of the masters of Italian architecture.
– Understand traditional building techniques and materials found in different cities and eras.
– Understand the notion of architectural typology and the history of architectural heritage.
– Distinguish the layering and stages of transformation of a city and of its architecture.
– Develop an understanding of the multiple approaches to historic preservation.

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

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