Moroccan architecture in 3 points

REFLEXION 1:The Berber ( amazighe) style

Berber-style constructions are made from materials that can be found directly in nature: raw earth.
The landlocked monuments blend perfectly into the landscapes of southern Morocco, but are nevertheless fragile and require maintenance in order to last over time as for example the El Badi Palace in Marrakech.
In the Berber culture, men and women make a living from agriculture and women produce carpets and other embroideries in the Berber style, which are very popular today. A trip to a Berber village will make you discover the history of these people.

Los 10 mejores hoteles cerca de Palacio El Badi, Marrakech - Tripadvisor
El Badi Palace in Marrakech.

kasbah ait ben haddou

Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou de Marruecos, sobre el Ksar fortificado - Tours

Located in the foothills on the southern slopes of the High Atlas in the Province of Ouarzazate, the site of Ait-Ben-Haddou is the most famous ksar in the Ounila Valley. The Ksar of Aït-Ben-Haddou is a striking example of southern Moroccan architecture. The ksar is a mainly collective grouping of dwellings. Inside the defensive walls which are reinforced by angle towers and pierced with a baffle gate, houses crowd together – some modest, others resembling small urban castles with their high angle towers and upper sections decorated with motifs in clay brick – but there are also buildings and community areas. It is an extraordinary ensemble of buildings offering a complete panorama of pre-Saharan earthen construction techniques. The oldest constructions do not appear to be earlier than the 17th century, although their structure and technique were propagated from a very early period in the valleys of southern Morocco.

The site was also one of the many trading posts on the commercial route linking ancient Sudan to Marrakesh by the Dra Valley and the Tizi-n’Telouet Pass. Architecturally, the living quarters form a compact grouping, closed and suspended. The community areas of the ksar include a mosque, a public square, grain threshing areas outside the ramparts, a fortification and a loft at the top of the village, a caravanserai, two cemeteries (Muslim and Jewish), and the Sanctuary of the Saint Sidi Ali or Amer. The Ksar of Ait- Ben-Haddou is a perfect synthesis of the earthen architecture of the pre-Saharan regions of Morocco.

In comparison to other ksour of the region, the Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou has preserved its architectural authenticity with regard to configuration and materials. The architectural style is well preserved and the earthen constructions are perfectly adapted to the climatic conditions and are in harmony with the natural and social environment.

REFLEXION 2: Architecture Arabo – Andalusia —Moorish architecture

It is in the 12th century that this architecture is imposed in the Maghreb, especially in Marrakech and Seville, and gives life to sublime monuments such as the Mosque of Córdoba or the Palace of Medina Azahara. At that time, architects had only one keyword: greatness.
When you visit the Palace of Cordoba, you can admire the arched moldings, the marble walls, and the Byzantine mosaics and witness an admirable architecture full of history.

Palace of Madinat al-Zahra | Prince's Garden
the Palace of Medina Azahara

Université Al Quaraouiyine

The University of al-Qarawiyyin (Arabic: جامعة القرويين; Berber: ⵜⴰⵙⴷⴰⵡⵉⵜ ⵏ ⵍⵇⴰⵕⴰⵡⵉⵢⵢⵉⵏ; FrenchUniversité Al Quaraouiyine), also written Al-Karaouine or Al Quaraouiyine, is a university located in FezMorocco. It was founded as a mosque by Fatima al-Fihri in 857–859 and subsequently became one of the leading spiritual and educational centers of the Islamic Golden Age. It was incorporated into Morocco’s modern state university system in 1963 and officially renamed “University of Al Quaraouiyine” two years later.[1] The mosque building itself is also a significant complex of historical Moroccan and Islamic architecture that features elements from many different periods of Moroccan history.[5]

Fatima Al-Fihriya - Broads You Should Know
fatima al fihriya
Universidad de Qarawiyyin - Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre
AlQuaraouiyine Archives | actualités nouvelle génération
The Interior Of The Al-Qarawiyyin Mosque In Fez Stock Photo, Picture And  Royalty Free Image. Image 53569392.

REFLEXION3: Colonial architecture

Enter the early 20th century and discover the colonial architecture of Morocco. Under the French influence, Colonial houses, Art Nouveau buildings, and Art Deco buildings were born in the so-called “European” neighborhoods that took their marks next to the medinas.
The monuments are a perfect mix of two architectures.
The Al-Maghrib Bank, built-in 1920 in Rabat, is a typically European structure with local ornaments. Recently converted into a currency museum, this building is the legacy of Morocco’s history.
More recently, the Yves Saint Laurent Museum in Marrakech is inspired by colonial architecture with typical shapes and colors of Morocco that blend a European structure.

Merece el viaje: Musée Yves Saint Laurent - Marrakech
the Yves Saint Laurent Museum in Marrakech

Architecture of Casablanca

Casablanca developed from the medina and the first basin of the port, mainly from 1920. It is the urbanist Henri Prost who drew the first extensions between the years 1917 and 1922. When this one leaves Morocco in 1923, the bulk of Casablanca’s structure is defined.

In the 1950s, the architect Michel Ecochard runs for 6 years the planning department of the French protectorate and draws a new expansion plan and organization of the city.

The medina is the historic heart of the city. It is surrounded by a wall and eight doors, the best known, the gate of Marrakech is at the southern entrance of the old city. Very close to Bab Marrakech is the clock tower, in front of the Babes Souk door. The café of La Scala overlooks the harbor entrance. It was originally a Portuguese fortified point in the wall.

Ancienne Médina Casablanca: Histoire, mémoire et réhabilitation Urbaine –  CDA Gallery

East of the medina unfolds the Art Deco district which was the European quarter of the city under the French protectorate. It houses several monumental compositions that give a particular character to the city: the administrative square, the Arab League Park, the broad boulevards planted with palm trees, etc.

Muy agradable - Opiniones de viajeros sobre Square of Mohammed V, Casablanca  - Tripadvisor
the administrative square
Arab League Park - Wikipedia
the Arab League Park

To the west of the medina is the prized district Burgundy and, by the sea, the great mosque Hassan II and embankments. A little further, the corniche, its restaurants, and beaches, in front of the hill of Anfa place of residence of the most affluent categories.

Pourquoi faut-il absolument visiter la Mosquée Hassan II à Casablanca ? -  Voguish Car
the great mosque Hassan II

The Hassan II Mosque (Arabic: مسجد الحسن الثاني, FrenchGrande Mosquée Hassan II) is a mosque in Casablanca, Morocco. It is the second-largest functioning mosque in Africa and is the 7th largest in the world.[citation needed] Its minaret is the world’s second tallest minaret at 210 meters (689 ft).[2][3] Completed in 1993, it was designed by Michel Pinseau under the guidance of King Hassan II and built by Moroccan artisans from all over the kingdom. The minaret is 60 stories high topped by a laser, the light from which is directed towards Mecca.[4] The mosque stands on a promontory looking out to the Atlantic Ocean; worshippers can pray over the sea but there is no glass floor looking into the sea. The walls are of hand-crafted marble and the roof is retractable. A maximum of 105,000 worshippers can gather together for prayer: 25,000 inside the mosque hall and another 80,000 on the mosque’s outside ground

Interior of Hassan II Mosque : Morocco, Arab League : r/Morocco
Mosquée Hassan Ii à Casablanca | Photo Premium
Anfaplace ::: Four Seasons Hotel
Anfa place
Un plan d'action anti Covid-19 pour la réouverture d'Anfaplace Mall

The heart of the city, including the Medina, the center of business, most hotels, and foreign consulates, is bounded by the Boulevard Zerktouni marked in the middle by the two towers of the Twin Center designed by the architect Ricardo Bofill.

