2023-2024 / ARCH2224-1

Architectural culture 2 - history of construction - Antiquity to the 19th century


40h Th

Number of credits

 Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Architectural Engineering4 crédits 
 Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Engineering5 crédits 
 Bachelor in architecture5 crédits 


Baptiste Drugmand, Philippe Sosnowska


Philippe Sosnowska

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the second semester


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

The course will be structured around several themes. Firstly, it will define the history of construction and underline what distinguishes it from the history of architecture. Particular attention will be paid to the different disciplines that participate in the development of this broad field of research;
This approach will be accompanied by a presentation, throughout the course, of the historiography specific to the history of construction and to each of the themes addressed, from ancient treatises to current scientific production. This contribution will allow the student to enrich the knowledge acquired during this course, while developing a critical eye with regard to the subject matter and the works used.
In a second phase, the history and evolution of the building site during the period under consideration will be discussed. This approach will provide an interesting insight into the actors of the ancient construction sector, while addressing the fundamental questions of the supply of building sites and certain elements of technical and "technological" evolution in architectural design;
Finally, in a third phase, all the building materials in use in Western Europe will be discussed from Antiquity to the first half of the 19th century; this presentation of the richness of the use of these materials in a diachronic but also geographical perspective.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

This course is a first contact with research in construction history;

To acquire a specific and precise vocabulary in relation to each theme and subject covered.

To acquire and deepen knowledge of the history of construction (historiography, materials, implementation, history of building sites in a diachronic vision);

To understand questions of epistemology and methodology in order to sharpen the students' critical thinking and to develop and enrich certain aspects of university research;

To develop students' ability to read the historical environment on the basis of the methods of construction and the materials used;

Finally, to situate their own practice within a historical continuum by understanding the importance of materials and techniques in architectural design.

This course contributes to the learning outcomes I.2, II.1, II.2, V.1, V.2, VI.1, VI.2, VII.3 of the BSc in engineering.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Secondary school history courses.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

This will be an ex cathedra course aimed at a wide audience. Lecturers will shed light on a particular subject area

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Blended learning

Additional information:

The teaching mode will be face-to-face. However, depending on the guest speakers, some sessions may be given online.

Recommended or required readings

Readings will be proposed during the different sessions. Students will be encouraged to remain active by enriching their knowledge through reading books and listening to podcasts.

The course will not be based on a syllabus. However, PDFs of the presentations posted on the course website before each session will allow students to familiarise themselves with the subjects and can be used as a basis for note-taking.




Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( multiple-choice questionnaire, open-ended questions )

Additional information:

Written examination consisting of open (essay) and closed questions (restitution and comparison of elements) of the material seen in the course. A series of multiple choice questions is envisaged.

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course


Prof. Philippe Sosnowska philippe.sosnowska@uliege.be
Téléphone 04 242 7946
Prefer communication by e-mail

Association of one or more MOOCs