The course aims to provide students enrolled in the second year of the degree course with the basic information and tools essential to understanding the history of modern and contemporary architecture and urban history.The course investigates the main issues of nineteenth and twentieth century architecture through an overview and some monographic approaches: themes, places, architectures, debates, theories and protagonists are intertwined and constitute a fresco full of questions about the meaning and role of architecture in contemporary society.The integration with the course of History of Contemporary Art is aimed at presenting the most important art movements of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and to emphasize the relationships between the artistic avant-garde of the '900 and the development of contemporary architectural language.
At the end of the course, the students
- will achieve an adequate knowledge of the history of architecture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (themes, protagonists, theories and works).
- will develop their own method of study that, on the basis of the knowledge acquired, will allow them to independently undertake more specific research in subsequent years.
- will learn to critically read an architecture (of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries) both in its constructive and material aspects and in its functional and linguistic aspects.
- will learn to use a language that allows them to expose their knowledge in an appropriate manner both to an audience of specialists and non-specialists.
The course intends to teach reading and documenting the genesis and construction processes of architectural works, exercising the ability of historical-critical analysis of architecture.
With the support of seminars, the course aims to illustrate the foundations of the methodological principles of scientific research in historical disciplines, to guide the students through research studies on themes of the history of architecture.
The teaching includes lectures and some seminar meetings.The lessons of the module on the history of contemporary architecture will be carried out in close relation with the lessons of the module on urban history
The final exam consists of an interview on the different topics covered by the lessons, if necessary in remotely.
Monographic research on a theme of architectural history.
Seminars on topics related to research themes.
History of Architecture
"Modern" and "contemporary", problems of periodization and hints on historiography. Architectural culture between the second half of the 18th and the 19th centuries: the crisis of classical culture; the role of travellers; the theme of "ruins" and "picturesque". Eclecticism and its derivation from the archaeological research of the 18th century. The 19thcentury and the debate on "national styles". The industrial revolution and new materials; the industrial revolution and the cities: urban transformations and utopias; the political and social changes of the 19th century: the bourgeoisie as a new client. Between the 19thand 20th centuries: Art Nouveau and the artistic avant-gardes. Between 19thand 20th centuries: the theme of "ornament" (Sullivan, Loos) and that of "structural sincerity" (Viollet le Duc,Perret). Towards the "modern movement". German architecture in the European context of the early twentieth century between utopias and profession. The American context and F. Lloyd Wright. The Bauhaus: the foundation, the protagonists, the changes, the post-1933 diaspora. De Stijl and Dutch architecture. The generation of "masters" between the two World Wars: profiles by W. Gropius, Le Corbusier, L. Mies van der Rohe. The Scandinavian context E.G. Asplund and A. Aalto. Italy between the two World Wars and the years of reconstruction. The alternative ways between tradition and modernity; the generation of "masters" after the Second World War; the profile of Louis Kahn; the spread of the language of contemporary architecture. Themes and protagonists: the debate 1970-2000.
In parallel with lessons from the module of Prof. Paola Barbera, the module of Prof. Lucia Trigilia is aimed at grasping the relationship between architecture and the city in its development. The program is divided into a theoretical part and a practical part: lectures, with particular attention to local stories and micro-stories, in the context of urban transformations between the Unification of Italy and the Second World War, and exercises. Particular interest is addressed to the transformation of urban complexes such as squares, where the Baroque identity is confronted with a more decisive nineteenth-century action towards the new stylists.
In the practical part, we tend to verify the acquisition of the research method in the field of urban history through field analysis, guiding students to carry out thematic studies on environments and architecture between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries
Students, individually or in small groups, will be guided in the preparation of a research on a topic of their choice within a series of themes proposed. The research can regard a local context or have a broader character, connected to the main paths in the history of Italian and foreign architecture.
Classroom seminars on topics related to research are planned in order to guide students in understanding the objects of study.
Visits to libraries and archives and the execution of inspections of historical architectures in Catania or outside are planned.
1. K. Frampton, Modern Architecture: a Critical History, Thames and Hudson, London 1980 (fourth edition London 2007).
2. W.J.R. Curtis, Modern Architecture since 1900, Phaidon, Oxdord 1982 (third edition London1996).
3. D. Watkin, A History of Western architecture, Barrie & Jenkins, London1986 (capthers on XVIII and XIX century).
- A. Bruschi, Introduzione alla Storia dell’architettura. Considerazioni sul metodo e sulla storia degli studi, Mondadori, Milano 2009 (o successive riedizioni).
- Specific bibliography relating to the research topics.