Twin Center | Hamza Nuino | Flickr
Twin Center

is a complex of two skyscrapers located at CasablancaMorocco. The two structures, the West Tower and the East Tower have 28 floors each.[2] The center houses a complex of shops, offices, and a five-star hotel, and lies at the heart of Casablanca in the Maarif district, at the crossroads between Zerktouni Boulevard and the Boulevard Al Massira Al Khadra. The main architect was Ricardo Bofill and the associate architect was the Moroccan Elie Mouyal.

more examples of architecture of Casablanca 
Casablanca | Tag | ArchDaily
Casablanca Finance City Tower
Morocco Mall | Series '12 Largest Shopping Centers Worldwide'
Morocco mall



Project Credits

Project  Guangzhou Opera House, Guangzhou, China
Client  Guangzhou Municipal Government
Architect  Zaha Hadid Architects, London—Zaha Hadid, Hon. FAIA (design); Patrik Schumacher, Woody K.T. Yao (project directors); Simon Yu (project leader); Christine Chow, Jason Guo, Ta-Kang Hsu, Filippo Innocenti, Junkai Jiang, Long Jiang, Yang Jingwen, Hinki Kwong, Yi-Ching Liu, Lourdes Sanchez, Cyril Shing, Zhi Wang (project team); Christina Beaumont, Yael Brosilovski, Paola Cattarin, Hon Kong Chee, Achim Gergen, Lorenzo Grifantini, Viggo Haremst, Martin Henn, Jenny Huang, Filippo Innocenti, Tamar Jacobs, Flavio La Gioia, Christian Ludwig, Imran Mahmood, Graham Modlen, Matias Musacchio, Markus Planteu, Nina Safainia, Fernando Vera (competition team First stage); Adriano De Gioannis, Yosuke Hayano, YanSong Ma, Barbara Pfenningstorff, Cyril Shing (Second stage)
Local Design Institute  Guangzhou Pearl River Foreign Investment Architectural Designing Institute
Structural Engineers  Shanghai Tongking Science and Technology Development Co.; Guangzhou Pearl River Foreign Investment Architectural Designing Institute
Façade Engineering  King Glass Engineering
Building Services  Guangzhou Pearl River Foreign Investment, Architectural Designing Institute
Acoustic Consultants  Marshall Day Acoustics
Theater Consultant  China ENFI Engineering Group
Lighting Design Consultant  Beijing & Light Co.
Project Management  Guangzhou Municipal Construction Group Co. 
Construction Management  Guangzhou Construction Engineering Supervision Co.
Cost Consultant  Guangzhou Jiancheng Engineering Costing Consultant Office
Principal Contractor  China Construction Third Engineering Bureau Co.
Size  753,474 square feet (project); 456,314 square feet (site)
Cost  ¥1.38 billion ($211.4 million)

The structure was designed by Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid. It is conceived as two rocks washed away by the Pearl River. Its freestanding concrete auditorium set within an exposed granite and glass-clad steel frame took over five years to build, and was praised upon opening by architectural critic Jonathan Glancey in The Guardian, who called it “at once highly theatrical and insistently subtle.”

Design of Guangzhou Opera House

The Guangzhou Opera House design is based on the principles of topography and geology. The interior was mainly inspired by the river valleys transformed by erosion. The project tends to create an interrelation between the natural landscape and architecture.

The opera house is designed as two large pebble-shaped structures washed onto the banks of Pearl River. The structures appear as twin boulders taken from the riverbed and smoothed by erosion in a stream. The smaller of the two houses is the multipurpose performance hall while the larger is the main auditorium.

The auditorium has a wave-shaped foyer. Entrance to the opera house is through an approach promenade on the landscape. The promenade also enhanced the urban function of the site and improved the access to the harbor and the river.


The Opera House is a pair of asymmetric structures with the dome and curtain wall integrated together. The irregular structural joint has a complex non-geometric design. It is about 43m tall and the external shell has a maximum length of 120m. Three-direction skew folded steel plates were used to create 64 faces and 47 corners to the structural façade. The latticed cladding required precise founding, positioning, and joining of each steel sub-section.

The metal framework of the opera house structure required 59 unique, custom-cast steel joints to hold the structure in place. The structure required about 12,000t of steel. The irregular-shaped shell was assembled using GPS positioning and laser techniques. The project required new and cutting-edge construction methods.

Guangzhou Opera House façade
Opera House. ¿Es un hito para mejorar el entorno de Guangzhou? | Sobre  Arquitectura y más | Desde 1998

The larger building is clad in charcoal-colored granite with a rough texture while the smaller structure used lighter white color. The total granite facade cladding area is 24,700m², with 75,422 pieces used to give a pebble appearance.

The tessellated, triangular glass sections provide internal lighting and open up to the public areas. It also emphasizes the crystalline nature of the Opera House.

Interior design
Inside the Guangzhou Opera House, China | Zaha hadid, Zaha hadid  architecture, Zaha hadid architects

The large building covers an area of about 36,400m² while the smaller structure occupies 7,400m² and the other facilities account for about 26,100m² of space. Visitor circulation is guided by the structural and spine frame in the interiors of the main auditorium. Views are provided into the main atrium from various levels for establishing orientation and connectivity within the building.

The public foyers are located between the auditorium and the exposed steel structure. The black granite floors of the foyer lead visitors to the auditorium balconies through slopes and twists. The outdoors and main entrances are provided through cascading stairs and ramps.

The walls and ceilings of the auditorium are made of about 50mm GRG molds fixed to a steel frame. The folded and flowing surface is treated for a golden and glossy appearance. The split-level terraced seating is copper-toned. Ceiling lighting is designed with 4,000 white LEDs. The acoustics design was a challenge for the asymmetric performance hall. It considered the differences in Chinese and Western operas, where the former uses various musical instruments.


The façade is made of granite and glass and is supported by a steel frame. The molded panels of the main theatre used glass fiber reinforced gypsum (GRG) for the interior surface.

U8: Cultural Heritage

What is heritage?

set of assets acquired by inheritance by title :

  • set of family assets
  • set of State assets
  • set of municipal assets

set of lifestyles, customs, knowledge and degree of artistic, scientific, industrial
development, in an epoch, social group, etc.

set of assets (tangible as well as intangible) that have to do with the culture of a people, nation, city, society…

Moroccan Architecture & Heritage Arts “Marrakech” - IEREK

This concept is important because it implies the cultural identity of a people.

In the 2nd half of the 20th century, the concept of CULTURAL ASSET (broader than the one of the monument) is formulated. It integrates objects with historical or artistic value (monument), but also any expression, manifestation, or significant testimony of human culture with documentary capacity.

As a result of the Second World War, many countries had lost their signs of cultural identity, and there was a need for society to recover and reconstruct those signs.
In industrially developed countries, interest in objects and activities from hitherto neglected sectors, such as agricultural culture or handicrafts, began to spread.
If TRADITIONAL HISTORY had focused on the great political events, military events, scientific conquests, discoveries,… that marked the history and therefore the MONUMENT constituted its best representation, NEW HISTORY centers its interest in the man and his existence, the instruments of work, the utensils of everyday use, showing an all-encompassing dimension. CULTURAL ASSETS constituted its best representation in this last case.

