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The Faculty of Urbanism / Urban Design and Planning
1st Year, sem 1, 2019-2020 | Compulsory Course | Hours/Week: 2C | ECTS Credits: 2

IT-26 | Introduction to Architecture

Department: History & Theory of Architecture and Heritage Conservation
Course Leader:
conf.dr.arh. Mihaela Criticos
Learning outcomes:
To discover the first theoretical landmarks of the architectural approach and to introduce students in the matter of architectural form, seen not as materialization of immediate need or subjective creativity, but as active principle which bears meaning and shapes the human environment.
To understand the expressive potential of architectural form from the point of view of its structural, functional, aesthetic, and symbolical conditionings.
To get familiarized with the question of perception – a major theme for architects and other creators involved in forming the built environment (urban planners, designers), who are responsible for assuring an optimum relationship between man and his world.
To understand the logical mechanism of forming a coherent and unitary architectural language.
Content:
1 Introduction. Architecture as an act of building and signifying. Complexity of the discipline: faces of architecture.
2-3 The Vitruvian requirements as sources of architectural meaning: firmitas (material support) - the semiotic layer; utilitas (content) - the semantic layer; venustas (form) - the poetic layer.
4-5 Notions of architectural perception: from experience to perception and from perception to significance. Levels of perception and significance. The universal level: primary experiences (sensory, spatial) of the relationship with the environment; innate predispositions (kinesthetic, tactile, visual – figure/ground relationship).
6-7 Duality of architectural form: volume and space. Relationships between forms as elements of architectural and urban composition; the historical evolution of the built volume/urban space relationship and its interpretation as figure/ground relationship.
8 The architectural language as language of forms. The structure of architectural language in analogy to spoken language: vocabulary and syntax.
9-11 Fundamental elements of the architectural language: the base plane, the roof and the the walls. Primary effects and meanings of forms.
12 Architectural syntax. Classification: utilitarian („rection”) syntax and artistic („composition") syntax; simple and complex syntax. Articulation of simple architectural elements (beam-post, solid-void, horizontal and vertical surfaces). Complex morphological and syntactic models (the tectonic logic of the classical order, mannerist reactions, modern mutations – Frank Lloyd Wright, Josef Hoffmann, De Stijl). Organisations of architectural forms and their signifying potential.
13-14 Architectural composition: relations and principles. Equality - repetition and rhythm; hierarchy – axial organisation and symmetry; complementarity – contrast.
Teaching Method:
Lectures with digital images
Assessment:
Examination paper - 66%
Partial test – 33%
Bibliography:
- Rudolf Arnheim, Dynamics of Architectural Form, Berkeley, Los Angeles and London, University of Californa Press, 1977
- Pierre von Meiss, De la forme au lieu, (trad. engl. From Form to Place), Lausanne, 1986
- Christian Norberg-Schulz, La Signification dans l'Architecture Occidentale, Liège, Pierre Mardaga éd., 1984
- Kevin Lynch – Image of the City, Cambridge, Mass., 1960
- Francis Ching – Architecture : Form, Space & Order, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1979
- Kenneth Frampton - Studies in Tectonic Culture, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., London, England, 1996
- Kenneth Frampton, Modern Architecture – A Critical History, Thames & Hudson, New York, 1985
- William Curtis, Architecture since 1900, Phaidon, London, 1996
- Thomas Thiis-Evensen, Archetypes in Architecture, Oslo, Oxford and Norwegian University Press, 1987
- Pierre von Meiss, De la forme au lieu, (trad. engl. From Form to Place), Lausanne, 1986
- William Curtis, Architecture since 1900, Phaidon, London, 1996
- Rob Krier, Architectural Composition
Illustration by Laura Cristea and Cristina Popescu
Ten good reasons to study Architecture at UAUIM
The English taught Arhitecture Programme:
https://architecture.uauim.ro/
Ten Good Reasons.pdf
UAUIM brochure.pdf