APL2003 : Twentieth Century Architecture, Heritage and Design (Inactive)

Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


This course examines the major currents in architectural thinking that have shaped and conditioned the design of buildings in the twentieth century.

It engages with the histories and theories of architecture and urban design in the twentieth century. It compares and contrasts the lives, ideas and work of some leading designers of the modernist era. The course is designed to raise awareness of the influences on the modern built environment, of important individual buildings, and of the social, economic, environmental, technological, historical and ideological factors that have influenced their design and surroundings. This will enrich students’ understanding of the achievements of the recent past, position present-day architecture in an historical context, and help the student to approach historical and contemporary design issues critically.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module – the teaching of which is based on a weekly one-hour illustrated lecture (12 lectures, followed by a final ‘revision lecture’) – covers selected topics in Western architecture from the beginning of the twentieth century, set against the theoretical and historical context out of which modern architecture developed, including: Early Twentieth-Century Architecture in Europe, the Bauhaus, the International Style, American Architecture, ‘Alternative Modernism’ in Europe and America, and Modern British Architecture. By examining the ideas and work of some leading designers of the modernist era – including Walter Gropius, Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, Alvar Aalto and Frank Lloyd Wright – the development of the central ideas of modern architecture is traced from the end of the nineteenth century.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:0050:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture121:3018:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical24:008:00Crit/review days - presenting own work and attendance at other students reviews
Guided Independent StudyProject work1116:00116:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The development of the central themes and concepts of modern architecture is traced from the late nineteenth century onwards by critically examining the work and ideas of some of the leading designers of the modern era.

This format is also designed to help students to develop their interpretative and critical faculties. Students are thereby encouraged to develop the kind of critical-historical perspective and awareness of past developments that is particularly valuable for both the academic and studio-based development of the practicing designer.

Students are also expected to take advantage of other relevant sources, such as topical articles, films and television programmes, important local buildings and lecture series. Doing so will broaden their exposure to architectural history and theory, and will also introduce them to a form of continuing professional development.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M25Short essay (1500 words), positioning their approach to a 20th century conservation area / building
Design/Creative proj2A75Design proposal seeking to balance the needs of different stakeholders in the community surrounding the site/building (500 words)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Essay & Project: To develop students' awareness of the design process and variety of approaches to understanding of 20th century architecture heritage building / area.

Reading Lists