In 1972, UNESCO proposed a new classification of cultural

  1. Monuments: architecture, sculpture, painting, archaeology, caverns, inscriptions, elements of universal value from the point of view of history, art or science.
  2. Sets: groups of constructions, whose architecture and integration with the landscape give them exceptional value from the historical, art or science point of view.
  3. Places: works of man and nature with universal value from the historical, aesthetic, ethnological or anthropological point of view

cultural assets :

• monumental architecture
• works of art
• minor or popular architecture
• military and defensive architecture
• witnesses at work (tools)
• witnesses of industrial production
• witnesses to agricultural culture
• witnesses to the gastronomic culture


Why preserving heritage?

Preservation is a method of not losing the VALUES OF CULTURAL IDENTITY In order to preserve you must know before what the cultural assets of a people are: CATALOG.
All goods contained in catalogs must be protected and preserved .

The VALUES of Heritage:

• cultural value
• artistic value/aesthetic value
• historical value
• value of authenticity
• value of antiquity
•functional/social value
• economic value


What should be preserved?

Protect not only the physical architectural heritage but also its values (historic, artistic, antiquity, functional, economic…)

Every aspect of a building must be taken care of:

  • matter
  • construction techniques
  • shapes, dimensions
  • colours, materials, textures
  • character
  • use
  • environment
  • meanings…

Make the building show and explain its values.

How to preserve?

Leopoldo Torres Balbás - Granada Only
  1. PROTECTING (→ laws, rules) : Legal actions, administrative rules outside the intervention on the monument itself.
  1. INVENTORYING (→ inventories) : A INVENTORY is the result of enumerating, locating and describing the assets of a specific extent.
  1. CATALOGUING (→ catalogues) : Cataloguing involves the enumeration, description and location of a property, but also it provides a historical study and economic valuation of a Heritage Resource.
  1. PRESERVATION (→ environment) : Operations to be performed on the good to ensure its survival against hazards or possible damages environmental incidences, weather…).
  1. MAINTENANCE (→ constructive tech.) : An operation designed to prolong and maintain as long as possible the materials from which the object is made.
  1. REPAIRING (→cons. tech. replacement) : Literally: leave in good condition an object that was broken or deteriorated. In the case of buildings, it means to fix the damaged parts: roof, walls, eaves, gutters…
  1. CONSOLIDATION (→ structure) : Consolidation is a particular way of preserving, reinforcing structural, constructive or material elements by giving them greater consistency or solidity.
  1. RENOVATION (→ aesthetics) : It is a direct intervention on the monument whose purpose is the restitution or improvement of the legibility that is lost over time, without incurring alterations or falsifications of its documentary nature.
  1. ADAPTATION (→ function) : Enable or return something to its former state of efficiency or functionality. Also new functions and uses are possible.
  1. RECONSTRUCTION (→ identity) : It is a procedure of integral or partial reconstruction of the building, with an absolutely exceptional character, that has been carried out in specific historical circumstances and as a consequence of traumatic events.
  1. ANASTYLOSIS (→ musealization) : Archaeological term for a technique whereby a ruined building or monument is rebuilt using original architectural elements
  1. RESTORATION (→ history) : Action of returning a monument to its earlier (or pristine) state by removing accretions or by reassembling existing elements. It suggests to “go back” to the original state of a building by removing added later stages.

U7: Sustainability in Architecture



It focuses on the resource cycle and is a model based on the Reuse, Repair, Remanufacturing and Recycling of materials and products, against the use of virgin raw materials.

It improves human well-being and social equity, reduces environmental risks, and is resource-efficient. It is a model that integrates the social dimension and the conservation of ecosystems.

• The impact of human beings on natural systems must not exceed the carrying capacity of nature.
• The use of renewable resources must not exceed their rate of regeneration.
• The use of non-renewable resources must be compensated by the production of renewable resources, which will eventually have to replace them.
• The emissions into the environment must not exceed the absorptive capacity of the receivers.

The LCA studies the environmental impact of a product from its production to its dismantling. For this, it is necessary to calculate the energy consumption and corresponding emissions to the environment of the various processes that make its use possible:

• extraction of raw materials
• manufacturing process
• packaging, transportation, distribution
• use stage
• end-of-life

This method assesses the amount of territory needed to generate the biological resources consumed and to absorb the waste that an activity needs and produces.

  • green
  • eco-/eco-friendly
  • bio
  • km0
  • permaculture (permanent agriculture)
  • low -tech
  • passive
  • nZEB nearly Zero-Energy Building
  • passive house


Healthy Buildings – Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health

The connection between human biology and the environment.

Therefore, buildings must allow:
• air quality: correct ventilation and transpiration
• water quality
• use of natural light
• thermal comfort
• noise protection

Relationship with nature influences positively on the superior nervous functions, determining sensations of well-being.

Aspects such as:
• proportion of spaces: relation between height, width, and length of rooms
• chromatic atmosphere, determined by colors of external and internal surfaces
• texture of materials and equipment
• exterior views

SBS is a combination of symptoms (skin reactions, headaches, nausea, eye irritations, and respiratory tract, tiredness, irritability, vertigo…) associated intrinsically with a built place that can degenerate into a state of chronic illness of its inhabitants.

SBS diagnosis focuses on the study of the health risk factors associated with a building, such as:
• biological factors (bacteria, fungi, spores, mites…);
• chemical factors (carbon monoxide and dioxide, dust, fibers…);
• physical factors (thermal comfort, lighting, noise, air renewal, ionizing and non-ionizing radiation…);
• psychosocial factors (work organization, relationships, satisfaction index…).


The energy and health of human being are largely dependent on the direct effects of the environment in which he lives.

The main elements of the climate environment that influence human comfort are:
• the temperature of the air
• the radiation (thermal emission)
• the movement of the air
• the relative humidity

Human comfort also depends on:
• characteristics of clothing (insulation and total area)
• characteristics of the type of work (metabolic thermal load)

There are environmental conditions that are fundamental in the interaction of the building:
• temperature (maximum and minimum)
• sunshine (% and annual distribution)
• prevailing winds (frequency, direction, and intensity)
• rainfall (average, minimum and maximum rainfall)
• snow (maximum, minimum, and average)
• relative humidity and vapor pressure.

  • topography
  • hydrology
  • relation with green
  • rural/urban/industrial environment


In addition to the environmental problems, the great industrial development has led to the loss of the skills and know-how accumulated over centuries.

Baubiologie (biology of inhabiting): It aims to minimize the negative impacts of
constructions both on the health of the occupants and on the environment.

Bioclimatic represents a working method that, starting with preliminary studies of the climatic conditions of the site directs the project to achieve sustainability and bio-architecture objectives.

The control of the micro-climate in the different seasons can be achieved through active systems or rather with passive measures, and therefore sustainable, as
simple as:

  • hindering direct solar irradiation through windows
  • adequate orientation of the building
  • type of building favoring natural cross-ventilation
  • use of clear finishes to promote maximum reflection
  • thermal inertia of the building.


Beijing National Stadium - Sheet1
Beijing National Stadium

is often used as the most consistent project option with bio-architecture.
But neither a bioform is guaranteed of a bio essence, nor the traditional forms, materials, and techniques are unnatural.


