Western Architecture History

February 13, 2012
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This course is designed to enable students to ‘read'the architecture of the Western world in a critically informed way. You will learn to recognise and differentiate between the major architectural styles of the western tradition – and will thus gain a greater understanding of the way that buildings are built, and why they look the way they do.
For information on how the courses work, and a link to our course demonstration site, please click here.

Description

Architecture is the quintessential ‘public'art form. The work of architects surrounds us all, every day of our lives, shaping and conditioning our experience of the world in ways which are as subtle as they are inescapable. Yet the practice of architects does not take place - and has never taken place - in a vacuum: architects continually engage with the architectural styles and practices of the past, shaping the architectural forms of the present from the vast reservoir of forms and styles bequeathed by the western architectural tradition.

This course aims to give students an introduction and overview of that architectural tradition – enabling students to ‘read'the architecture of the contemporary built environment in a critically informed way. Students will learn to recognise and differentiate between the major architectural styles of the western tradition – and will thus gain a greater understanding of the way that buildings are built, and why they look the way they do.

Programme details

The areas you will cover in this course are:
• Introduction and a starting point: Classical Architecture - Principles and Foundations:
• Gothic Architecture – Styles and Interpretations
• Renaissance, Mannerism and Baroque
• Case Study (1) – The English Baroque
• The Classical Revival: an overview of the rise of neo-Classicism
• Case Study (2): English neo-Classicism
• Nineteenth Century Eclecticism
• Case Study (3): the Victorian City
• The Modern Movement
• Today and Tomorrow – The Contemporary Built Environment

We strongly recommend that you try to find a little time each week to engage in the online conversations (at times that are convenient to you) as the forums are an integral, and very rewarding, part of the course and the online learning experience.

Dr David Morgan

Role: Tutor

Course aims

This course aims to introduce students to the broad stylistic history of western architecture, by:
- guiding them through selected contemporary and historical readings;
- helping them to recognise the salient features of the western architectural tradition, as manifested within the contemporary built environment.

Certification

This course is accredited and you are expected to take the course for credit. To be awarded credit you must complete written contributions satisfactorily. Successful students will receive credit, awarded by the Board of Studies of Oxford University Department for Continuing Education. The award will take the form of 10 units of transferable credit at FHEQ level 4 of the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS). A transcript detailing the credit will be issued to successful students. Assignments are not graded but are marked either pass or fail.

Assessment methods

Assessment for this course is based on two written assignments - one short assignment due half way through the course and one longer assignment due at the end of the course. Students will have about two weeks to complete each assignment.

IT requirements

This course is delivered online; to participate you must to be familiar with using a computer for purposes such as sending email and searching the Internet. You will also need regular access to the Internet and a computer meeting our recommended minimum computer specification.

Level and demands

FHEQ level 4, 10 weeks, approx 10 hours per week, therefore a total of about 100 study hours.

Recommended reading

To participate in the course you will need to have regular access to the Internet and you will need to buy the following paperback book: • Sutton, I., Western Architecture: A Survey (Thames & Hudson, London, 1999) ISBN Recommended, though not required: • Summerson, J., Architecture in Britain 1530-1830 (Yale University Press, Yale/London, 1953) ISBN

Teaching outcomes

By the end of this course students will be able to understand:
- the overall chronological and stylistic progressions within the western architectural tradition;
- the historical origins of the styles and forms of contemporary architecture;
- that the architecture of any period results from a complex dialogue between the needs of the present and the styles and forms of the past.

Fee options

Programme Fee Home/EU Fee: £250.00
Non-EU Fee: £295.00
Source: www.conted.ox.ac.uk
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