Not just skin – Object module and measure module in the composition of the architectural envelope


  • Paola Scala ‘Federico II’ University of Naples (Italy)



composition, module, skin, facade, urban design


This paper investigates the role of the module in the composition of the external envelope of buildings. The opportunity presented by the call proposed by the Agathón journal serves as a pretext to initiate a reflection that, starting from Argan’s well-known distinction between object-module and measure-module, aims to highlight the relationship that exists between how architects conceive the envelope and the spatial paradigm to which they refer. The objective of this essay is to bring the attention of designers back to the importance of reflecting on the architectural quality of the envelope and its expressive capacity of facades, especially in consideration of the current historical moment in which environmental, cultural, and economic reasons increasingly urgently demand the transition from traditional construction techniques to dry assembly systems.


Article info

Received: 15/09/2023; Revised: 04/10/2023; Accepted: 31/10/2023


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Author Biography

Paola Scala, ‘Federico II’ University of Naples (Italy)

Architect and PhD, she is an Associate Professor of Architectural and Urban Design at the Department of Architecture (DiARC). She is a member of the PhD Programme in Architecture for the Ecological Transition between Indoor Spaces and the Landscape at the University of Palermo. Her work focuses on architectural and urban design, specifically emphasising modifying tools, models, and compositional techniques in contemporary times.


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How to Cite

Scala, P. (2023) “Not just skin – Object module and measure module in the composition of the architectural envelope”, AGATHÓN | International Journal of Architecture, Art and Design, 14, pp. 96–105. doi: 10.19229/2464-9309/1472023.