A residential module built from fully waste and recycled materials opened  in Switzerland

A residential module built from fully waste and recycled materials opened in Switzerland

has become a magic word for any architecture that wants to aspire to
sustainability. However, recycling would be the last option within a group of more
sustainable variants such as repair, rehabilitation, recovery, re-use …

U5: The experience of architecture: basic concepts


Relation of CONTRAST

The relation with the place is of juxtaposition or abstraction?

Architecture dominates the landscape
Casa Danzante - Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre
Frank Gehry: Dancing house (1992-1996), Prague

Case of juxtaposition. The building dominates the urban landscape, in front of the river Moldava.

The Villa Savoye … in Poissy … a Le Corbusier marvel … - The Website Of  Author Marilyn Z. Tomlins
Le Corbusier: Villa Sovoie (1929-1930), Poissy-sur-Seine, France

Case of juxtaposition by abstraction. Building ignores the context, is indifferent to it, alien to it.

Relation of CAMOUFLAGE

The relation of the building with the place is of extreme integration: mimesis.

Aloni House by decaARCHITECTURE on The Antiparos Island in Greece
decaARCHITECTURE: Aloni house (2008), Antiparos, Greece

Case of camouflage, because the building aims to become invisible, disappearing in the landscape.

Featured Project: ACROS Fukuoka Prefectural International Hall -
Emilio Ambasz: ACROS Fukuoka Prefectural International Hall (1990-94), Fukuoka, Japan.

Case of camouflage through two different resources: covering the building with a layer of vegetation; sinking part of the volume underneath.

Relation of ORGANICISM

The building is a nod to the place. Integration is done by reinterpreting its elements.
It shows sensitivity towards the place.

12 Facts About Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater | Mental Floss
Frank L. Wright: Kaufmann house (Fallingwater) (1935-1937), Stewart, USA

Case of organicism. Several gestures indicate this relationship of integration
and harmony with the place, for instance:
• the stairs that descend to the water;
• the rock which rises and emerges in the interior;
• the use of stone, both on floors and in a vertical structure.


It has to do with the meaning expressed by the building. The relationship with the
place is justifiable.

Kursaal | Rafael Moneo Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain pawelpa… | Flickr
rafael moneo: kursaal (1990-1999), san sebastián, spain

Case of contextualism. Located at the mouth of the Urumea river and next to the Ensanche of San Sebastián, Moneo deforms the piece and does not follow the grid, to evoke the idea of rocks dragged by the river and stranded on the beach. To unify the two pieces, he employs a buried plinth.



The CLASSIC space is closed and compact because the historical architecture has been of massive wall type. That is a structural question that has given it a closed and compact character. In the RENAISSANCE, as well as being a closed space inheriting the characteristics of the classical space, it is centralized, with at least one axis of

Arquitectura (3) Bramante - Tempietto San Pietro in Montorio, Santa Maria  della Consolazione. Por Sergio Perdiguer - José María Marco
D. Bramante: Tempietto de San Pietro in Montorio (1502), Rome

The BAROQUE follows the classical heritage and experiments with centralized spaces with tension (two axes in the ellipse).

Spaces without a centre

JAPANESE (traditional) space
Based on modules of tatami. It does not exist until it is lived. Closely linked to
the function, it only exists if used. It is never perceived as a whole or subdivided
unit, as in the West, but as the sum of the individual rooms.

What makes Japanese houses so different? | by Pablo Jimenez-Moreno | Medium
Interior of a traditional Japanese house. Partitions are called shoji

MODERN space

The Modern Movement breaks the compact space breaks the “box” and lets the space flow, allowing:

  • horizontal connections: (interior-exterior); and
  • vertical connections
Villa Müller (Adolf Loos; Praga; 1928) | ▷ Blog Arquitectura y Diseño.  Inspírate con nuestros interiores y casas de diseño.
Adolf Loos: Villa Müller (1928), Prague


One feature of some buildings is the total and absolute confusion of the public space with the space of relation. The entire building space is unique and continuous.

Oslo Opera House | The Oslo Opera House is the home of The N… | Flickr
Oslo Opera House (1965-1968), Oslo


Sequence/repetition of shapes in space. The rhythm sets the time.

There are many options with rhythm in architecture visible in the plan, elevations, and sections, for example by separating windows in the wall, columns in a colonnade, pillars in an arcade.

Histoire de l'Art et du Sacré La Renaissance italienne au XVe siècle. Les  architectes renouvellent les styles
Luca Fancelli: Palazzo Pitti (1458), Florence


The linear element that marks a direction and distributes the space or elements around it.

Contemporary (1940-Now) Photographic Images France Paris Old Photo Sky view  of Champs Elysees
champs Elysee


The regular arrangement of parts or points of a body or figure in relation to a centre, axle or plan.

Torres Kio (Puerta de Europa) | Turismo Madrid
La Puerta de Europa, Madrid, Spain


Relationship of the supremacy of an element over others based on an established approach.

  • By the size
  • By the form
  • By the situation
BBVA Headquarters / Herzog & de Meuron | ArchDaily
Herzog & De Meuron: Heardquarters of BBVA (2015), Madrid


A unitary element that serves as a proportional unit, and is repeated on the same scale or at different scales.

Clásico de la arquitectura: Nakagin Capsule Tower / Kisho Kurokawa |  Plataforma Arquitectura
Kisho Kurokawa: Nagakin tower (1970-1972), Tokio, Japan


Composition based on a grid of axes serving as a guide

Price Tower- Wright- 1952,1956. Bartlesville, Oklahoma, EEUU. Tipología:  Trabajo y viviend… | Planos arquitectonicos, Partido arquitectonico,  Fractales arquitectura
F. Ll. Wright: Price Tower (1952-1956), Bartlesville, Oklahoma


The irregularity of forms and the variants of order inspire the idea of movement, of displacement.

Zaha Hadid Heydar Aliyev Center Baku Azerbaijan | Floornature
Zaha Hadid: Heydar Aliyev Center (2013), Baku, Azerbaijan.


The relationship of the parts to the whole so that nothing should be removed or added. Unity means congruity or agreement that exists among the elements in a design. There is some visual connection and looks like they belong together.

Parthenon - Madain Project (en)
Iktinos, Callicrates, and Phidias: Parthenon (5th cBE), Athens, Greece


Organization of space around a center that creates attraction towards it.

AD Classics: Exeter Library (Class of 1945 Library) / Louis Kahn | ArchDaily
Louis I. Kahn. Phillips Exeter Academy Library (1965-1972), New Hampshire


The complementary relationship between the elements of a composition:
• If the elements are equal and symmetrical, we
speak about static equilibrium.
• If they are compensated by geometric difference,
color …, we speak about dynamic equilibrium.

Balancing Barn / MVRDV | Plataforma Arquitectura
MVRDV: Balancing Barn (2010), Suffolk, United Kingdom
Balancing Barn / MVRDV | ArchDaily
MVRDV: Balancing Barn (2010), Suffolk, United Kingdom


It is the edge of the elements of the composition where there is a change
from the rest.

Maggie's Centre Barts | Arquine
Steven Holl: Maggie’s Center Barts (2017), London


“Architecture is the learned game; correct and magnificent forms are assembled in the light. Our eyes are made to see the forms under the light: the shadows and the clearings reveal the forms.”
Le Corbusier

Chapelle de Notre Dame du Haut | Caracterísiticas | Le Corbusier
Le Corbusier: Notre-Dame-du-Haut (1955), Ronchamp, France.


