21010031-1 - HISTORY OF TECHNIQUES - part 1

The course aims to introduce students to the knowledge of structures, materials and construction techniques used in Italian architecture of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. We want to refine the ability of students to "read" directly in the artifacts all the material and constructive aspects of architecture, a precious ability to capture the interweaving with other aspects of the same, reaching a rich, broad and deep understanding.
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Mutuazione: 21010031-1 STORIA DELLE TECNICHE - parte 1 in Scienze dell'architettura L-17 MATTEI FRANCESCA


The course (optional subject) focuses on the History of Construction in the XVI Century and is conceived to complete the knowledge of architectural history.
Lectures will be dedicated to the legacy of ancient techniques in the early modern period, to the use of architectural drawings as a tool for the project and to the architectural treatises through the analysis of the main Renaissance buildings, the materials, and the techniques. Case studies will focus on the Italian and European Renaissance centers.

Core Documentation

The bibliography is divided into general texts (testi adottati) and essays on a specific topic (bibliografia di riferimento). On the occasion of seminars and conferences, other bibliographies will be delivered.

- J.P. Adam, L’arte di costruire presso i romani, Milano 1989
- Les chantiers de la Renaissance, actes des colloques tenues à Tours en 1983, a cura di J. Guillaume, Paris 1991
- Storia dell’architettura come storia delle tecniche costruttive. Esperienze rinascimentali a confronto, a cura di M. Ricci, Venezia 2007

Type of delivery of the course

Lectures, seminars, lectures on-site, and conferences. Every student has to study in-depth a specific topic, that will be discussed and evaluated during the final exam. More detailed information will be delivered during the first class. In case of an extension of containment measures related to the COVID-19 emergency, lectures and seminars will be delivered on the platform Microsoft Teams.


Frequency is compulsory (75% at least). Given the nature of the course, frequency is compulsory to take the final exam.

Type of evaluation

The final oral exam will be dedicated to the program of the course and to the bibliography. Every student has to develop the portfolio "Building the Renaissance" dedicated to one technique of construction, used during the Renaissance. The list of topics will be delivered during the first class. The portfolio must be presented on the occasion of the final exam. The examination will begin with the discussion of the portfolio and it will continue with questions on the program. To pass the exam, students are required to demonstrate that they have acquired a critical knowledge of the program and that they are able to use a proper specific language. I will grade the knowledge of the general and specific bibliography and the capability to discuss the program. The final grade will be based on the average between part I (prof.ssa Mattei) and part II (prof.ssa Iori) of the course. In case of an extension of containment measures related to the COVID-19 emergency, the final exam will be scheduled on the platform Microsoft Teams.