2017-2018 / ARCH0123-1

Theory of architecture 1


20h Th, 4h Pr

Number of credits

 Bachelor in architecture2 crédits 
 Master in architecture (120 ECTS)2 crédits 


Patrick Bribosia

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

This course covers the essential basics of spatial composition (form and space) through a detailed examination of various examples of architecture. By means of this presentation of buildings students learn to see, feel, and analyze any built structure, based on their experiences and on a few main principles of composition. During the last two class meetings students will do a practical analysis of a building they choose themselves, or that they select from a reference book.
This course is a means of getting involved with reflection and experimentation, which should be continued in connection with architecture workshops.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:
- recognize primary forms and volumes that make up the built environment and recognize main types of composition in it;
- understand various two-dimensional representations of buildings that are analyzed (blueprints, cross-sections, etc. ) and to isolate the "spatial idea" that underlies a given project;
- synthesise different "systems" of composition studied ( dimensions, proportions, geometry, etc.), the felt experience of a location and the overall concept that gave rise to a given project.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

There are no actual prerequisites but the course is based on all possible examples of architecture from all cultures and historical periods.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Lectures and practical exercises in a workshop format. Groups working together must produce an analysis of a building through library research and lectures culminating in a joint text (1 x A4 for 2 students) and a graphic or 3-D document.

Mode of delivery (face-to-face ; distance-learning)

This course is taught by an instructor in class meetings;
Course notes are available in class. Students are not required to read lecture notes prior to class.

Recommended or required readings

Course notes must be purchased on the ULg website. Required textbook (group purchase possible / price is approx. 40 € ). "Architecture, Form, Space and Order" by F. CHING, published by Van Nostrand Reinhold, NY. 1996; + Recommended readings in the bibliography of the course notes package.

Assessment methods and criteria

General evaluation at end of course by means of a written examination which will be graded; Work in groups will be graded in terms of improvement, as long as students have attended and participated actively in both workshops, and can show improvement over their initial efforts.

Work placement(s)


Organizational remarks

(see official course schedule);
Class meetings take place normally 2h/sem. during 10 meetings + 2 workshops.
Examinations are held at the end of semester courses (= including January!) The examination is always written (in January, June and September).
For the January examination, students must present the following documents to be allowed to take the exam:
- identity card or student ID from the ULg;
- finished group project (3D or graphic + one page A4 explaining the project). In June and September, only identification cards are required, not a finished project.


Patrick Bribosia

Items online


Notes course
Notes course