Chromatic manifestation of the elements to be used.

The Bundeswehr Museum of Military History | Landeshauptstadt Dresden
Daniel Libeskind: Military History Museum (2011), Dresden, Germany


Chromatic manifestation of the elements to be used.

Architect's Learning Handbook: Cuadra San Cristobal by Luis Barragan 1968
L. Barragán: San Cristobal Stable, Horse Pool and House (1976), Mexico City


Surface finishing of the elements involved in the final perception of architecture.

Palazzo Te - Mantua | Inexhibit
Giulio Romano: Palazzo del Te (1524-1534), Mantua, Italy.


Harmonic relation of dimensions according to certain mathematical or geometric rules.

Le Corbusier, Villa Stein, Garches, France, 1927 | Le corbusier,  Architecture model, Architecture
Le Corbusier: villa Stein (1926-1928), Garches, France


Relation between the size of the building and the size of the human being. Sizing referred to a selected unit.

HISTORIA DEL ARTE : temas, imágenes y comentario: ** Carlo Maderno. Fachada  de S. Pedro del Vaticano.
C. Maderno: Façade of San Pietro in Vaticano

Mechanical Functionalism

It has its roots in the Industrial Revolution. The form is a direct and mechanical consequence of the functions to which it is linked.

Beauty comes automatically from the most perfect mechanical efficiency and not from a deliberate search for beauty.

The New Objectivity. Van Nelle Fabriek by Brinkman & Van der Vlugt | The  Strength of Architecture | From 1998
J. Brinkman; L. van der VlugtL: Van Nelle factory (1925-1931), Rotterdam, Netherlands

Organic Functionalism

The form takes on a biological sense and adapts itself to the living functions which
must be carried out in the environment (architecture), that is, adapted to human activities and the social environment.

31 Wingspread, Herbert F. Johnson House. - flw ideas | johnson house, frank  lloyd wright, prairie style
F. Ll. Wright: Wingspread (1937), Wind Point, Wisconsin.

Moralistic Functionalism

A utility exists for an end.
It comes from the classical aesthetic, which argued that something can be considered beautiful when it is useful and suitable to its end (Socrates).
BEAUTY and UTILITY are so close that they become confused.
Beauty means precisely to make visible its UTILITY, WHAT IT SERVES.
Defining WHAT IS USEFUL acquires a capital importance in this approach to modern
functionalism and becomes a MORAL issue.

Longaberger Baskets Are About to Get a New Lease on Life | Architectural  Digest
Longaberger Basket Building, Newark, USA
Materiality and Structure


  • Wood
  • Steel
  • Concrete
  • Stone
  • Earth
  • Bricks
  • Glass


  • Nowadays prefabrication


The glory of pagan imperial Rome was lost, and a new Christian empire was established in the East, in which religious and civil powers were merged. The classical language of architecture developed from the architecture of Greece and Rome vanished between the 5th and 15th centuries in the Middle Ages but then continued in later stages, from the Renaissance (15th century in Italy) to the Modern Age.

High Middle Ages

6th Century. The BYZANTINE

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia represents the union between the Empire and the Church, a cube topped by a dome (the earth covered by the dome of heaven). It is the combination of the central plan of the Roman buildings with the dome and the Roman basilicas. The central dome is not as large as that of the Pantheon, but it was an artistic and technical achievement.

As a result of the proliferation of charitable activities, there was also a demand to construct buildings for such purposes, such as hospices hospitals, and orphanages, some of them large enough to accommodate between 100 and 200 beds. Roads are modified in order to connect religious buildings (churches, martyria, urban monasteries). Stone is widely used, especially the one expelled to the oldest buildings, either in a hurry in construction or to save on materials.

The dimensions of existing cities tend to shrink, and new cities develop in very small areas compared to the past, in order to concentrate resources and defend better in case of attack. In this way, a defensive lifestyle is acquired, especially in the peripheries of the empire.

Justinian began a systematic program of reinforcement of the cities, restoring the
ancient walls and adding a large number of fortified centers. It is the passage from the city to the military fortification.

Justinian, Byzantine emperor

Justinian I, Latin in full Flavius Justinianus, original name Petrus Sabbatius, (born 483, Tauresium, Dardania [probably near modern Skopje, North Macedonia]—died November 14, 565, Constantinople [now Istanbul, Turkey]), Byzantine emperor (527–565), noted for his administrative reorganization of the imperial government and for his sponsorship of a codification of laws known as the Code of Justinian.


In medieval PRE-ROMANESQUE architecture, in addition to churches and monasteries that followed the Christian tradition from the Roman Empire, castles were developed. This typology arises in the 8th century and extends throughout Europe.

They were Romanized populations and converted to Christianity in the 5th century. With almost no architectural tradition and no familiarity with stone constructions due to their nomadic character, they acquire a uniform style, although with different languages according to the promoters, which is based on the ideological and conscious use of the plundered elements of Roman buildings, which are reused with greater symbolic use and well integrated with the new elements of good quality.

Between the middle of the 7th century and the beginning of the 8th century, an ecclesiastical architecture was developed that takes up the model of the traditional
Roman basilica and delineates a central floor typology with massive forms influenced by the Aegean and Syrian areas.

They are characterized by the desire to reaffirm classical art in order to emulate the Roman Empire. For this reason, a systematic recovery is carried out that involves different artistic influences (renovation) in order to legitimize and celebrate the

After the post-Carolingian feudal anarchy, the Ottonians collected the Carolingian stylistic and cultural reminiscences to confirm the existence of a link with the Christian emperors. They dedicated themselves to the construction of religious buildings such as abbeys and cathedrals, inspired by Roman basilicas and also using the westward and double apses.

Islamic culture and architecture developed in most of the Iberian Peninsula between the 8th and 15th centuries. There are still traces of many fortresses, as well as the urban layout of cities and towns.


Islamic architecture produces new architectural types such as mosques −places for prayer and gatherings− and baths (Hamam) for hygienic and religious purposes.

HASSAN II mosque
Moroccan Hammam

Romanesque is associated with the art of the Normans, who in these centuries experienced their peak and maximum diffusion. The term Romanesque was coined in the 19th century because especially architecture maintained basic characteristics similar to Roman architecture.

The Christian religion increased its political and international role in the face of feudal divisions. It undertakes a work of education and mass evangelization, to such an extent that architecture and art are loaded with symbolism (paintings, reliefs, geometries…) and lose realism. This symbolism shows up, especially in the delicately sculpted capitals.

It spread mainly in the territories furthest from the classical context
and therefore more distant from their culture, considered as well as
the art of the barbarians (Goths).

Unlike Classical architecture, Gothic architecture was able to express the play of forces acting in the building in a condition of dynamic balance. Form, dimension, and material of each element respond to the structural needs in a coherent way


The cathedral was the house of God, a God who produces fear. Hence the need to reach great heights that reduce the human scale. They were a great testing ground
for architectural experimentation, including a series of improvements such as pointed arches and ribbed vaults.

Civil buildings

There is a multitude of civil buildings, an expression of the new bourgeois social class and its new demands. At this moment, town halls, stately palaces, universities
(which in those years began to proliferate), fortresses, bastions, bridges, bell towers, shipyards are being built.

