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Unit information: Architecture and Urbanism in 2014/15

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Unit name Architecture and Urbanism
Unit code HART20019
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Alexandra Hoare
Open unit status Open




School/department Department of History of Art (Historical Studies)
Faculty Faculty of Arts


The unit explores the architecture, urban planning, and architectural theory of major European centres of production. It investigates the practice and development of several influential early modern architects, throughout Europe, who made important contributions to the history of architecture and urban planning. It considers their work in relation to broader religious, political, cultural and aesthetic issues of the period in question. Some of the principal themes to be explored include the ways in which sacred buildings structured (and were structured by) religious experience; how both sacred and secular buildings embodied and projected the ambitions of religious and temporal sovereigns; and how palaces and grand houses articulated the social order.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will have developed: (1) a wider knowledge of the work and significance of a range of early modern architects; (2) the ability to analyse and generalise about issues of architecture and its relationship to the rest of society; (3) the ability to select pertinent evidence/data in order to illustrate/demonstrate more general issues and arguments; (4) the ability to derive benefit from, and contribute effectively to, large group discussion; (5) the ability to identify a particular academic interpretation, evaluate it critically, and form an individual viewpoint.

Teaching details

1 x 2-hour interactive lecture per week.

Assessment Details

One summative coursework essay of 3000 words (50%) and one unseen examination of two hours comprising 2 questions out of 8 (50%).

Reading and References

Leon Battista Alberti, On the Art of Building (1452); Joseph Connors, ‘Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza: The First Three Minutes’ (1996); Mark Girouard, Life in the English Country House: A Social and Architectural History (1978); Richard Krautheimer, The Rome of Alexander VII, 1655-1667 (1987); David Coffin, The Villa in the Life of Renaissance Rome (1979).