BP1-4 Architectural Design Studio / Theory of Architectural Design (1.1)

The Faculty of Architecture / Architecture
1st Year, sem 1, 2021-2022 | Compulsory Course | Hours/Week: 1L+12P | ECTS Credits: 3
Basics of Architectural Design
Course Leader:
conf.dr.arh Melania Dulămea
Teaching Staff:
conf. dr. arh. Bogdan Fezi , șef lucr dr. arh. Alexandru Călin, șef lucr. dr. arh. Andrei Șerbescu, conf. dr. arh. Robert Negru, conf. dr. arh. Maria Enache, șef lucr. dr. arh. Dragoș Neamțu, șef lucr. dr. arh. Ana-Maria Goilav , conf. dr. arh. Daniel Comșa, șef lucr dr. arh. Stefan Radocea, șef lucr dr. arh. Ana Maria Crișan, șef lucrari dr. arh. Adrian Moleavin, șef lucrări dr. arh. Daniela Calciu, șef lucr dr. arh. Cosmin Pavel, șef lucr dr. arh. Ionuț Nedelcu, sef lucr dr. arh. Cristina Constantin
Learning outcomes:

[architectural representation]
• Discovery, use and improvement of the basic tools of architectural representation: graphics (plan, section, elevation, axonometric, photography, sketch, collage, analytical scheme, etc.) and language (architectural text and language, specialized terms), as well as the different representation techniques (graphite, ink, pastel, collage etc.);
• Knowledge and use of different roles and specific functions of architectural representation: communication, investigation, abstraction-coding, description, analysis, projective-imagination;
• Learning and using specialized graphic scales and codes;
• Understanding the notion of human scale and its relationship both with the directly observed space and with the one abstracted by representation;
• Identifying and choosing the appropriate representation tools for the purpose of the exercise.

[analytical and critical]
• Understanding and using the analysis of a representative building in the history of architecture;
• Developing the ability to identify the characteristics and qualities of a building, to analyze and synthesize them;
• Defining a set of relevant characteristics of a building;
• Understanding the notion of spatial typology, as well as its characteristics and qualities by studying references;
• Analyzing and synthesizing the characteristics of a spatial typology.

[architectural space]
• Exploring and clarifying the basic elements of the production of architectural space (wall, pillar, roof, floor, hollow-window, door) and the formation of a spatial language;
• Acquiring the ability to classify elements into specific categories (surface/linear, delimitation, partition, geometry);
• Investigating the association of different elements and analyzing the characteristics and qualities of the spaces thus formed.

• Cultivating the spirit of cooperation and co-organization, in accordance with the principles of teamwork;


Exercise 1 (I) / TYPES OF SPACES. MODELS. Precedent, vocabulary, tools.
The first semester of the first year proposes the intense study on an extensive series of such models or reference buildings, which have been chosen and grouped following six distinct spatial typologies: 1. Linear space, 2. Central space, 3. Chamber space, 4. Hypostyle space , 5. Inner courtyard and 6. Porch (each of them defined in more detailed manner in the text associated with the series of examples).

The starting point will be the observation and the possible understanding of the architectural space in the first instance as “empty”, as “lack” in the core of the constructed matter. These exercises suggest that you deepen your understanding of the notion of space (always understood in the sense of architectural space), as an essential and defining substance with which architecture operates. You will work with precedents that you will compare and analyze, after which you will elaborate your first spatial proposal.

Teaching Method:

In teams of two or a maximum three people, you will choose one of these series of three examples, and you will investigate them. You will try to decipher and understand them, using and exploring primarily drawing as a tool for reading, describing and analyzing those buildings. You will discuss and study various techniques of representation and hypostasis of drawing, looking for, comparing and experimenting ways to use drawing to deepen the understanding (and, at the same time, the presentation) of the studied models: from sketches, schemes and observation drawings up to choosing the right scale to represent by drawing on a conventional scale pieces such as plans, sections, elevations.


The jury session takes place in each workshop, throught a whole day, and each student gets a grade.


Francis CHING, Architecture. Form, Space and Order, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2007
Roger H. CLARK, Michael PAUSE, Precedents in Architecture: Analytic Diagrams, Formative Ideas, and Partis, John Wiley & Sons, 2005
Andrea DEPLAZES, Constructing Architecture. Materials, Processes, Structures. A Handbook, Birkhauser, 2005
Pierre von MEISS, Elements of Architecture. From Form to Place + Tectonics, EPFL Press, 2013 /// De la forma la loc + Tectonica: O introducere în studiul arhitecturii, Editura Capitel Avangarde, 2015
Rafael MONEO, ”On Typology” în: Oppositions, 1978:13, MIT Press, pp.22-45
Steen Eiler RASMUSSEN, Experiencing Architecture, MIT Press, 1962
Bruno ZEVI, Cum să înțelegem arhitectura, Editura Tehnică, 1969