Alessandro Porotto

Alessandro Porotto
Delft University of Technology | TU · Faculty of Architecture

PhD

About

36
Publications
22,580
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9
Citations
Introduction
Alessandro Porotto is postdoctoral researcher at Delft University of Technology, Netherlands. His research '21st Century Urban Block: Hybridization and Sustainability' focuses on Amsterdam urban housing from a morphological and typological point of view. In 2018, he obtained his PhD at the EPFL, Switzerland. He was postdoctoral researcher at UCLouvain, Belgium (2020-2022) and was visiting postdoctoral researcher at the Emory University in Atlanta, USA (Spring 2020 Semester).
Additional affiliations
August 2020 - January 2022
Université Catholique de Louvain - UCLouvain
Position
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate
February 2020 - April 2020
Emory University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • Scientific Exchange research "Collective Housing Atlanta-Vienna: Mapping Interwar Connections", funded by Swiss National Science Foundation in partnership with Prof. Christina E. Crawford at the Department of Art History of Emory University
August 2018 - July 2020
École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • Postdoc research on collective housing in Europe and on the German architect Heinrich Tessenow. Teaching assistant for the Design Studio at the undergraduate level––3rd year bachelor.
Education
September 2014 - August 2018
École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
Field of study
  • Architecture and Sciences of the City
September 2006 - September 2012
Politecnico di Torino
Field of study
  • Architecture

