ARCT06008 2019 Architectural Context & Theory I

General Details

Full Title
Architectural Context & Theory I
Transcript Title
Architectural Context & Theory
80 %
Subject Area
ARCT - Architecture
YADA - Yeats Academy Art Dsgn & Arch
06 - NFQ Level 6
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2019 - Full Academic Year 2019-20
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Bernadette Donohoe, Deirdre Greaney, Michael Roulston, Cliona Brady, Peter Scanlon, Mary Byrne, Maeliosa O'Brien
Programme Membership
SG_VARCH_H08 201900 Bachelor of Architecture (Honours) SG_DINTE_B07 201900 Bachelor of Arts in Design in Interior Architecture and Design SG_DINTE_B07 201900 Bachelor of Arts in Interior Architecture and Design SG_VINTE_B07 201900 Bachelor of Arts in Interior Architecture and Design SG_DINAD_H08 202000 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Interior Architecture and Design SG_D3INT_H08 201900 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in 3Interior Architecture and Design SG_VARCH_H08 202100 Bachelor of Architecture (Honours) SG_VARCH_H08 201800 Bachelor of Architecture (Honours) SG_VARDE_H08 202100 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Architectural Design SG_VARCH_H08 202200 Bachelor of Architecture (Honours) SG_VINTE_B07 202200 Bachelor of Arts in Interior Architecture and Design SG_DINAD_H08 202200 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Interior Architecture and Design SG_VARCI_H08 202100 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Architectural Design SG_VARCI_H08 202200 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Architectural Design SG_DINTE_H08 202300 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Interior Architecture and Design SG_DINAD_H08 202300 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Interior Architecture and Design SG_DINAD_H08 202400 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Interior Architecture and Design

Architectural Context & Theory I is an introductory and global survey course that sets out a broad history of architecture from prehistory to the 21st century. The aim is to situate the discipline of architecture within its social and cultural context. The global survey is explored through time-cuts, with a focus on key individuals, buildings, landscapes, urban settings emphasising connections, contrasts, and influences of architectural movements throughout history.

The context modules provide the skills to research and analyse a range of issues related to architecture and introduces the core vision points of the programme: interpretation of place; the power of architecture to transform; the possibilities of reusing and adapting our built heritage; and human experience and perception of space.​ These modules provide the theoretical framework for the design projects.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Identify key movements in architectural development from prehistory to 21st century


Utilise conventional architectural modes and styles of discourse to describe architecture of a specific period.


Examine how knowledge is originated in architecture and transformed and framed by it.


Discuss the basic intellectual, social, scientific, technological and cultural underpinnings of architecture.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

The Teaching and Learning strategies for Architectural Context & Theory I comprises a series of 12 thematic lectures and weekly 1 hour seminar and/or tutorial based activities. Lectures supported by images and texts, provide the themes concepts and general context. Seminars offer opportunities for more detailed thematic analyses, visual and textual analyses and group discussion. Workshops allow for focused interaction, research methodologies and oral communication strategies. Fundamental skills of reading, analysis and academic writing will be developed, along with the communication of architectural ideas through evaluation of precedent through words and diagrams. Both individual and group work modes are utilised throughout.

Module Assessment Strategies

Formative assessment deliverables address the module learning outcomes. The assessment strategy focuses on the student's introduction to the subject Architectural Context and Theory through:

  • Research and visual methodologies
  • Information literacy skills
  • Written composition

Oral presentation

Repeat Assessments

Repeat assessment will be dependent on failed components. This will be confirmed at formal exam boards.​

Module Dependencies


Indicative Syllabus

Lectures and seminars are organized by “time–cuts”, twelve chronological slices of time, beginning with 3500 BCE and ending with 1950 CE. Each of the twelve time-cuts are presented and discussed in lectures with case studies. Assigned readings on particular case studies will form part of the seminars.

Sample Architectural Context & Theory I Schedule

Wk 1 - Lecture 1: Introduction; Seminar/Tutorial 1: Readings / Discussion

Wk 2 - Lecture 2: 3500 BCE and 2500 BCE and 1500 BCE; Seminar/Tutorial 2: Readings / Discussion

Wk 3 - Lecture 3: 800 BCE and 400 BCE; Seminar/Tutorial 3: Readings / Discussion

Wk 4 - Lecture 4: 600 and 800 and 1000; Seminar/Tutorial 4: Readings / Discussion

Wk 5 - Lecture 5: 1200 CE; Seminar/Tutorial 5: Readings / Discussion

Wk 6 - Lecture 6: 1400 CE; Seminar/Tutorial 6: One to One Tutorials Assignment 1

Wk 7 - Assignment 1: Timeline Seminar Presentation

Wk 8 - Lecture 8: 1600 CE; Seminar/Tutorial 8: Readings / Discussion

Wk 9 - Lecture 9: 1700 CE ; Seminar/Tutorial 9: Readings / Discussion

Wk 10 - Lecture 10: 1800 CE; Seminar/Tutorial 10: Readings / Discussion

Wk 11 - Lecture 11: 1900 CE; Seminar/Tutorial 11: Readings / Discussion

Wk 12 - Lecture 12: 1950 CE; Seminar/Tutorial 12: One to One Tutorials Assignment 2

Wk 13 – Assignment 2: Essay Submission

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Assignment 1: Seminar Timeline Presentation Coursework Assessment Assignment 35 % Week 7 1,4
2 Assignment 2: Illustrated Essay (1,800 words) Coursework Assessment Essay 65 % Week 13 2,3

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Flat Classroom Lecture 1 Weekly 1.00
Tutorial Flat Classroom Seminar 1 Weekly 1.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 2.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Required Reading
2017 A global history of architecture Wiley

Required Reading
1997 The architecture of Ireland: from the earliest times to 1880 Lambay Books

Required Reading
1996 Modern Architecture since 1900 Phaidon

Required Reading
2010 A history of architecture: settings and rituals Oxford University Press.

Required Reading
2014 The city assembled: the elements of urban form through history Thames & Hudson

Required Reading
2014 Art and architecture of Ireland. Volume 4, Architecture, 1600-2000 Yale University Press

Required Reading
1991 Ireland and the New Architecture 1900-1940 The Lilliput Press

Required Reading
1972 Architecture and sculpture in Ireland, 1150-1350 Barnes & Noble Books

Required Reading
2004 Analysing architecture Routledge

Required Reading
2014 Twenty-five buildings every architect should understand Taylor & Francis Ltd

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

see book list

Journal Resources

see module hand book

URL Resources

Other Resources

Recommended reading:

Bell, J. (2010). The new modern house: redefining functionalism. London, UK: Laurence King.

Ching, F.D.K., (1999). Form, space and order. London, UK: John Wiley & Sons.

Farrelly, L. (2007). The fundamentals of architecture. Lausanne, Switzerland: AVA.

Norberg-Schulz, C. (1993). Concept of dwelling. New York, USA: Rissoli.

Rothery. S. (1997). A field guide to the buildings of Ireland. Ireland: Lilliput Press.

Shaffrey, P., & Shaffrey, M. (1984). Buildings of Irish Towns: Treasures of Everyday Architecture. Architectural Press.

Unwin, S. (2004). Analysing architecture. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Unwin, S. (2014). Twenty-five buildings every architect should understand.  London, UK: Taylor & Francis Ltd.

Weston, R. (2004). Plans, sections and elevations: key buildings of the twentieth century. UK: Laurence King.