Full Title Architectural Context and Theory 2B

Short Title Arch Context and Theory 2B

Code DSGN06078
Level 06
Credit 05

Author O'Brien, Maeliosa
Department Civil Eng. and Construction

Subject Area Design
Attendence N/A%


This module develops two thematic areas. Part 1 focuses on the programme vision of the interior and existing buildings and Part 2 will develop the students theoretical and practical knowledge about the mechanics of design, design thinking and language

The module aims to:

  • Introduce planning and heritage legislation that affects the alterations of buildings and cities.
  • Explore approaches to building conservation and sympathetic remodelling
  • Build on the students’ capability to apply theory and theoretical concepts in limited circumstances
  • Advance students knowledge and skill base in dealing with issues of form, space and order and their relationship to aspects of use and cultural meaning


Indicative Syllabus

This module has two main thematic areas- 1. History, theory and criticism of architecture, 2. Mechanics, reasoning and the language of design. 

Part 1                                        

  • Analysis, strategies and tactics for remodelling existing buildings
  • Planning and heritage legislation affecting existing buildings
  • Histories, theories and best practice examples of conservation & refurbishment in a regional, national and international context

 Part 2

  • Design evaluation and decision making continued
  • The Architecture of Space, Form and Enclosure continued including:
  1. Generating Form and Space
  2. An introduction to Light and Colour
  3. Personality, Individual Identity and Ornament 
  4. Signage
  5. Circulation    

Field Trip to a major Irish Building                       


Learning Outcomes
On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to
  1. Discuss and demonstrate the application of architectural precedents and design theories at an intermediate level

  2. Express coherent opinions of conceptual strategies and design principles in the remodelling of existing buildings

  3. Use conservation terminology in summary descriptions and condition reports of historic or protected buildings

  4. Consider, select and apply design theory methods, procedures and processes in a range of directed contexts

  5. Appraise theoretical concepts, and reflect on significant underpinning theory and current research in specified circumstances

Assessment Strategies

Formative and summative assessment modes using a range of techniques which includes group and/or individual work mainly: detailed assignment development and resolutions, presentations, sketchbooks, models & debate

Module Dependencies
Pre Requisite Modules
Co Requisite Modules
Incompatible Modules

Coursework Assessment Breakdown %
Course Work / Continuous Assessment 100 %

Coursework Assessment Breakdown

Description Outcome Assessed % of Total Assessment Week
Assignment 1,2,3 50 Any
Assignment 4,5 50 Any

End Exam Assessment Breakdown

Description Outcome Assessed % of Total Assessment Week

Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Weekly Workload
Lecture Architectural Studio Architectural Histories, Theories and Criticism 2 Weekly 2.00
Lecture Computer Laboratory The Mechanics of Design, Design Thinking and Language 2 Weekly 2.00
Independent Learning UNKNOWN Self directed learning 3 Weekly 3.00

Total Average Weekly Learner Workload 4.00 Hours

Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Weekly Workload

Total Average Weekly Learner Workload 0.00 Hours

Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Weekly Workload

Total Average Weekly Learner Workload 0.00 Hours

Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Weekly Workload

Total Average Weekly Learner Workload 0.00 Hours

Book Resources

Part 1

Bloszies, C. (2011) Old Buildings, New Designs: Architectural Transformations, Princeton Architectural Press, New York

Brooker and Stone (2004) Rereadings: Interior Architecture And The Design Principles Of Remodelling Existing Buildings, RIBA Enterprises, London

Clarke, C. (2003) Informed Conservation: Understanding Historic Buildings and Their Landscapes for Conservation, English Heritage, London

Cramer, J. (2007) Architecture in Existing Fabric: Planning, Design and Building, Birkauser, Basel

Douglas, J. (2006) Building Adaption, Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford

Fielden, B. (2003) Conservation of Historic Buildings, Architectural Press, London

Gelfand, L. & Duncan, C. (2012) Sustainable Renovation: Strategies for Commercial Building Systems and Envelope, Wiley, New Jersey

Gorse, C. & Highfield, D. (2009) Refurbishment and Upgrading of Buildings, 2nd Ed. Spon Press, London

Jager, F.P. (2010) Old and New: Design Manual for Revitalizing Existing Buildings, Birkhäuser, Basel

Jokilehto, J. (2003) A History of Architectural Conservation, Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford

Klanten, R. (2009) Build-on: Converted Architecture and Transformed Buildings, Verlag

Van Uffelen, C. (2011) Re-Use Architecture, Braun Publishing, Salenstein

Sandu C.M, (2010) Transformer: Reuse, Renewal, and Renovation in Contemporary Architecture Ginko Press, Berkeley

Part 2

Adler, David, Metric Handbook: Planning and Design Data, Architectural Press, 1999

Ching, Francis D.K, Architecture, Form, Space, and Order, Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1996

Ching, Francis, D. K, Interior Design Illustrated, Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1987

Ching, Francis, D. K, Architectural Graphics, Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1975

Clark, Kenneth, (2005), Civilisation, John Murray

Lawson, Bryan, How Designers Think, Architectural Press, 2006

Malnar, J, M & Vodvarka, F, Interior Dimensions: A Theoretical Approach to Enclosed Space, John Wiley & Sons, 1991

Pile, John, F, Interior Design, Harry N Abrams, 1995

Pile, John, F, Colour in Interior Design, McGraw-Hill, 1997

Yee, Rendow, Architectural Drawing: A Visual Compendium of Types and Methods, John Wiley & Sons, 1997



Other Resources
  • Field trip budget
Url Resources
Additional Info