Publications

Publications (36)
Chapter
The housing projects carried out in Vienna during the Interwar period, usually grouped under the name ‘Red Vienna,’ were executed in light of a precise architectural model: the Hof, loosely translated as ‘superblock’ or ‘large courtyard block.’ This model was at the core of planning policies and new dwelling initiatives, a reaction to both the acce...
Article
Full-text available
Focusing on the Brussels urban environment, this paper investigates spatial mutations produced by key critical transitions to accommodate new social and living conditions for collective purposes. Using CAD re-drawings, a systematic comparison of residential schemes identifies the evolutionary mechanism that connects manifold changes in the city and...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The hypothesis of this paper is that a specific urban identity can be traced back to the residential spaces of the city. The concept of referential housing type, defined as the archetypal and most ordinary residential type in a specific place throughout its urban history, is the most effective tool to disclose the identity of cities. Its benefits a...
Article
Full-text available
Journal: studies in History and Theory of Architecture – https://sita.uauim.ro/8/a/92/ – Despite being considerably overlooked in architectural manuals, German architect Heinrich Tessenow (1876-1950) can be considered one of the most insightful interpreters of a collective vision of society that is based on the clarity of architectural aesthetics....
Presentation
Full-text available
This paper investigates how residential spaces shape the specific urban identity. By means of the case study of Brussels, it aims to provide an innovative approach that can explore in new ways the typical characters of a city and their transformation. The concept of ‘referential housing type’, defined as the archetypal and most ordinary residential...
Presentation
Full-text available
The hypothesis of this paper is that a specific urban identity can be traced back to the residential spaces of the city. The concept of referential housing type, defined as the archetypal and most ordinary residential type in a specific place throughout its urban history, is the most effective tool to disclose the identity of cities. Its benefits a...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction critique à la traduction française de l'article « Fünf Jahre Wohnungsbautätigkeit in Frankfurt am Main », publié par Ernst May en 1930 dans la revue Das neue Frankfurt. Le texte est accompagné par des images de la revue originales et des re-dessins typologiques des Siedlungen de Francfort élaborés par l'auteur.
Chapter
Full-text available
The purpose of this paper is to consider a number of valuable architectural accomplishments from the beginning of the XX century, built in Vienna (1919-1933) and Frankfurt am Main (1925-1931), by means of Aldo Rossi’s theoretical thought and analytical approach. Through the author’s re-drawings of selected case studies, it is possible to analyse th...
Presentation
Full-text available
The notion Existenzminimum is generally associated to the most rationalistic examples of dwellings layout where spatial and technical efficiency, improved comfort and affordability were elevated to the very high degree. Such assumption usually referes to cases like the outstanding accomplishments achieved in Frankfurt by Ernst May, which almost mon...
Presentation
Full-text available
The aim of this paper is to look back on some valuable accomplishments built in Vienna during the Interwar period. The housing projects were realised adopting a specific architectural model: the Hof. The Viennese examples represented an architectural idea and a vision of society, founded on ‘living together’. This collective dimension takes its spa...
Book
Full-text available
Les expériences de politique urbaine menées à Vienne et à Francfort dans l’entre-deux-guerres – Das rote Wien et Das neue Frankfurt – constituent aujourd’hui encore des références incontournables dans l’histoire du logement collectif en Europe. Les modèles architecturaux à l’origine de leur conception, le Hof à Vienne et la Siedlung à Francfort, re...
Article
Full-text available
Far from nostalgically celebrate the 90th anniversary of the second CIAM, which indeed opened in October 1929 in Frankfurt, the present issue is intended as collective work, a springboard which aims to widen the debate over housing experiences beyond geographical and temporal frameworks. The focus of that event, the Existenzminimum, has often been...
Article
Full-text available
Frankfurt, Vienna and Stockholm: three European cities which played a fundamental role in the housing policies implemented during the inter-war period. The research projects and teaching activity carried out at the EPFL in the Laboratory of Construction and Conservation focuses on this specific historic context. The experiences of these three citie...
Book
Full-text available
Far from nostalgically celebrate the 90th anniversary of the second CIAM, which indeed opened in October 1929 in Frankfurt, the present issue is intended as collective work, a springboard which aims to widen the debate over housing experiences beyond geographical and temporal frameworks. The focus of that event, the Existenzminimum , has often been...
Presentation
Full-text available
À l’intérieur des récits de la modernité architecturale, et au-delà dans sa divulgation générale, l’Existenzminimum, associé au deuxième Congrès International d’Architecture Moderne, est très souvent cantonné à un caractère évènementiel, étudié en tant que moment. La présente contribution entend ainsi négocier un certain décloisonnement des princip...
Chapter
Full-text available
https://www.metispresses.ch/en/racines-modernes-de-la-ville-contemporaine –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Entre la première version du programme et la déclaration finale du Congrès international d’architecture moderne de 1928 il y a une différence essentielle. Dans le premier cas un des points du débat concerne la « stand...
Article
Full-text available
L’identification d’un principe de complémentarité pour les modèles architecturaux des années Vingt correspond à l’utilisation d’une méthode comparative, qui permet d’observer et analyser de manière approfondie les initiatives de logements de masse. Cette contribution explore les cas les plus remarquables de logements de masse du contexte européen :...
