Illegal occupations of public buildings. As legitimate cohabitation models


  • Chiara Tonelli Roma Tre University
  • Ilaria Montella Roma Tre University



social inclusion, urban regeneration, housing emergency, squatting of buildings, metholological best-practices


Economic crises, continuous migration and insufficient social housing responses are leading an ever-widening segment of the population towards a housing emergency. Due to the lack of institutional or affordable solutions, squatting becomes the only option that is both viable and immediate. Informal occupations, although time-limited, are an answer to satisfy the primary housing need. In studying the patterns used in these urgent situations, the authors consider the emergence of organisational and design models that can facilitate defining a new residential legislation. This contribution illustrates the case study of Spin Time Labs. Located in an occupied public building in Rome’s historical centre, Spin Time Labs is a temporary cohabitation model and an urban regeneration catalyst.


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Author Biographies

Chiara Tonelli, Roma Tre University

Associate Professor of Architecture Technology. Previously, she was a Construction Coordinator of two energy-efficient houses for Solar Decathlon that were awarded third (2012) and first (2014) place. She was also Coordinator of the Lazio Regional Energy Plan (2015-16) and Coordinator of the Positive Energy Construction Project to Regenerate the Informal Districts of Great Scientific and Technological Importance promoted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2014-16).

Ilaria Montella, Roma Tre University

PhD in Architecture Technology. Since 2017, she has been a Research Fellow on housing emergency and new residential models at the Department of Architecture at Roma Tre University. She was a CasaClima Energy Consultant and participated in the 2014 Solar Decathlon where she certified the RhOME for denCity prototype and won first place.


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Energy analysis and retrofit scenario carried out through solar analysis, lighting control, hygrothermal analysis, technological details of envelope (drawing by M. Gesmini, 2017)




How to Cite

Tonelli, C. and Montella, I. (2018) “Illegal occupations of public buildings. As legitimate cohabitation models”, AGATHÓN | International Journal of Architecture, Art and Design, 4(online), pp. 121–128. doi: 10.19229/2464-9309/4152018.



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