Asilo Sant'Elia

Architectural Analysis


[Above] The inner courtyard of the Asilo Sant'Elia. Image courtesy of

Core Studio

Architectural Analysis

Professor Jonathan Knowles

Spring 2018

Rhode Island School of Design, Department of Architecture

In Architectural Analysis, processes of drawing and representation act as an intermediary between observation, expression, and understanding, offering deep insights into works of architecture.

During the semester, Giuseppe Terragni’s Asilo Sant’Elia, built in Como, Italy in1936 under the rule of the Fascist party in Italy, was analyzed in depth through a series of drawings that explore its architecture both from a formal and conceptual point of view. The drawings, which look at the building as a whole, take it apart and put it back together, are presented in chronological order.


[Above] The elevated entryway and another view of the inner courtyard of the Asilo Sant'Elia. Image courtesy of


[Above] Hand drafted ground floorplan and longitudinal section


[Above] Hand drafted plan oblique exploring the concentration of fenestration in the building


[Above] Hand drafted exploded axonometric exploring the building from the solidity of the concrete floor slab to the lightness of the walkable roof, allowing views of the whole valley in which the Asilo Sant'Elia is built


[Above] Analog and digital drawing exploring the segregation of adults within the child-focused volumes of the Asilo. The drawing also aims to explore the connections between the primary school's administration with the dictatorial regime under which it was built in 1936-1937.


[Above] and [Below] Analog drawings and collages designed to provide child-focused perspectives of the Asilo Sant'Elia. The drawings, each 15inx11in, are mounted on MDF sheets and designed to be re-configured to construct an infinite amount of narratives to describe the building and its functions.