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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

CIVE2260 Architectural History and Theory 2

10 creditsClass Size: 79

Module manager: Dr. May Newisar

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

Pre-requisite qualifications

The standard qualifications (or eqivalent) set by the School of Civil Engineering for entry to any of its JBM accredited UG programmes.

Module replaces

CIVE2800 - Architectural Studies 2

This module is not approved as a discovery module


Students will gain insight into the relevance of cultural influence on building design and architectural design. An understanding of the influence that fine art and technology have on the development of architectural form and practice will give students a better awareness of cultural issues in design applications.

Learning outcomes
Students completing this module will have gained the knowledge, understanding, skills or abilities that contribute to achieving the following ARB General Criteria for Part 1:

1. develop a conceptual and critical approach to architectural design that integrates and satisfies the aesthetic aspects of a building and the technical requirements of its construction and the needs of the user; GC1.3.
2. and have knowledge and understanding of:
3. the cultural, social and intellectual histories, theories and technologies that influence the design of buildings; GC2.1.
4. the influence of history and theory on the spatial, social, and technological aspects of architecture; GC2.2.
5. how the theories, practices and technologies of the arts influence architectural design; GC3.1.

Skills outcomes
This module will be used for the formative assessment of English language competency.


The curriculum for this module, which has been developed in collaboration with the School of Fine Art, is concerned with the relationships between art, architecture and engineering.

The ways in which technologies have been a source of inspiration to architectural theory and expression are explored in the context of the 20th century. Examples include connections between daylight factories and grain elevators in the USA and the idea of Modern architecture promoted by Mendelson and Le Corbusier; infrastructure and large scale industrial works from the mid-century and movements such as Japanese metabolism, archigram and British high-tech; the influences of renewable energy technologies.

The influences of Fine Art are explored in terms of the connections between art movements and architecture, with exposition pavilions used as experimental case studies. These include Cubism and 1920’s Modern as expressed by Le Corbusier; the influence of Russian Suprematism on the architecture of Mies van der Rohe; De Chirico and representational architecture of the 1930’s; Pop Art and the Eames house as well as Archigram, Venturi and later examples such as FAT. A link is drawn between more recent preoccupations with direct sensory experience in art such as Hirst and designers such as Hadid, Heatherwick and Sanaa.

The influence of drawings and the role of the architect is explored in more detail in the setting of the rise of neoclassicism in the 17th and 18th centuries, with an investigation of how the assumptions and assertions of Vitruvius relating to the ‘rules’ of the classical orders in relation to proportional systems, as rediscovered by Renaissance architects, were investigated and ultimately refuted by accurate measurements of the classical Greek originals.

Russian Constructivism in terms of art and architecture is explored in more detail, including the social and economic context of the Soviet Revolution as well as individual works of artists and architects, as is the parallels between Archigram and the Dutch artist Constant.

Typical reading materials in support of this module includes:
Curtis, W. (1982). Modern Architecture since 1900. Phaidon.
Frampton, K. (1980). Modern Architecture: A critical history. Thames & Hudson.
Giedon, S, (1941). Space, Time & Architecture. Harvard University Press.
Pevsner, N. (1966). An Outline of European Architecture. Penguin.
Pevsner, N. (1968). The Sources of Modern Architecture and Design. Thames & Hudson.
Banham, R. (1976). Megastructure: urban futures of the recent past. Thames & Hudson.
Banham, R. (1984). The architecture of the well-tempered environment. University of Chicago Press.
Banham, R. (1986). A concrete Atlantis. MIT Press.
Frampton, K. (1995). Studies in tectonic culture. MIT Press.
Le Corbusier (1927). Towards a new architecture. The Architectural Press, London.
Banham, R. (1960). Theory & design in the first machine age. MIT Press.
Nash, J. M. (1974). Cubism, futurism & constructivism. Thames & Hudson, London.
Read, H. (1968). A concise history of modern painting. Thames & Hudson, London.
Rossi, A. (1984). The architecture of the city. MIT Press. Venturi, R. (1966).
Complexity & contradiction in architecture. MoMA Papers in Architecture.
Venturi, R. and Scott-Brown, D. (1977). Learning from Las Vegas. MIT Press.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Class tests, exams and assessment24.004.00
Private study hours74.00
Total Contact hours26.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

Research based on directed learning targets identified in lectures (from web-based sources of information; study of precedents; specific texts identified from a reading list, etc).

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Class discussions(s) on examination-style questions at 2 stages within the semester.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
AssignmentTake home coursework80.00
EssayInvestigative paper based on lecture content20.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

100% take home coursework, resubmission to the original brief

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 18/10/2023


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