Architectural Design Studio 3C


Gianluigi Freda 





Definition of objectives

A crucial task of this course is to strenghten the knowledge of the rules of Architectural and Urban Composition and of its cultural roots. A specific attention will be paid to the Architecture fundamentals by studying the works of the Masters of Modern Movement and of the authors who are able nowadays to relocate the modernist spirit in their contemporary projects, without being nostalgic, but respecting cultural traditions.

This course means to deal with the complexity of the project, which is interpreted as a tool of knowledge and refinement of technical and constructive skills, by supporting a dialogue between historical stratification, modernist poetics and the contributions of contemporary research on the languages and materials of architecture. The final purpose of the course is to design a Bauhaus museum in the urban context of the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, where spirit of the German Art and Architecture School founded by Gropius is still alive.

The right understanding of the project purposes, the analysis of the site, the relationship between the modernist language and the local identity will configure the design proposal. It will be useful, therefore, to deepen the works of the Masters, or rather those projects that have conferred solemnity to the discipline of Architectural Composition, making it an art that requires profound technical knowledge and a poetic instinct that must be refined through the critical interpretation both of exemplary architectures and of works that belong to a wider artistic and cultural panorama, able to stimulate and increase the expressiveness of the Architectural Composition itself.

Architecture interprets social, historical and cultural dynamics and, through the project, it shapes a subjective and synthetic vision of the city. The act of construction, furthermore, has a great public responsibility.

This course aims to consolidate this awareness and to increase the design skills that the students already possess.

Course description 

The class schedule includes both workshop and theoretical lessons.

A group of two students will elaborate the project from the scale of the settlement (1:500) and of the building (1:200) to that of the architectural and constructive detail (1:50/1:20), deepening digital techniques of representation and architectural design and verifying intermediate results of the design process with study models to be produced in the most appropriate scales.

The group will develop an urban analysis of the building site and more generally of the territory to which it belongs, also investigating the specific cultural and historical conditions that characterize the case study. The groups will then provide a presentation of the analysis conducted, so that it becomes an opportunity for discussion within the class.

The teacher will supervise the students by doing frequent projects reviews, both with each group and collective, and by planning some deadlines related to the progress of the project. The course will be open to lectures by external professors and architects, and the entire work will take into account the disciplinary contributions deriving from the Estimo course, combining the architectural composition aspects with the evaluation of the costs.

Articulation of lessons 

A first group of lessons will be focused on the knowledge of the area and the project needs and will pay particular attention to the phenomenon of Modern Architecture of Tel Aviv; the second group will focus on the analysis of the fundamentals of the Architectural and Urban Composition and on the cultural history of the Bauhaus, by investigating its legacy from its closure to today; finally, the third group of lessons, parallel to the second one, will focus on the critical analysis of the works of the Modern Movement masters, as well as works of contemporary architects inspired by the modern poetics, to be assumed as possible references for the project .

In fact, constant attention will be paid to projects similar to ours but differently defined for historical and geographical conditions and, in particular, the relationship between modern language and historical identity will be analyzed in the experiences of the cities of the West and of the Middle East.

Topic of the Lab

Conclusive task is designing a Bauhaus Museum in a free area between the center of Tel Aviv, which is the city with the highest concentration of architecture inspired by the modernist poetics, and the ancient settlement of Jaffa, whose architecture still today recounts the influences of Arab and Ottoman culture. The project will pay tribute to the Bauhaus culture, declining it in the actuality of the research that the discipline of the Architectural Composition is carrying out and it will also consider the stratifications that the different cultures present in the region have produced in time. The building will contain exhibition spaces dedicated to the production of Bauhuas school, a commercial area, one dedicated to education, a library, an archive and an auditorium.

The examination 

The project developed by the students should be the result of a process of knowledge, during which the critical elaboration of the topics discussed during the lessons will lead toward a correct synthesis between building and urban landscape, structure, interior space, form and materials. The final exam will consist in the evaluation of the architectural project so intended, of the theoretical aspects emerging from the project and the graphic design.


1. Peter Zumthor, Atmosfere. Ambienti architettonici. Le cose che ci circondano, Electa, 2007

2. Kenneth Frampton, Storia dell’architettura moderna, Zanichelli, quarta edizione, 2008;

3. Walter Gropius, Architettura integrata, ed. Il Saggiatore, 2010;

4. Gianluigi Freda, La collina della primavera. L’architettura moderna di Tel Aviv. Franco Angeli, 2011;

5. Francesco Venezia, Che cos'è l'architettura, Electa, 2011.