Doctoral thesis

Teaching architecture : Peter Zumthor and the foundations of composition



Thèse de doctorat: Università della Svizzera italiana, 2021

English In 1996, the newly founded Academy of Architecture of Mendrisio invited Peter Zumthor to be the professor in charge of one of the school’s first three design studios. What took form from that was a singular educational experience, conducted by Zumthor as a didactic project spanning a three-year period - the academic years of 1996-97, 1997-98 and 1998-99 - and comprehending a sequence of 19 exercises designed to teach students the foundations of composition. The thesis is structured around this event, documenting the activity of Atelier Zumthor’s first-year course in Mendrisio through the analysis of unpublished material kept in the school’s archives and investigating how the concepts of memory, construction and performance - extracted from the critical reading of Zumthor’s didactics - may be taken as compositional principles found at the base of his architecture, therefore offering an unique interpretation of his production and stressing the value of teaching as a space of research.
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