Article
Full-text available
in «Anfione e Zeto. Rivista di architettura e arti», pp. 228-229 - sezione "mostre, convegni e mostre" | ISSN 0394-8021; ISBN 978-88-9387-077-1 _____________________________________________________________________________________ Commentary of the exhibition "HOUSING - Frankfurt Wien Stockholm" 18 September- 2 November 2018 EPFL - École Polytech...
Presentation
Full-text available
This paper aims to analyze the contribution of German architect Heinrich Tessenow (1876-1950) to domestic architecture through his theoretical writings and housing projects. Firstly, the book Der Wohnhausbau, published in 1909, proposes his housing design theory through an exemplification of the architectural elements and issues that the architect...
Presentation
Full-text available
In the interwar period, the European urban policies were characterized by an intense architectural and programmatic debate concerning the form of the city and the production of mass housing. Of the European modern experiences, das rote Wien (Vienna, 1919-1934) and das neue Frankfurt (Frankfurt am Main, 1925-1933) developed the most convincing typol...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Of the European housing experiences from the interwar period, das rote Wien (Vienna, 1919-1934) and das neue Frankfurt (Frankfurt am Main, 1925-1933) developed the most convincing typological solutions for responding to the rising housing shortage and terrible sanitary conditions. In this perspective, the Viennese small apartments and the Frankfurt...
Presentation
Full-text available
Entre la première version du programme et la déclaration finale du Congrès international d’architecture moderne de 1928 il y a une différence essentielle. Dans le premier cas un des points du débat concerne la « standardisation ». Pendant les journées de travaux à La Sarraz, l’architecte Ernst May donne une conférence à propos de cette thématique,...
Poster
Full-text available
Catalogue of the exhibition "HOUSING" | 18th September – 2nd November 2018, Project Room Archizoom, EPFL(Switzerland) . The catalogue contains some critical papers written in the years when the housing policies were developed in the three European cities and four taxonomic plates comprising the typological assemblages and dwellings displayed in the...
Thesis
This research has investigated the urban policies about mass housing at the beginning of 20th century. This was a unifying and crucial issue of several modern experiences to which many European cities developed adequate answers showing a wide range of distinguishing design approaches and solutions in terms of city planning and architecture. Given t...
Presentation
Full-text available
The purpose of this paper is to consider a number of valuable architectural accomplishments from the beginning of the XX century, built in Vienna (1919-1933) and Frankfurt am Main (1925-1931), by means of Aldo Rossi’s theoretical thought and analytical approach. Through the author’s re-drawings of selected case studies, it is possible to analyse th...
Preprint
Full-text available
CALL FOR PAPER for a special issue of the journal "Urban Planning”, Volume 4, Issue 3, September 2019 https://www.cogitatiopress.com/urbanplanning/pages/view/nextissues#housing Editors : Luca Ortelli, Chiara Monterumisi, Alessandro Porotto (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne - Switzerland)
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The interwar period was particularly crucial for urban policies in Europe because it was characterized by an intense architectural and programmatic debate concerning the form of the city and the production of social housing. Of the European experiences Das rote Wien (Vienna, 1919-1934) and Das neue Frankfurt (Frankfurt am Main, 1925-1933) developed...
Presentation
Full-text available
The interwar period was particularly crucial for urban policies in Europe because it was characterized by an intense architectural and programmatic debate concerning the form of the city and the production of social housing. Of the European experiences Das rote Wien (Vienna, 1919-1934) and Das neue Frankfurt (Frankfurt am Main, 1925-1933) developed...
Presentation
Full-text available
The purpose of this paper is to look back on some valuable accomplishments at the beginning of the XX century, built in Stockholm (1916-1930) and Vienna (1919-1933). Far from a mere process of revising history, those first dwelling attempts demonstrate how housing turned into a core-concern from that time. Selected case studies of the two cities –...
Presentation
Full-text available
La reconnaissance d’un principe de complémentarité pour les modèles architecturaux (PANERAI, CASTEX, DEPAULE, 1977) des années Vingt correspond à l’identification d’une méthode comparative, qui permet leur observation et leur compréhension à travers les instruments appropriés. Selon la théorie de la physique quantique formulée par Niels Bohr en 192...
Article
Full-text available
The utopian dimension of the 1920s experience of Red Vienna originates from the close connection between architectural type and language. Through the collective memory the large court blocks (Höfe) are an essential part of urban identity. Examining in a critical way the studies on this topic (Tafuri, 1980 and Hautmann, Hautmann, 1980) and the housi...
Article
Full-text available
The article identifies and observes critically two emblematic cases of modern utopia of 1920s: Das rote Wien and Das neue Frankfurt. These two architectural experiences correspond to two alternative but complementary spatial and social models, the courtyard block (Hof) and the settlement (Siedlung). Through the historical distance today we can obse...
Conference Paper
The paper discusses urban policies for social housing in Vienna and Frankfurt in the inter World War years of the twentieth century. It provides not only historical knowledge, but also examines social housing ensembles within the contemporary city from an architectural comparative perspective. The study’s main hypothesis is that both cities produce...
Presentation
Full-text available
Urbanity is a real quality of an urban place. This concept means that the urbanity is inextricably related to the architecture of a place, the architecture of the city. The presence of the built environment is the first essential condition for the development of an urban area: through its constitutive elements is able to contribute directly and int...

