The Department of Architecture includes professors, researchers, and future professionals from different scientific fields, who have the following characteristics: similar research interests and procedures and parallel research contexts (area 08 and any other interrelated areas); a broad scope of different points of view on the transformation of physical space—both diachronic and synchronic; the ability to conceive, plan, represent, monitor and manage these transformations and transmit their characters and peculiarities through reasonable communication systems.

Everyday Activities

The research of the Department of Architecture encompasses the complete scope of the architectural field—the analysis, investigation and transformation of the physical environment—and ranges from architectural, urban, and landscape design to urban and rural planning, from the detailed design process to the final construction. It also comprises the study and diagnostics of architectural heritage, specifically conservation and historical research concerned with surveying and renovating architectural treasures with the goal of preserving and enhancing them.

Role in the LITHOS project

The Department of Architecture acts as the scientific coordinator of the project and is also responsible for getting the International Centre for the Study of Stereotomy off the ground. The Centre will be housed at the Palazzo La Rocca in Ragusa Ibla.

Project activities already completed

The Department of Architecture has already completed the following activities:

  • the exhibition "Rosario Gagliardi. An 18th-century architect" has taken place (Ragusa, April 3-9, 2012);
  • materials for the above-mentioned Centre have been acquired: books, treatises, four 3D models of stone domes, four models of spiral staircases, as well as reliefs and panoramic photographs of domed chapels;
  • a digital database that includes the main treatises on stereotomy has been created ;
  • mining and stone-processing businesses in eastern Sicily were surveyed;
  • study days were organized and took place in Ragusa from September 28-30 on the theme "Stone Staircases in the Mediterranean" as part of the Master's degree course in Stereotomy and stone restoration. Speakers from various Italian and foreign scientific institutes participated (Technical University of Madrid, Saint Charles Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Archeological Authority of Palermo).

Participation in previous projects (references)

The Department of Architecture has participated in numerous projects financed with EU funds as well as with the Cross-Border Cooperation Programme Italy-Malta.

Skills and tools used in the project

In addition to the scientific expertise acquired over decades of study on stereotomy and its related disciplines, Department of Architecture faculty have developed an extensive network of relationships with researchers and specialists in major Italian and foreign universities who conduct research in the same field.

With which other partners on the project have you collaborated and why?

The Department of Architecture has worked with all the project partners, especially with the Regional Province of Ragusa, which plays the role of leader.

Evaluation of activities undertaken to date

Overall, our opinion is good, though there have been moments of difficulty related to the nature of the project.