Programme

Why ALA

Most of the programs offer mono disciplinary teaching. Our program will permit to the student to understand cross-cutting issues in the fields of architecture, landscape and archaeology in four of the most interesting places for these topics. Three reasons WHY studying in this programme are:

The Context

Rome, Naples, Athens and Coimbra offer diverse archaeological contexts that represent a richness of possible case-studies for the EMJM, relating archaeology to urban space, the architectural palimpsest and the landscape.

More specifically:

Rome and Athens possess the largest European archaeological sites, right in the city centre (266 hectares the Forum area in Rome, 35 hectares the Parthenon and Agora area in Athens), two important archaeological parks (the Appia Antica Archaeological Park of 3400 hectares in Rome, and in Athens the Philopappou Hill, the Hill of the Nymphs, Pnyx and Kerameikos, an area of 55 hectares), other important archaeological sites in the nearby coastal zones (Ostia near Rome and Piraeus, Cape Sounion, Lavrion and Elefsis near Athens) and an enormous presence of archaeological findings all around their periphery and country side.

Naples has an immense underground archaeological site, an incredible archaeological park in the area of Campi Flegrei, archaeological areas of great importance in the surrounding region, such as Pompei and Ercolano.

Coimbra and Portugal count on the best-preserved ancient Roman archaeological remains of the former roman province of Lusitanea, from which sites like Conimbriga, Miróbriga, Myrtillis, Pax Julia, and several others still persist. Some of these 8910 Roman archaeological sites were “islamised” from 8th century on, becoming Al-Andalus Madinas that survived until the 12th and 13th centuries “reconquista”.

These archaeological sites and landscapes are examples of good practices in heritage conservation due to their contribution to economic sustainability and cultural dialogue between civilizations.

ROME

Fori
Parco dell’Appia Antica
Ostia
Villa Adriana

ATHENS

Parthenon
Philopappus
Agora
Kerameikos
Piraeus
Elefsis
Cape Sounion

COIMBRA

Miróbriga
Myrtillis
Conimbriga
Pax Julia

NAPLES

Pompei
Ercolano
Campi Flegrei
Cuma

The Heritage Studies

The four Universities and respective Schools of Architecture and Archaeology are repositories of strong traditions of studies and research in the areas of heritage interpretation and preservation and in the experimental relationship between contemporary architecture and ancient monuments.

In Rome, urban studies are a primary result of the local seminal cultural tradition of scholars both in the architecture and in the design field: Rodolfo Lanciani, Gustavo Giovannoni, Saverio Muratori, Giovanni Carbonara, Daniele Manacorda, Raffaele Panella. Recent projects for the enhancement of the Forum area experiment new forms of musealization with advanced technologies and the recent opening of the Metro station San Giovanni testify the on going research in this field.

Naples counts on the solid background established by Roberto Pane with critical restoration and landscape preservation and nowadays is at the avant-garde with the interesting interventions developed for the construction of the new subway stations.

The Portuguese architects have developed a design strategy based on the interpretation of history as cultural dialogue, producing highly qualified contemporary interventions (Fernando Távora, Álvaro Siza, and also A. A. Costa, J. A. Bandeirinha, João Mendes Ribeiro). Coimbra follows this didactic tradition, highlighted by the recent attribution of the Unesco Chair in “Intercultural Dialogue on Heritages of Portuguese Influence”, chaired by Walter Rossa.

In Athens, commitment to the integration of public space, heritage and urban planning in archaeological areas has a long lasting tradition (Dimitris Pikionis, Konstantinos Doxiadis, Charalampos Bouras, Manolis Korres) to the plan of the Unification of Archaeological Sites of Athens with the participation of a number of contemporary Greek architects.

The Integrated Approach

The joint character of the Consortium is based on a comprehensive strategy that involves an international mobility-based curriculum, the introduction of complementary disciplines in the four different cities and the selection of diverse case studies, the exchange of cultural traditions and scientific knowledge, the understanding of the archaeological excavation practice and the design practice. Students will be learning the most advanced technologies.

