Course overview

In this – mostly European – survey, we will study some iconic buildings that came to define their respective periods in terms of ideas, styles, and techniques. This will help develop your ability to see and understand a building’s architectural features. The course will follow a chronological progression and will be based on the study of famous buildings from the Gizeh Pyramid and Parthenon to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. For each example, you will study the way it is built, its style, and the relation between the building’s form and its purpose.

Course description

From Egyptian pyramids and Greek temples to skyscrapers and modern villas, we will study a selection of emblematic buildings. We will examine some key architectural concepts and you will become more confident in describing and analysing buildings. As we study a selection of architectural styles, we will reflect on how architecture is a product of its society, a cultural artifact, determining which materials, techniques, styles, decorations, and shapes are used in a given building.

Based on a series of significant historical examples, you will study key architectural structures, such as post-and-lintel system, the different types of arches, vaults and domes, the steel frame and curtain wall. This will help us understand how buildings stand.

You will also explore an array of architectural styles, such as Greco-Roman, Romanesque/Norman, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Neo-Gothic, Art Nouveau, Functionalist, Art Deco, and Brutalist. For each style we will highlight the key elements defining it.

Finally, you will be encouraged to think about how a building’s form, space and style relate to its function. And what happens when a building is repurposed? For example, when an abbey becomes a prison, such as in the case of Clairvaux in France.

What financial support is available?

We don't want anything to stand in your way when it comes to bringing Adult learning within reach so if you need anything to support you to achieve your goals then speak to one of our education experts during your enrolment journey. Most of our courses are government funded but if you don't qualify or need alternative financial help to access them then let us know.

What other support is available?

All of our digital content, teaching and learning activities and assessments are designed to be accessible so if you need any additional support you can discuss this with the education experts during your enrolment journey and we will do all we can to make sure you have optimal access.

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