Projects

Projects (6)
Project
The urban block, in its relation to the public domain and typo-morphological features, has oriented the study of transformations that have occurred in the built environment and in social practices. Today’s urban densification, demographic growth, increasing housing demand, economic crisis, and social changes have to negotiate with a transition process towards the 21st-century city. The hypothesis of the proposed project is that such specific process of urban transition can be traced back to the most common spatial forms of the city: its residential spaces. The concept of referential housing type, defined as the archetypal and most ordinary residential type in a specific place throughout urban history, is the most suitable tool to disclose the identity of the city. Firstly, it aids the identification of spatial changes to dwellings in a place. Secondly, it can accommodate a series of socio-cultural codes. Thirdly, it makes the interpretation of new housing forms possible. With the ‘referential housing type’ serving as a foundation, this investigation focuses specifically on the urban area of Amsterdam. The city’s urban blocks have been at the core of key typo-morphological studies and, due to their ability to explicitly convey elements of the transition towards the 21st century, present a remarkable opportunity for further exploration. This research project aims to develop a rigorous methodology in order to explore the urban block pattern according to two topics: a) Hybridization: Hybrid urban blocks are presently asked to integrate companies, setting out working and residential spaces according to innovative arrangements. Mixed-use buildings are designed to foster variety within the urban fabric and accommodate new ways of life and social mix. b) Sustainability: From a spatial point of view, sustainability can be understood as a means to produce resilient spaces that are able to meet present and future needs. From a social point of view, it has a complex relationship with socio-cultural factors related to social practices and local uses. Correspondingly, this project will seek to answer the following interrelated research questions: How does the urban block contribute to urban resilience and catalyse the process of 21st-century transition? How can current tendencies in housing design enhance the understanding of contemporary issues and face future challenges? And can the architectural and socio-cultural identity of the city persist in a time of transition? From a methodological point of view, new CAD documents based on raw material will be produced to support the project’s hypothesis. A comparative analysis and between the standardised housing types of selected case studies from Amsterdam will shed light on the spatial characteristics and uses of the urban block. Finally, a typological genealogy will display trends of urban dynamics according to variations from traditional to the more innovative housing types. Thus, the study of the Amsterdam urban block will establish a systematic relation between the hybridization of spatial forms and sustainability in terms of social practices. The outcomes will provide both scholars and policymakers with valuable information, allowing their positions to be grounded in an effective understanding of the built environment. In addition, the knowledge to be developed aspires to provide key suggestions to political strategies and housing design, playing an important role in architecture practice to design future transitions.
Project
https://alessandroporotto.com/index.php/european-cities-referential-housing-type/ http://p3.snf.ch/Project-191681 Major European cities are characterized by an implicit architectural and socio-cultural identity. Today’s urban developments, urban densification, demographic growth, increasing housing demand, and social changes have to negotiate with this implicit knowledge.The main hypothesis of the proposed project is that such specific urban identity can be traced back to the most common spatial forms of the city: its residential spaces. Through a study of these spaces, local uses can also be informed. This project provides an innovative approach that can investigate and reflect more explicitly on the transformations and identity of European cities. The new concept of referential housing type (Ledent and Komossa, 2019), defined as the archetypal and most ordinary residential type in a specific place throughout urban history, is the most suitable tool to disclose the identity of cities. Firstly, it aids the identification of changes to dwellings in a place. Secondly, it can accommodate a series of socio-cultural codes. Thirdly, it can interpret new housing forms and provide new perspectives for future design.This research project aims: a) to develop a rigorous methodology regarding the concept of ‘referential housing type’, which could be applied to different urban contexts in Europe so as to increase knowledge and architectural, cultural, and social richness; and b) to standardise existing research in Europe in order to gather the most comprehensive picture possible. Correspondingly, it will seek to answer the following research questions: how does housing contribute to and catalyse the process of transformation of urban areas? Can the architectural identity of European cities persist in a time of globalisation and future changes? How can referential housing type guarantee a better understanding of European cities and face future urban challenges? Specifically, this project aims to focus on the urban area of Brussels and extend the study to several European cities through the collaboration with other European institutions.From a methodological point of view, raw material (local archives, contemporary architects’ archives, interdisciplinarity collaborations with other scholars) will be collected to define essential documents that will set the foundation of the project. New graphic documents will be produced that support this research project’s hypothesis. Based on archival items, selected housing types from Brussels will be re-drawn using CAD software, in order to achieve the highest graphic homogeneity and comparability. A comparison between the standardised housing types will shed light on the specific characteristics and uses of the referential housing type. Through this investigation, a typological genealogy will be developed, which displays changes in characteristics according to the variations in housing type.Thus, for the first time, the concept of referential housing type will provide a systematic relation between housing and social practices. This knowledge is valuable for both scholars and policymakers to ground their positions in an effective understanding of the built environment. In addition, the results of the proposed project aspire to provide new suggestions to political strategies and housing design, concerning, for instance, urban densification and living quality. In this sense, the investigation of urban identity plays an important role in practice and future design.
Project
Scientific Exchange Project: EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland Emory University Art History Department, Atlanta, U.S. Atlanta, Georgia, USA, was the site of both the first New Deal neighborhood clearance project in the United States, in 1934, and of America's first completed federally-funded public housing. This project investigates how architectural ideas and forms traveled and transformed across the Atlantic. Of particular interest for this research are the two fact-finding missions that Charles F. Palmer, real-estate mogul turned housing crusader behind the Atlanta projects, took to Europe in 1934 and 1936 to document housing sites he deemed worthy of possible replication in Atlanta. Vienna was a key site of investigation for Palmer. Between 1919 and 1934, the widely celebrated architecture and planning effort in so-called Red Vienna provided 63,000 new affordable dwellings for the city’s working class. This research exchange project aims to expand the interwar architectural map to establish connections between the Austrian and American housing efforts. Through a detailed investigation of the ties between the Viennese estates and urban initiatives in Atlanta, the research seeks to establish Atlanta’s role as a clearinghouse for European social housing ideas, and as the site of the earliest home-grown housing precedents in U.S. The first goal of this proposal is to produce new historical knowledge concerning the Palmer’s mission in Vienna. The second goal of this research project is to explore the architectural results of this housing-focused exchange. The third goal of this research proposal is to go beyond historical understanding to provide a critical contemporary perspective of these accomplishments. This project proposes new analytical tools and methodology to carry out an original and comparative study about these outstanding, yet not yet well-known connections. For the first time, the housing initiatives from the Interwar period are not only considered as a regional phenomenon, but as a global one. SNSF Scientific Exchange Project: http://p3.snf.ch/project-192861 Atlanta Housing Interplay: https://www.atlhousing.org