Sapienza University of Rome has developed innovative tools (direct and instrumental surveys of the urban environment and architecture, instrumental planimetric and altimetric reliefs, stereophotogrammetric relief, ortophotography, CNC 3D laser scanning and IT architecture modeling) for the study of the ancient monuments and preventive archaeology, novel techniques which have made the Department of History, Representation and Restoration of Architecture involved in the master a front runner in the field of graphic analysis and representation of architectural heritage. 

The University of Naples developed analytical tools to integrate underground archaeology and contemporary city infrastructures. 

The University of Coimbra has worked out a technique on archaeogeography, a methodology of site analysis through photographic images that crosses interpretation of geography with the history of sites, allowing to understand clearly the role that territorial infrastructures do have in organizing landscapes; this tool, combined with topographic architectural models, is particularly suited to design interventions in rural areas or places were landscape has a determinant role. 

The National Technical University of Athens has developed mapping techniques that allow approaching heritage safeguard planning in a novel and more efficient way; methods of documentation, 3D laser scanning, drone recording and techniques that include environmental and social factors. 

ROME

innovative instruments

Digital surveys
3D Heritage representation

ATHENS

mapping techniques

3D Laser scanning
Drone recording
Enviromental and social
factor

COIMBRA

archaeogeography

Photographic images
Interpretation of geography
Topographic models

NAPLES

analytical tools

Underground surveys
Urban restoration
Landscape interpretation

CURRICULUM

The curriculum of ALA includes staying for a certain period of time in each one of the Partner Institutions, and working in groups of one architect/ landscape architect/engineer and one archaeologist/historian/humanistic student.

This strategy, which is a fundamental pillar in the design of the Master, enhances intercultural awareness as it allows students to exchange their cultural origin, highlights the importance of an active participation in society as it puts in front students from diverse technical and cultural origin, and improves learning performance.

Moreover, students have to communicate in English in spite of living in a country that has a diverse language, and therefore students will improve their foreign language competencies.

Besides, students do have a professional practice period, in the third semester, getting new competences and professional skills that will enhance their employability and improve their career prospects. Applying for a professional practice and organizing a portfolio and writing a letter of intent, increases students’ sense of initiative and entrepreneurship, as will allow their contact with professionals and testing their Thesis Topics that have professional application.

The curriculum has been designed to offer to the student a good balance between:

  1. The acquisition of updated theoretical knowledge and practical experience
  2. The possession of right and updated skills, technologies and a flexible mindset
  3. The capacity of having transdisciplinary understanding and cultural transnational awarness
  4. The integration of needs expressed by the stakeholders related to the architecture, archaeology and landscape

Educational responsibilities have been distributed among partners and associated members, based on their experience and school facilities. 

Specific curricula requirements made by heritage institutions are reflected in the research topics and lecture courses that have been selected for this EMJMD. 

The two Workshops (Rome and Naples) and the two Design Studios (Athens and Coimbra) will define specific updated themes and case-studies that result from the dialogue with the heritage institutions. 

More specifically the course is organized as follows:

First semester

Rome

The participants during the first semester will acquire specific skills in the fields of archaeological heritage and contemporary architecture.

The long-lasting cooperation between the Department of Design and Architecture and the Department of Sciences of Antiquity (already tested within the national Master “Architecture for Archaeology”) will reflect in the courses that are organized in three thematic modules, with professors of Architecture, Landscape and Archaeology that will conduct together the classes allowing the creation of a “live” transdisciplinary dialogue. 

The teaching activity will also strengthen cross-cutting techniques of the architects’ and archaeologists’ training, highlighting correlations and differences among the disciplines. 