The Church suffers a great crisis that leads to the schism of the West Humanism was a philosophy that emphasized the importance of human values and achievements, distinguishing them from religious dogma.

Vitruvius man, by Leonardo da Vinci.
Filippo Brunelleschi

Architect, humanist, goldsmith, sculptor, mathematician.

He rediscovered the laws of perspective by formulating the basis of mathematical perspective and applying it to architecture, constructing space in an intellectual and
rational way. Architecture is a mathematical science that operates with spatial units.

His best-known work is the dome of Florence’s cathedral which, for its size and design, is a landmark in the city, symbol of a new civic value.

Hospital of the Innocents, Florence (1419-1424), project supported by Giovanni di Bicci de’ Medici.

Leon Battista Alberti

Alberti is one of the great architects in both theory and practice. He composes several treatises: De Pictura (3 books), De Statua (1 book), and De Re Ædificatoria (10 books).

De Pictura
De Statua
De Re Ædificatoria

The treatise De Re Ædificatoria would represent, together with that of Vitruvio, an essential reference for all classical tratadistics. Here he defines his aesthetic principles around Beauty and Ornament:
«Beauty is the harmony between all the parts of the whole according to a certain norm so that it is not possible to remove, put, or change anything without the whole
becoming more imperfect.»
«Ornament is a kind of secondary beauty aid, a complementary element. Ornament is by nature something accessory.»

Andrea Palladio

Palladio writes «I Quattro Libri dell’Architettura», published in Venice (1570), which includes a study of ancient Roman architecture, an analysis of classical orders, and the documentation of his own work, private and public. The bulk of his work consists of more than 40 country villas that he built in the vicinity of Venice and Vicenza for the Venetian nobility.

Based on his music studies, he designed his villas using numerical systems of proportionality for the rooms, devising a variety of types characterized by the simplicity of the floor plan, the compositional proportion, and the functionality.

villa Capra

The use of the dome in a private residence was a novelty of Palladio since until then the dome was reserved for churches (symbol of heaven and divinity).

He also built two churches in Venice (basilica of San Giorgio and the Redentore)

basilica of San Giorgio
the Redentore

Michelangelo Buonarroti was one of the greatest artists: sculptor, painter, and architect. His work was developed in Florence and Rome; his patrons were the Medici family and other Roman popes. He illustrates the transition between Renaissance and Mannerism, with very important works where it is seen that he
uses the classical elements transforming or manipulating them and transgressing the classical design.

Laurenziana library

In the redevelopment of the Capitoline Hill (Campidoglio) in Rome, Michelangelo adds value to the old area, designing an urban route, connecting
several areas of the city and incorporating new facades into existing buildings.

Capitoline hill

Baroque architecture and the subsequent rococo is an effort to obtain the maximum possible effects from the molded space, the manipulation of light, color, and sensual detail.

The structure took a back seat. The focus was on the visual effect and decoration.
The dividing line between reality and illusion is blurred, with decorations
that rise towards the sky that frame the scenes.

It is an artistic expression in which fantasy, mutability, the multiplication of
scenographic effects, asymmetry, the use of lights, water and the movement
of space intervene. In urban planning, the idea of the focal point, of the route, of the symbolic square is born.

Gian Lorenzo Bernini
1598 -1680

Italian architect, sculptor, and painter. He is the heir to Michelangelo’s sculptural strength and the main model of architectural Baroque in Europe.

Its architecture pursues the emotional impact.

Bernini’s Ecstasy of St. Theresa

Francesco Borromini

The most original and revolutionary architect of the Six Hundred.
His work was always based on simple geometric elements, triangles, circles, and ellipses whose translation and spatial manipulation, by means of prisms,
cylinders, and spherical caps, were later greatly admired in architecture.

The façade of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane

In Sant’ivo Alla Sapienza, he uses equilateral circles and triangles, organized on a single star of David to form a space with a central floor plan and integrated side
chapels. Three of the lobes corresponding to the tip of the star end in semicircular apses (concave) and the other three show convex niches.

Sant'Ivo alla Sapienza - Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre
Sant'Ivo alla Sapienza by F. Borromini. Original Drawings and photo. |  Download Scientific Diagram
Sant’ivo alla Sapienza
18th century

More than a current, Rococo is an artistic fashion born in the French courtly environments. It is distinguished by the frivolity and superficiality of a
decorations faithful to themselves, with the aim of surprise and ostentation.

Sesión de fotos en el casco antiguo - Airbnb
Palace of Marqués de dos Aguas, Valencia, Spain.

Neoclassicism was the formal expression that reflected in the arts the intellectual principles of the Enlightenment.

Neoclassical style [Theoretical Neoclassicism] was linked to the idea of public service and educational functions of the buildings, as well as the Greek agora that was configured by STOAS, large and elongated public buildings with arcades to encourage meetings, installation of craftsmen, etc…

Fichier:Boullée - Projet d'Opéra - élévation.jpg — Wikipédia

Visiter l'Arc de Triomphe depuis l'hôtel Acadie | Paris

The industrialization of the western world produced an increase in population and a migratory phenomenon towards the cities, which were left insufficient: the walls were demolished, the expansion began with industrial and worker neighborhoods, new construction typologies appeared (industrial units or naves, stations, hangars, markets, sanitary infrastructures, pavilions…).

Gothic Revival Architecture that will take you back to 19th century -

Art Nouveau - Modernisme

It is a “new art” that in Paris and Brussels is called Art Nouveau, in Spain
Modernisme, in Austria Sezession, in Germany Jugendsyl, in Italy Liberty,
in Scotland the Glasgow School

5 Edificios que representan la arquitectura 'art nouveau'

Modernism developed in Catalonia at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century with :

  • Antoni Gaudi
  • William Morris
  • Charles Rennie Mackintos
1910 - 1924
✨Vintage, Arts, Architecture✨ | Futuristic architecture, Structural  expressionism, Architecture

The diffusion of photography, which well represents reality, demystifies realistic art by rethinking plastic art. These new approaches are reflected in architecture.
As in painting, expressionist architecture is built with expression, distorting the rational form to express the spirit. This new language lasted a short time, around 1920 it was extinguished due to the excessive cost of handcrafted products.

Cubism, Futurism
Early 20th century

The idea of the simultaneous vision of CUBISM will be translated with Gropius in the glass surfaces that eliminate the separations between interior and exterior for simultaneous contemplation, as well as in Le Corbusier it is translated in the
promenade architecture where the time factor influences the perception of architecture, in the use of monochromatic, in multiple points of

Hidden Architecture » Hodek Apartments - Hidden Architecture
J. Chochol: Hodek Apartments (1913), Prague
1917 - 1930

CONSTRUCTIVISM is characterized by rejecting the excess of bourgeois
decorative charge and ornamentation, and by adopting an abstract
geometrization in rejection of the figurative past. Social intentions are behind a
mechanistic aesthetics.

Lissitzky, Wolkenbügel (1924) | The Charnel-House
El Lissitzky: Wolkenbügel (1923-1925), Moscow, unbuilt
Neoplasticism (De Stijl)
1917 - 1942
De Stijl / Neoplasticism (1917-1942) – iDesignWiki

NEOPLASTICISM, both in art and architecture, translates into an orthogonal composition that can be extended to infinity, using planes, straight lines, and pure colors in search of a balance between essence and matter as well as purity.

