ARCH 499A Architecture Design Studio

Credits: 6

Prerequisites: Architecture Major (Junior standing)

Course Description

The fourth year curriculum in a five-year first professional program leading to the Bachelor of Architecture degree is the model for the course structure of this studio design course. With a focus on Urban Design and work on sites in the historic center of Rome, Italy, the course involves tutored design studio exercises of building and urban design programs that are current and professionally active in Rome.

The design programs are usually multi-functional urban complexes of building and urban space compositions. In keeping with the NAAB accreditation requirements for the fourth year curriculum of a professional program, the course material and issues include:

-multi-functional building complex

-urban site in a traditional and historically significant city

-large building footprint (over 10,000 sq.ft.)

-open urban space design

-technical program (structure and mechanical systems) displayed in final design solution

-environmental and sustainable design issues addressed

Since this course is being given in a most unique setting, we will take full advantage of Rome, its history and its problems, to highlight the universal design elements that are part of a professional, synthetic, and global understanding of architecture.

Course Method

The course is taught as a design studio meeting generally 12 hours per week, with two regularly scheduled (5 hours each) meetings per week. A third scheduled meeting each week is reserved for group reviews and special events like site visits and other out of studio learning experiences. Like other design studio operations in the US, students have near unlimited access to their studio space and are equipped with a design table, lamp, parallel rule, computer internet (wi-fi) access, a computer lab, printers, scanners and digital projection equipment.

Final reviews are generally held with invited guest jurors along with the host instructors. Studio section size is limited to 20 students per instructor and is usually set between 12 and 16 students per studio section.

In addition to the overall design exercise for the semester, occasional workshop exercises may be included in each semester. The Fall term usually includes student participation in the Premio Piranesi where students from the US are partnered with European students of architecture for a design exercise that is focused on design interventions on an archeological site like Villa Adriana.

Grading for the course will be determined by performance on the project design activity. Preliminary and final design presentations, but also improvement and investigation activity during the design process, will be the important material that will be evaluated in the determination of the final grade for the course. Specific design and performance criteria will be articulated by the individual instructors.


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