Unfinished buildings, a new point of departure. Designing difference for a sustainable future


  • Maria Luisa Germanà University of Palermo
  • Francesca Anania University of Palermo




technological design, unfinished building, time variable, SDG 11, SDG 12


Contemporary unfinished buildings, which represent a widespread sort of abandoned built environment around the globe, have only recently shaken off the taboo to which they have been relegated by their inescapable condition as symbols of failure. The theoretical connotations attributed to them often fluctuate between the mystifying poles of exaltation and demonization; without discussing these, and looking at trends that can be identified in certain works over the last decades, the article aims to contribute to defining an analytical and design-based approach. This procedure is geared towards the multidimensional goals of sustainability, and to responding in concrete fashion to the demands of stakeholders and the community. The paper aims to demonstrate that, for the sustainable future of unfinished buildings, a new point of departure is needed, in which the design project should focus on actual differences with regard to the cultural premises of the original, interrupted building process.


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Author Biographies

Maria Luisa Germanà, University of Palermo

Architect and PhD in ‘Built and environmental rehabilitation’, is a Full Professor of Architectural Technology and Coordinator of the ‘Architectural Heritage’ Cluster of the SITdA (Italian Society of Architectural Technology); her research themes mostly concern environmental design and management, refurbishment, and reuse of the built environment.
E-mail: marialuisa.germana@unipa.it

Francesca Anania, University of Palermo

Architect and PhD Candidate, she is a Member of SITdA (Italian Society of Architectural Technology) and carries out research into technological design in the Architecture field; in particular, she is currently working on research about unfinished buildings, in order to complete and upgrade them.
E-mail: francesca.anania@unipa.it


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How to Cite

Germanà, M. L. and Anania, F. (2020) “Unfinished buildings, a new point of departure. Designing difference for a sustainable future”, AGATHÓN | International Journal of Architecture, Art and Design, 8(online), pp. 148–159. doi: 10.19229/2464-9309/8142020.

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