1919 - 1933

Abstract aesthetics in Germany translated into rationalism that pursued functionality, industrialization, seriality, and economy through elementary volumes, clean planes without decorations, straight lines, pure colors (black and white), flat roofs, large glazing, and the absence of façade hierarchies. The MODERN MOVEMENT was born.

AD Classics: Dessau Bauhaus / Walter Gropius | ArchDaily
W. Gropius: Bauhaus building (1926), Dessau, Germany
Contemporary Architecture
1950 - 2021

One of the predominant aspects of the 1950s and 1960s is the need to measure oneself against the change brought about by the masters of the Modern Movement: faced with their great contribution, the dichotomy is either continuity or revision.

Torre Velasca - Wikipedia
BBPR: Torre Velasca (1956-1958), and Castello Sforzesco, Milano
Architecture in the 50s and 60s
Restaurant Submarino - Oceanografic | Restaurant Valencia
F. Candela: L’Oceanogràfic (2002), Valencia

the Modern Movement because it is dehumanized and they consider that function must be adapted to the needs of the human being within its cultural tradition and in its place.

Architecture since de 1960s

These are times of revolutions, utopias, and proposals, with much theoretical and practical experimentation (deconstructivism, high-tech, neo-brutalism, biomorphism, postmodernism …) where the personal individuality of the architect, the environmental sensitivities related to sustainability,… begins to have more expression. To classify the architects of this era in a concrete architectural
“style” is very risky.

Indizeak Aurkibide Onomastikoa Aurkibidea Kronologikoa Aurkibide  Geografikoa Aurkibide Bibliografikoa Aurkibide Tipologikoa Gako-hitzen  Aurkibidea Hurrengoa Aurrekoa Hasiera Inprimatu Hearst Tower 2003 - 2006  FOSTER, Norman New York City ...
Foster & Partners: Hearst Tower (2003-2006), New York


Romans 1,100 BCE – 476 CE

The settlement of the Latins in the center of the Italian peninsula occurs around 1,100 BCE. According to ancient Roman tradition it was in 753 BCE when Romulus and Remus founded the city of Rome. The Romans spread throughout the Mediterranean basin and much of Europe.

Roman architecture was universal, With the discovery of concrete, the Romans created new forms and were able to experiment with interior space, lights, and shadows. The most singular technical advance was the coverage of large public
spaces with arches, vaults, or domes.

Religious buildings: temple

Normally they placed their temples on a very high podium whose staircase was located in the axis of the door of the cella, They usually were pseudoperiptera, with the lateral columns attached to the wall of the cellar).

Romans also experimented with other types of plants (circular, cruciform …). They took elements from other Etruscan villages: arch and vault. They developed domes to cover buildings solving the technical problems of the Greeks.

Civil works
sewage network
Public buildings
Triumphal Arches
Commemorative columns
Public buildings

They contained:

  • Apodyterium: for changing and storing clothes.
  • Tepidarium: warm room.
  • Caldarium: hot room.
  • Frigidarium: cold room.
  • Natatio: open-air swimming pool.
  • Palaestrae: exercise rooms.

They were perfectly semi-circular and their Function was somewhat different. They were employed to perform theatrical Greek and Roman plays, without religious or educational purposes.

The main parts of a theatre were:

  • Scænæ: stage house.
  • Orchestra: space between the cavea and the scænæ.
  • Cavea: seating section.

The amphitheaters are the main Roman architecture innovation. They present a double theatre with an elliptical scene and a continuous grandstand.

The basilicæ were conceived as courts of justice for legal proceedings.
They were equivalent to the Greek stoa

Basilica Ulpia

The Roman circus was destined for races, gladiatorial combats, shows, and performances. They were inspired by Greek racetracks and stadiums, but
with much larger dimensions.

Private buildings

The habitual dwelling of the richest families had an atrium with impluvium (small pond to collect rainwater), surrounding public relations rooms (tabernæ), and private rooms (cubicula). They ended up in another open space with an orchard or garden (peristylium). Between the atrium and the peristylium was the tablinum. Connected to the peristylium were the dining room (triclinium) and the kitchen (culina).

The insulæ were the dwellings of the plebeians who constituted the most numerous part of the population. They were buildings of three or four floors subdivided into
different flats. The ground floor was used for tabernæ, shops, and businesses.
They were built with low-quality materials and wood (fires and landslides were frequent). Flats were divided into two premises, one for cooking and the other for sleeping. They were often occupied by several families at the same time. They had no heating, so there was a fire in the middle of the kitchen for both cooking and heating.


Romans structured the city with orthogonal planning, derived from the camps (castrum) that were the basis of the planning. The first Roman cities and those that emerged from the Greek colonies had plots of streets in the form of more or less irregular rectangles, but later more regular city blocks were made.

U2 – The current architect

What we have to learn :


*Delve into what we look at in order to turn it into thought.

*Get used to analyzing what surrounds us.

*Drawing is a process of interpretation of reality.

*Traveling allows us to acquire new points of view.

*Reading allows us to travel where we cannot to deepen ideas.

*Taking photographs, understood as to create a unique gaze among the infinite possibilities.

*Watching films that are composed of light, space, movements,… like architecture.


*Know how to express our thoughts and find the language and tools to interpret our ideas.

*Be critical, suspicious, and curious.

*Collective thinking, share your ideas, continuous dialogue with colleagues.


*Understand the needs of the users.

*Understand the compositional rules of architecture from antiquity to the present day, in order to practice with them before finding one’s own way.

*Understand the materials, their compatibilities, their technical characteristics, and the possibilities of use.

*Understand the traditional and modern construction techniques and how the architectural elements that surround us are constructed.

*Find technical solutions to our ideas, constructive viability.

what is to be an architect?

is to know how to recognize and interpret the reality that surrounds us, but also to be able to dream and imagine things that don’t exist yet. The architect works with sight, by perceiving and interpreting the piece of the world in which he is immersed, but he also uses his hand to define and shape new objects, to change his environment. Eye and hand are united in a single mental process that connects what exists with what is dreamt. ALFONSO MUNOZ COSME

The practice of architecture

Regulation in Spain

The profession of architect is regulated by the “ley 38/1999 05/11, de ordenacion de la edificacion ” It regulates the building process, defines the agents that intervene in it, establishes obligations and responsibilities, guarantees of the users to ensure quality through compliance with the basic requirements of the buildings (art.1)

common forms of employment

*Self-employed work (own office)

*Work for others: -for other architects and/or companies (false self-employed-TRADE -for the administration ( public work )

Main area of work

Building, urban planning, interior design, teaching, valuation…

U1 – What is architecture?

what is architecture?

Architecture is an art where the personality of an architect can be expressed, it’s the process of creating and building an idea, the architect, design and express ideas to create unique buildings. It’s a way of seeing the world through different eyes, a reflection of how we wish to live, and a mix of the technique of engineering and the beauty of art.

Architecture is the art of building

Marcus Vitruvius

A bicycle shed is a building; Lincoln Cathedral is a work of architecture

Nikolaus Pevsner

Architecture is the inevitable art, we are in continuous contact with it … we can avoid contemplating paintings, sculptures, or any other work of art but architecture, affects us constantly, configures our behavior and conditions …

Richard Leland

the dominion of nature creates culture through technique … construction as technique is the way to dominate our environment to turn it into architecture

Juan Calduch

Unlike the arts, sciences, philosophy, or any other way of knowing the world, the technique is essentially a way of doing, therefore, the technique defines humanity.

it is the way it tries to dominate nature. It defines the way we live. The technical dimension places architecture on the border with the arts goes beyond individual capacity, and requires programming of its execution.


