The Peer review has evaluated this group as Good
The research activity identifies three subjects, which are deemed necessary for creating the appropriate design ability and knowledge, in relation to the contemporary society and city. A - The housing project calls for urgent measures, and demands new theoretic and applicative instruments and renewed method orientation. The study team undertakes a research activity that tackles the ‘housing issue’ in its cogency and complexity, beginning with the acknowledgement of the house as a structuring component of the city and territory, a determining matrix of spatial configurations consistent with social practices, with cultural and symbolic models and with the individual and collective needs of the inhabitants; hence the housing project becomes a building process that gears the use of materials and techniques towards the architectural quality of the final product and the comfort requirements of the domestic space. These are issues that town planning disciplines have to deal with, not in reiteration of the usual unchanging types and forms, but rather by constructing instruments that are capable of defining, in the context of a wellorganised interaction between problematic areas and scale of the project, settlement principles and building types, standards and constructive rationality for the building process. B - The contemporary housing project requires the construction of experimental sustainable housing models. Our studies establish the need for putting into act not only the experience of our Department but also the various specific skills pertaining to other departments of the Politecnico: together with the Energetics Department, BEST, DIIA, DIS we pursue an effective integration of different scientific and designing skills through a common project which integrates the energy problems of civil buildings with the structural, technologic and compositive aspects, and also with the management, control and financial assessment ones. We pursue a system approach, dealing with the building from the point of view of the energy efficiency, the plant engineering systems, the energy sources (renewable and not) and its whole dynamic behaviour. This is already being carried out through several projects with external partners, both national and international, such as Siemens, ENEL, ANCE, Aler and several public Institutions of the Milan area. One of these projects is an important research program set up with the University of Western Australia and, in particular, with the Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Visual Arts of Perth, Australia, geared to the “Study of alternative and sustainable housing models with the aim of realising prototype buildings in Perth, Western Australia and in Milan, Italy”. 69 C - The housing project, the design of borders of urban areas, the configuration of spaces appropriate for social life, for the contemporary cultural and symbolic models and the definition of the system of parks, can also be usefully dealt with through the acknowledgment of the structuring role of the open space. Contemporary urban development leads to the continual reduction of non built-up areas, including spaces between houses, and to the impossibility of putting into act for the new city large-scale planning of a traditional approach. The governing and qualitative result expected by a two dimensional setting today must be carried on through three dimensional projects at local level. Certainly on a territorial level the system of open spaces has shown to perform a structuring role in many contexts: one example is the Milan area, even if its structure doesn’t follow on from a homogeneous view. This role would be stronger if a design vision would recognize the value of this urban material. The goal of the research activities is to reveal the advantages and the possibility of transforming restrictions into projects by changing the connotation of open spaces from nature to culture. On the whole, the research aims to construct a frame of design methods and solutions with the contributions of researchers from other departments of the University; the conviction is, in fact, that only through collaboration between different and transversal disciplinary skills it is possible to deal with the complexity of the subject of housing in the urban territory. The Research, moreover, makes use of the scientific activities of the Doctorate of Research in “Architecture, Urban Design, Conservation of Housing and Landscape” which, through theoretic study and methodological consideration, focuses on producing disciplinary tools and on verifying the utility of new concepts and operative instruments related to the actual phenomenona of the transformation of living contexts.
Folli Maria Grazia
Macchi Cassia Cesare
Orsina Simona Pierini