Habitat Unit

Prof. Dr. Philipp MisselwitzAine Ryan, Dr. Vittoria Capresi

The Pontine Plain:
What’s next for this ‘rural’ landscape?

Can we - architects, urban planners and historians - advance a reading of the presentday rural landscape focused on the internal processes and cultural practices that shape it: as the basis for a constructive and sustainable future chapter, that can be envisioned and steered through active and inclusive engagement between residents and local authorities?

The studio is a collaboration with MODSCAPES - an EU-funded research project at the Habitat Unit on the meaning and role of European modern rural landscapes. The study area is the industrialised landscape of the Pontine Plain south of Rome, that was drained, resettled and restructured under Mussolini - between 1927 and 1939 - into 3000 farms, 18 villages and five new towns. From this fascist “redemption” from the marshes, the Pontine Plain has today become an international exporter of kiwis.

A fieldwork phase will explore a section of the plain from the sea to the mountains, containing the town of Pontinia: to catalogue the physical elements that form it as well as the intangible aspects that imbue meaning and significance; to compare the perception and experience of the formal settlement structure with the spatial footprint of everyday life in the region today; and to depict the processes and practices that steer this landscape today.

SS 2018 - Poster - The Pontine Plain

From this ‘reading’, proposals for ‘enabling frameworks’ will be developed, that acknowledge the tension between inhabitants’ desires for an economically viable future in the Pontine Plain, without forfeiting the appeal of a ‘rural’ setting, and within an already industrialised countryside.

The compulsory fieldwork (April 27 – May 6, 2018) is funded by the DAAD grant “Hochschuldialog mit Südeuropa”. It is a collaboration between the TU Berlin, Politecnico di Milano, Freie University of Berlin (public history), MAP – Museo dell’Agro Pontino, and Comune di Pontinia.

Final Reviews +

July 19, 2018
Institute for Architecture
10 am - 2 pm A 202

Guest Critics
Prof. Christina Pallini, Politecnico di Milano, Prof. Imgard Zündorf (FU Berlin), Prof. Philipp Misselwitz (TU Berlin)

Course Information+

Design Studio
BA Arch 10 ECTS
BA Arch Entwerfen und

Teaching Day
Thursdays from 10 am

First meeting
April 19, 2018, 10am, A 202

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April 10, 2018, 11am, A202

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Áine Ryan

Room A 621 
T + 49 – 30 – 314 – 21830 
F + 49 – 30 – 314 – 21907