Prehistoric Architecture

The term prehistory references the period before history was written down, prior to any kind of written explanation of culture and civilization.  This discussion covers architecture during the period we call the Late New Stone Age.  This is a very small segment or cross-section of prehistory.  Prehistory basically covers the Old Stone Age, Middle Stone Age, and New Stone Age (Paleolithic, Mesolithic, and Neolithic ) periods, as well as portions of the Bronze and Iron Ages, there were two basic typologies – caves and temporary dwellings. Caves were natural rock-cut shelters.  They were not man-made.  They were natural forms usually created by the erosion of water in natural bedrock.  These are the earliest examples of human dwellings.  They had irregular forms as a result instead of any kind of regular or especially purposeful geometry.

Egyptian Architecture

Even so, the pyramids are the most recognizable symbol of ancient Egypt. Even though other civilizations, such as the Maya or the Chinese, also employed this form, the pyramid in the modern day is synonymous in most people’s minds with Egypt. The pyramids at Giza remain impressive monuments thousands of years after they were built and the knowledge and skill required to construct them were gathered over the many centuries prior to their construction.


Imhotep, the World’s First Known Architect

Imhotep lived around 2700 BC. He was the chief architect for the Pharaoh Djoser and is the first architect in recorded history we know by name. When Imhotep was growing up, most buildings were made of sun-baked brick or stone. But when he became an architect, he came up with a new idea. He designed Djoser’s Step Pyramid at Saqqara to be made out of cutting stone, a more durable weight-bearing material that allowed the structure to be built much higher. It began as a mastaba-shaped structure but grew to have six stepped layers and reach a height of 200 feet. It was the largest building of its time and the first known monumental building in the world.

classical architecture

Classical architecture refers to the architectural styles of the ancient Greeks and Romans, who have influenced architecture throughout history.

Colosseum 70-80 A.D. – By Vespasian


was a Roman emperor who reigned from 69 to 79 AD. The fourth and last emperor who reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors, he founded the Flavian dynasty that ruled the Empire for 27 years. His fiscal reforms and consolidation of the empire generated political stability and a vast Roman building program.

Apollodorus of Damascus

The Pantheon 118-125 A.D. – By Apollodorus Of Damascus

medieval architecture

For more than a century after the Battle of Hastings, all substantial stone buildings in England were built in the Romanesque style. Known in the British Isles as Norman, it is a direct descendant of late Roman architecture. It was superseded from the later 12th century by a new style

The early 13th-century east end of Rievaulx Abbey church, North Yorkshire
notre dame paris

Jean de Chelles

was a master mason and sculptor who was one of the architects at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris. On the exterior wall of the south transept a stone plaque is signed Johanne Magistro and dated February 1257, documenting the initiation of alterations to the transept and its portal. On his death in 1265 he was succeeded by Master Pierre de Montreuil.

Jean de Chelles is credited with the south end of the transept of Nôtre Dame de Paris, the portal of the cloister and its rose window, and the portail Saint Etienne.

He is supposed to have worked with Pierre de Montreuil on the Cathedral of Saint Julien, Le Mans. A Jean de Chelles was working on the Palais du Louvre in 1265, under the direction of Raymond du Temple. He is sometimes thought to have worked on the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, but Robert Branner believes this to have actually been created by Thomas Cormont, who had previously worked at Amiens.

The Pierre de ChellesMaître de l’Œuvre de la cathédrale de Paris, who, with others, inspected the vaults and other work at Chartres cathedral in an official capacity, 9 September 1316, may have been a son or nephew, succeeding him at Notre-Dame de Paris.

Statue of Jehan de Chelles, Parc du souvenir, Chelles (Seine-et-Marne)

Renaissance architecture

is the European architecture of the period between the early 14th and early 16th centuries in different regions, demonstrating a conscious revival and development of certain elements of ancient Greek and Roman thought and material culture. Stylistically, Renaissance architecture followed Gothic architecture and was succeeded by Baroque architecture. Developed first in Florence, with Filippo Brunelleschi as one of its innovators, the Renaissance style quickly spread to other Italian cities. The style was carried to Spain, France, Germany, England, Russia and other parts of Europe at different dates and with varying degrees of impact.

Filippo Brunelleschi 

also known as Pippo;[4] 1377 – 15 April 1446), considered to be a founding father of Renaissance architecture, was an Italian architect, designer, and sculptor, and is now recognized to be the first modern engineer, planner, and sole construction supervisor.In 1421, Brunelleschi became the first person to receive a patent in the Western world. He is most famous for designing the dome of the Florence Cathedral, a feat of engineering that had not been accomplished since antiquity, as well as the development of the mathematical technique of linear perspective in art which governed pictorial depictions of space until the late 19th century and influenced the rise of modern science.His accomplishments also include other architectural works, sculpture, mathematics, engineering, and ship design. His principal surviving works can be found in Florence, Italy.

Cathedral Sanctae Mariae Flori

In 1418 the Opera del Duomo announced a public competition for the construction of the dome with a handsome prize of 200 gold florins—and a shot at eternal fame—for the winner. Leading architects of the time flocked to Florence to present their ideas.

After many uncertainty the Opera del Duomo agreed to make Filippo Brunelleschi the superintendent of the cupola project and appointed Lorenzo Ghiberti, Brunelleschi’s fellow goldsmith, as a co-superintendent. The two men had been rivals since 1401, when they had vied for another illustrious commission, the new bronze doors for the Florentine Baptistery. Ghiberti had won. Now Brunelleschi, whose design for the cupola had been accepted outright, was forced to work side by side with his gallingly successful rival.

The construction of the Dome began on 7 August 1420.

modern architecture

an architectural movement or architectural style based upon new and innovative technologies of construction, particularly the use of glass, steel, and reinforced concrete; the idea that form should follow function (functionalism); an embrace of minimalism; and a rejection of ornament.[1] It emerged in the first half of the 20th century and became dominant after World War II until the 1980s, when it was gradually replaced as the principal style for institutional and corporate buildings by postmodern architecture.


alvar aalto

was a Finnish architect and designer. His work includes architecture, furniture, textiles and glassware, as well as sculptures and paintings. He never regarded himself as an artist, seeing painting and sculpture as “branches of the tree whose trunk is architecture.” Aalto’s early career ran in parallel with the rapid economic growth and industrialization of Finland during the first half of the 20th century. Many of his clients were industrialists, among them the Ahlström-Gullichsen family. The span of his career, from the 1920s to the 1970s, is reflected in the styles of his work, ranging from Nordic Classicism of the early work, to a rational International Style Modernism during the 1930s to a more organic modernist style from the 1940s onwards.

Typical for his entire career is a concern for design as a Gesamtkunstwerk, a total work of art, in which he – together with his first wife Aino Aalto – would design the building, and give special treatment to the interior surfaces, furniture, lamps and glassware. His furniture designs are considered Scandinavian Modern, in the sense of a concern for materials, especially wood, and simplification but also technical experimentation, which led him to receiving patents for various manufacturing processes, such as bent wood.As a designer he is celebrated as the inventor of bent plywood furniture.The Alvar Aalto Museum, designed by Aalto himself, is located in what is regarded as his home city Jyväskylä .