Historical Cities and Landscapes


“Historical Cities and Landscapes” research line focuses on the following topics:

– New and Antique: composition techniques of design for the historical heritage;
– Historical cities and landscapes in the Mediterranean contemporary context.

This line of research deals with the historical-architectural heritage of Mediterranean cities and landscapes, focusing attention not only on the value in itself of the architectural artefacts but also on their ‘relational’ value, that is their ability to interpret a place, establishing meaning relationships with other constitutive elements, from the forms of the orographic substratum to the settlement forms. Based on the focillonian belief that “the fundamental content of the form is a formal content”, this line of research intends to recover the transformative – and therefore progressive – tension of the relationship that the Ancients had with the inherited forms (both those of individual architectures that of urban systems) considering them as ‘open’ morphological structures available to be modified to accommodate new uses and express renewed meanings.
In this perspective, the ‘restoration’ project is conceived as an opportunity to renew the form and, at the same time, to strengthen its identity. It is conceived, namely, as an architectural project in which the ancient forms are taken as “elements of the composition” on a par with the new forms, establishing between each other a relationship of complementarity, of mutual attribution of meaning and value.
The objective of this line of research is to cultivate a critical reflection on the theories and techniques of the transformation project based on this point of view which considers the traces of the ancient in cities and landscapes as a potential for their shape, not only as “the testimony of a past but a living force that animates and informs the present”.