Students will be confronted with:

  • design culture: conservation, restoration and integration of the new built environment into historic context
  • the analysis of sites and buildings
  • the understanding of an archaeological dig
  • the technical preparation to handle major data-management systems (GIS and SIT)
  • graphics’ programs, digital three-dimensional modelling and mapping, with a focus on “virtual” reconstructions and interpretative hypotheses of the artefacts.

More specifically the three modules are:

Architecture and Archaeology Culture

Introduction to Architecture and Archaeology 

Languages and models; The foundation of the archaeological science; 

Urban Archaeology and Urban Design

Urban archaeology and stratigraphic methodologies; Ancient city / Contemporary city: Rome, Athens, Istanbul; The case of Rome with particular reference to the Central Archaeological Area; Contemporary urban policies related to archaeology: the cases of Mérida, Beirut, etc.

Landscape and Archaeology 

The relationship between excavations, sites, findings and landscape accommodation; The archaeological park; Landscape Archaeology; Relations between archaeological enhancement, biodiversity and local communities; The role of agriculture; Invisible archaeology enhancement.

Interpreting the Past

Conflicts between historical values and artistic values; Conflicts between use and conservation; Relationships between scientific meanings, protection and enhancement; The interpretation of urban traces; The walls of the cities between conservation and contemporary reinterpretations practices.

Architecture and Archaeology Methodologies

Digital Graphics

The use of Autocad, Measured drawings techniques and technologies, GIS, Representation techniques, 3D modeling.

Archaeological Excavations

Archaeological site and methodologies of excavation; The archaeological survey; Data classification; Reconstructions of stratigraphy; Planned excavations; Geophysics and archaeology; Site preparation and safety.

Analysis of Contexts

Data processing systems (GIS); Survey and documentation; Understanding of some geophysical methods: geoelectrical, georadar.

Rome Workshop

The master offers a design workshop that plunges the students into the transdisciplinary dialogue because they will work in mixed teams composed of architects, landscape architects and archaeologists and will be guided by mixed teams of professors. 

The workshop will be correlated with conferences and lectures with invited scholars and architects to introduce students to the enhancement and the design issues of the archaeological area chosen as case study.

Second semester

Students will choose among two different Design Studios, and related courses, in Athens or Coimbra.

Athens

Students are confronted with the preservation of the sites’ historic value and the incorporation of the past palimpsest into the living urban “text”.

Students consider different policies applied so far, in relation:
a) to the protection of the archaeological sites and
b) to the possible re-definition of their ‘role’ in the contemporary city.

The Design Studio is supported by modules such as “Analysis and interpretation:
historical and methodological issues”, “Landscape urbanism” and the “Contemporary Interventions: theories and practices”.

Athens Design Studio

Within Athens’ urban fabric, the archaeological /excavation sites are mainly fenced and conserved as ruins, without being embedded in the urban tissue. Juxtapositions of different temporalities create a fragmented, complex spatiality within the contemporary city which is stratified on top of invisible, nowadays, historical precedents. The area of intervention will be along the route from Ancient Agora to Kerameikos Cemetery and the surrounding area. The design project will give students the opportunity to practice aspects of contemporary interventions to archaeological sites in central Athens historical area. The physical form of the site, its spatial organization and connection, its natural landscape features and settings, in relation to the ancient and contemporary topography is going to be studied and interpreted. The main emphasis of the studio project lies in the redesign of the boundaries of the archeological sites and their connection to the urban tissue. Different types of boundaries will be developed that will allow the networking of the different archeological areas to the city and transform them to ‘areas’ of transition, instead of ‘lines ‘of segregation.

Analysis and interpretation: historical and methodological issues

The purpose of this module is twofold: first, to provide students with the necessary theoretical knowledge and practical skills for analysing and interpreting urban archaeological sites; and second, to familiarize students with the archaeology of Athens and the sites that will provide study cases for their design projects. After a general introduction to the history of urbanism and its significance in human life, a series of site visits and lectures on the Akropolis, the Ancient Agora, the Kerameikos and other sites will deal with the organization of public, domestic, religious and funerary space in Athens from the Neolithic to the Medieval period. Distinguished scholars active in the archaeological research of the city will provide an overview of recent fieldwork triggered by public works such as the unification of the archaeological sites of Athens, the development of facilities for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games or the construction of the metropolitan subway.

