Architectural Affordances
Typologies of Umbau

“Architectural Affordances - Typologies of Umbau” (Thymos Books: Naples 2024)
will be the published outcome of the ongoing research project “Affordances of Architectural Typology” by Gennaro Postiglione and Andreas Lechner resulting from Andreas’ fellowship at Milan Politecnico’s DAStU (2022-2023)

Fig. Carlo Fontana, Ground plan and elevation drawing of Colosseum church in the ruin of the amphitheater (1725)

Architectural Affordances is a collection of drawings that trace transformations in 30 buildings over time. Organized into three categories based on time-periods and life cycles – centuries, over one hundred years, and less than a hundred years –, the atlas gathers consistent floor plans, sections, and elevations that facilitate the study of „Umbau" as major and minor transformations of buildings alongside yellow-red plans.

These transformation, extension and redevelopment projects were compiled through a call for papers and drawn and assembled by international architects from both practice and academia. The resulting atlas not only depicts changes in the material composition but also presents the mediation of forms and functions as a temporally and socially conditioned appropriation of affordances offered by built spatial arrangements. What the constants of primary construction elements illustrate are a certain resistance to change, which can endure for centuries, while individual objects, non-load-bearing walls, surfaces, or furnishings, as well as the accommodation of specific uses, possess a more temporary character. The interplay among these different time-periods creates gaps that we, as architects, bridge creatively through drawing. Therefore, architectural drawing plays a central role in the book not only as a form of notation for architectural ideas, allowing us to forge new/old bridges towards a theory of transformation, but also as evidence and recognition of the generative potentials of architectural types...

Scientific Committee

Matthias Ballestrem (Bauhaus Earth)
Marco Bovati (Politecnico di Milano) 
Antonio Carvalho (Politecnico di Milano) 
Lorenzo De Chiffre (TU Wien)
Victoria Easton (ETH Zürich)
Andreas Lechner (TU Graz)
Angelo Lunati (Politecnico di Milano)
Gennaro Postiglione (Politecnico di Milano)
Paola Scala (Università di Napoli, Federico II)


Maike Gold (TU Graz)
Francesca Serrazanetti (Politecnico di Milano)


Key dates

31/03/2023: call for abstracts out
31/05/2023: deadline for abstracts
15/07/2023: notification of acceptance

11/2024: publication available

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