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Home page > Education > PhD Programme > Programmes > Structures and Restoration of Architecture and the Cultural Heritage

Structures and Restoration of Architecture and the Cultural Heritage

Educational Objectives

The syllabus in “Structures and Restoration of Architecture and the Cultural Heritage” offers a high profile educational programme aimed at training highly qualified researchers and professionals for carrying out activities in connection with:

  1. the interpretation of the historical built heritage, diagnosis and intervention on built structures and groups of buildings of architectural and cultural import;
  2. the safeguarding of the heritage in question through appropriate methods that unite the research carried out on building techniques and materials with choices that are compatible in terms of consolidation and structural reinforcement, with a special emphasis on seismic vulnerability;
  3. the restoration, conservation and valorization of the architectural and cultural heritage;
  4. structural design and research regarding materials and techniques, both innovative and traditional, to be used in anti-seismic prevention;
  5. the valorization and safeguarding of architectural and construction cultures (and their remains), present in international contexts, including those that are of local or minor importance, which are to be considered however as precious contributions in terms of historical, artistic and technical terms, as well as with regard to the relationship with the environment.


The PhD programme is thus an opportunity for research aimed at the acquisition of operative and conceptual tools, supported by a historical and critical analysis that is essential for the understanding of the historical heritage, to the definition of compatible and sustainable methods for safeguarding interventions (aimed as well at research related to security), and to the control of the tools and procedures regarding structural analysis and the project.

The programme is characterized by disciplinary contributions from the “Materials and Structures” and “Restoration” Sections of the Department of Architecture, and will avail itself from the contributions of all professors and researchers attached to them.

Since experimental activities and modelling are essential aspects of the research methods, the programme will make use of the Official Materials and Structures Lab, which has the appropriate tools and equipment for carrying out static, cyclical and dynamic tests on scale models and structural elements, as well as of the Material Analysis Lab.

Training Programme

The programme is aimed at training researchers with the capacity to interpret built systems, the interaction between construction materials, forms and techniques, historically contextualized in such a way as to offer intervention methods that are both compatible and efficient in terms of restoration, structural reinforcement and of the relationship to the environment. The expected results regard mastery of the theoretical principles, as well as knowledge and understanding of modelling and computing of structural systems, including the management of anti-seismic design.

A typifying feature of the programme is the composition and coexistence of various fields of knowledge. The integration of languages and approaches is an essential element in the construction of a research methodology aimed at the understanding of the built heritage and directed to pinpointing the appropriate strategies for its safeguarding and for renewed and efficient results. In this scenario, the synergy between the various areas within structural fields (both those that are identified by the capacity to interpret the historical built heritage, and those typical of static and dynamic analysis and design) and restoration (both archaeological and diagnostic), is an essential founding and identifying condition.

One of the objectives of the programme is to face the issues related to the safeguarding of the existing architectural heritage, seeking collaboration with public entities and administrations, as well as with private institutions devoted to the restoration and safeguarding of the historical architectural fabric, including monumental structures and vernacular settlements at risk. The research focuses on Italy (especially the Tuscan Region and its Cultural Heritage) but attention is also given to the entire international context. Many research projects have been based on this scenario over the past few years, as well as on world-wide conservation needs and the preocupation with environmental and man-made risks for which so much evidence has been presented. Many teachers of the programme work in collaboration with international organizations (Unesco, Icomos, Iccrom, WMF, AKTC, etc.), occasionally in sensitive situations (Syria, Afghanistan, North Africa). The cultural strategic dimension of such a commitment is remarkable, especially when one thinks of the pressing risks on so many different geographical areas which are going through momentous transformations in terms of technological culture, as well as of environmental and social crisis. The programme aims to constitute itself, in this respect, as a privileged scientific and educational reference point.


Resources from the “Materials and Structures” and “Restoration” Sections of the Department of Architecture, offered to the programme in “Structures and Restoration of Architecture and the Cultural Heritage”

  1. The “Materials and Structures” Section, which is housed in the building in Piazza Brunelleschi 6, fist and second floors (and basement). It offers a room reserved for the PhD Candidates, in addition to a classroom and a meeting room for lectures and seminars. The section also offers to PhD Candidates:
  2. a) the Official Materials and Structures Lab, which has the appropriate tools and equipment for carrying out static and dynamic tests (4 presses, vibrating table, etc.), for in situ diagnostic tests (jacks, sclerometers, etc.), metalwork and carpentry machinery for the construction of models, and tools for land survey and geological testing;
    b) a collection of library material (12500 volumes) initiated in 1942, which includes sections devoted to architecture, structures, building techniques and civil engineering;
  3. c) the computing lab in support of educational and research activities, which includes calculation codes that are specific to structural analysis;
  4. The “Restoration” Section, in the Villa S. Clemente complex in Via Micheli, 6/8, offers two classrooms for the activities of the Master's, PhD and Specialization courses, in addition to a room destined for PhD Candidates with a library specialized on restoration.

The premises of this section include:

  1. A Material Analysis Lab LAM (Laboratory for the analysis of stone materials, applied geology, landscape and the environment), for the chemical, physical, mineralogical and petrographical analysis of materials for restoration; a laboratory which specializes in non destructive diagnosis for stone masonry and stonework that includes digital equipment for colorimetric analysis, the monitoring of phreatic aquifers and in situ testing;
  2. A laboratory for topographical surveying and diagnosis in agreement with GeCo: Nikon and Leika stations; laser scanner; disto 3D; stereometric survey tools;
  3. A photography lab with an archive on historical architecture and landscape;
A cartographic archive with over 10.000 items.



Prof. Ugo Tonietti


Teaching staff

Alberto Bove,
Mario De Stefano,
Luisa Rovero,
Marco Tanganelli,
Giacomo Tempesta,
Ugo Tonietti,
et al. della Sezione “Materiali e Strutture”

Giuseppe Centauro,
Maurizio De Vita,
Luca Giorgi,
Pietro Matracchi,
Roberto Sabelli,
et al. della Sezione “Restauro” 

Settori disciplinari rappresentati:
Icar 08, Icar 09, Icar 19


Cycle XXXI

Viriginia Nieri
Chiara Nuria Palazzi
Arash Boostani
Mila Martelli
Carmela Pinto




last update: 18-Mar-2016
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