Landscape Urbanism

The module is associated to three different correlated objectives: First, it will provide the students with the necessary theoretical knowledge and technical skills for analysing, documenting and interpreting urban landscape, considered as the general landscape field in which archaeological sites belong. Second, it will familiarize the students with ‘landscape urbanism’ interventions. Third, it will familiarize them with the urban landscape of Athens, as a built environment of manmade elements, contemporary or historical, associated to their natural context. In this sense natural landscape substratum could be regarded as an important ‘structural’ part of the city history, while urban landscape interventions could be associated with natural environmental sustainability, as well as with the cultural ‘sustainability’ of the city, the preservation of its historical past.

Contemporary Interventions: theories and practices

The module will deal with theoretical issues concerning contemporary architectural and urban interventions interfacing with archaeology. It offers tools for the evaluation and interpretation of the ‘archaeological landscape’ on all levels:  built/ physical, economic, social, cultural. Concepts will be developed as hermeneutic tools of the past and as a means for interventions in the future.  In this overall context, issues of collective memory, historical identity, the urban palimpsest and Historic Urban Landscape will be elaborated. The course addresses also the protection of archeological sites, their ‘role’ in the contemporary city, their management, organisation, and their involvement with local public authorities. Selected case studies of interventions in urban archaeological areas will be presented, analysed and evaluated.

Coimbra

Students are confronted with the sites’ historic interpretation and the incorporation of the past traces into the contemporary living landscapes.

Students consider different policies, in relation:
a) to the interpretation and protection of the archaeological sites and
b) to the possible re-definition of their ‘role’ in the territory.

The Design Studio will be supported by modules such as “Landscapes, city and territory archaeology”, “Narratives of restoration”, and “Archaeogeography and territory techniques”.

Coimbra Design Studio

Coimbra organizes the Design Studio B “Archaeology and Territory” focusing on issues regarding the interpretation of archaeological sites and their integration in the contemporary landscapes, social and cultural everyday life.

The territorial dimension of heritage can be seen in infrastructures, and students will explore how to enhance this specific architectural heritage.

New design strategies to interpret the territorial traces, and reconnect the archaeological sites with the contemporary landscapes and public life are explored. Different scales of interventions and new connections between territory’s life and the historic sites are examined, with special attention to the economic role that heritage may have to local populations.

Narratives of restoration

This subject will be organized taking into account three complementary thematic units, which will correspond to equal number of classes.

The first will consider different theories and practices of intervention in the built heritage, in a historical and contemporary perspective.

In a second moment, this context is extended to the landscape as cultural and heritage value, and will be considered in the light of good practices of intervention in archeological area.

Finally, the Narratives of the Restoration will be embodied in different projects of museography, contemplated from their own perspective, as well as being part of a broader built space.

Landscapes, city and territory archaeology

Archaeology of the Landscape, City and Territory is a theoretical course that deepens common visions of architecture and archeology. This course aims to provide a shared language between both disciplines, allowing them merging in a more rigorous interpretation of heritage and archaeological contexts, and a design response grounded in contemporary problems. Therefore, the main goals overcome the mere transmission of information as they allow the acquisition of an inter-disciplinary dialogue, the comprehension of the problematics and methodologies of each discipline, taking account of privileged topics of articulations such as the landscape, the city and the territory.

Archaeogeography and territory techniques

The course Archaeogeography and Territory Techniques, is a theoretical-practical course that has the main objective of giving a set of very precise tools of territorial analysis. These tools allow to articulate the dinamics of space in the "longue duree", contributing to the study of some dimensions of geo-historic subjects that have not yet been studied by areas like historical geography, geo-history and landscape archaeology.

