Reuse of the existing

Teaching and theoretical investigations

  • Anna Giovannelli Sapienza University


Design the contemporary city and architecture means, first of all, dealing with the existing, a huge amount of abandoned space, of uninhabited factories, of crumbling artefacts, of an entire territory which asks to be taken care of. After years of urban sprawl with soil consumption, it is necessary to rethink the way of planning in the existing contexts of the contemporary city and its environmental sustainability. The immediacy of new constructions is often preferred to the recycling of existing ones that work in the long term and return value to the places and their historical stratifications. This is why today the reuse of the existing represents the real emergency to face with a process of regeneration of cities and their territories, where the architectural project, with the contribution of other disciplines - such as archaeology and restoration, geography and landscape design - represents the only instrument able to offer an answer to the current problems of urban structures. Reuse is actually a necessity as well as an emergency; reuse is the ontological condition of architecture because every building has always recycled materials and spaces to reshape the new and we need to analyse past examples of reuse in order to create a methodology for the design reuse of existing structures. This paper aims to contribute to the definition of a teaching methodology of reuse through design and proposes an approach that interprets those characters of the different architectural forms of the existing modernist buildings.


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Biografia Autor

Anna Giovannelli, Sapienza University

Architetto, PhD in Composizione Architettonica e Urbana Politecnico di Milano
Ricercatore in Architettura degli Interni e Allestimento presso “Sapienza” Università di Roma, Facoltà di Architettura