The course develops skills in the anylisis of landscape lines of strenght, communication axes, hidrographic elements, parcelling plots, habitat, etc.

These skills have aplication in the design planning projects, in the phases of programing.

Third semester

It will be dedicated to training activities and to the attendance of two online courses “Legislation and Conventions” and “Research Methodologies”.

Naples

The study trip, based on the support of the local
Superintendency, will provide a direct contact with
the archaeological sites.

Naples Study Trip

The trip will be articulated in several visits, guided by experts, to the archaeological sites
of Pompeii, Puzzuoli, Baia, Cuma, Miseno. In this way, students will be introduced into specific realities, in order to have the opportunity to grasp important aspects of the archaeological and enhancement activities. In order to consolidate the theoretical contents acquired a workshop will follow the fieldtrip.

Naples Workshop

The workshop will focus on the topic of “Survey and Enhancement of Pompeii” and it will concentrate on: the relations of the archaeological site with the exterior areas (to the north the agricultural landscape, to the south public spaces, to the west infrastructures, to the east the urban environment); the internal relations within the archaeological city (excavations in progress and planned, completed or to be implemented restorations, preservation activities and landscape restoration; improvement of accessibility).

The workshop activities will be interdisciplinary and it will include a direct discussion with the specialists of the Archaeological Superintendency of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

Online Courses

Students can choose the city where the apprenticeship will take place, and therefore the online courses can be followed from any place.

This additional didactic content will be contributed by all partners through the digital platform that the four schools have set up. At the end of the semester students and professors will gather for the Naples fieldtrip and workshop.

Legislation and Conventions

The Module will offer knowledge concerning analysis and interpretation of International and European doctrinal texts related to the protection, enhancement and management of architectural and archaeological heritage, historic urban landscapes as well as natural heritage and cultural landscapes. European heritage charters, recommendations and conventions will be interpreted in theoretical terms as well as by showcasing concrete examples of interventions. Doctrinal texts previously analyzed will be evaluated in relation to their effectiveness in protecting archeological sites and monuments, while allowing for the necessary contemporary interventions.

Research Methodologies

The course covers various methods of research in architecture and archaeology, such as the scientific method and its implications in disciplinary theoretical and philosophical issues; the relationship of design and building detail with the theory and history of architecture; bibliographic research, field work and laboratory scale studies in architecture and archaeology; research through design focused on methodologies and tools; drawing as a research instrument in Architecture and Archaeology.

This course unit develops a systematic approach to the topics listed above, unfolding the following teaching modules: documentary sources; research methods through Design in Architecture and Archaeology; research tools; academic writing and translation in Architecture and Archaeology.

Internships / Traineeships

The traineeship will be in one of the associated partner institutions in the third semester and in case of necessity can be extended to the fourth semester.

This placement period will have a minimum of 350 hours.

Parallel to the Master Thesis the students will submit a report on their professional practice period along with the report of their Master thesis tutor stating that the student has satisfactorily completed the professional practice period and assessing his/her performance.

Fourth semester

It will be dedicated to development of the master thesis, through the course “Research Seminar and Thesis”.

"Research Seminar and Thesis" is a research by design course on architeture and archaeology in which a specific design exercise is developed by cooperation between architects and archaeologists. Through a shared reflection on project design strategies in heritage areas, the course concludes the education proposed by the ALA Master.

This course develops students’ skills on research and design synthesis, on the inovation of strategic design responding to actual needs, and in design comunication. These skills take account of the social and heritage factors, the contextual interpretation of architectural and archaeological sites, and a design that allows interventions in accordance to the integration of architectural and archaeological projects within general management and heritage preservation plans.

The contents of "Research Seminar and Thesis" are adapted according to the concrete design to be developed as master thesis project, taking account of "research by design" methodologies.

Particular importance is given to the design process that results from several studies taken along the semester such as: information and debate about theories of restoration, best practice study cases, adequacy of materialization to the site context constructive systems and materials, production of graphic elements and models.