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Sample courses

The central activity of our program is architectural design. Students work individually and collaboratively on design projects in the studio. A third of our building is devoted to studios that stay open to architecture students at all times. Each student is provided with an individual studio space. Here, students learn manual skills in drawing, modeling, and building, then move on to learn equivalent digital skills.

I think the greatest thing is the studio culture that is here," says Roland Hudson, assistant professor of architecture. "You have this enormous open studio space, and as a student you are very much aware of what everyone else is doing around you, including people doing graduate work. Everyone gets to work together and to see other people working. I think that is quite a powerful thing.

The program develops a basic knowledge of architecture in Year 3 (BEDS) and culminates in a graduate design thesis in Year 6 (MArch). Each year of the program includes courses in five architectural subject areas: Design, Representation, Humanities, Technology, and Professional Practice.

ARCH 3001
Design

This class studies the basic principles of architecture through studio projects using drawings and models. Students design elementary building forms beginning with the room and the pavillion on various sites. Working with basic building elements of floor, wall and roof, students consider architectural composition and materials at the three scales of detail, building and site. The class includes historical design studies to understand how other architects have responded to similar problems.

Prerequisites: Restricted to Year 3 BEDS students.

ARCH 3105
Architectural History and Theory - 20th century

This class is a survey of late modern architecture, focusing on Europe and North America. Buildings and urban projects are situated in their social and political contexts and the theoretical constructs that influenced their development. Students are exposed to extramural archives and resources to research local modern buildings and their architects.

Prerequisites: Restricted to Year 3 BEDS students

ARCH 3207
Building Technology

This class studies aspects of building technology that act as primary generators of architectural form: structure, material, light and sound. Construction process is examined in terms of materials, methods and sequences. Principles of building structure and methods of structural analysis are introduced. The physics and perception of light in built environments are studied. Quizzes and texts are complemented by studio exercises.

Prerequisites: Restricted to Year 3 BEDS students.

Inside the classroom

In a classroom overlooking the sea
Architecture coastal design student

Ted Cavanagh's Coastal Studio class spent part of their summer building an arch-shaped brick building referred to as “The Egg.” It houses a camera obscura, which projects the tide moving in and out of Nova Scotia's Bay of Fundy.

“What you’re making is a very pleasing thing. It’s tangible and you can admire it at the end,” says student Cat Wong.

Coastal Studio is one of several design-build opportunities in our program, where students work on real projects built with real communities in mind. Read about our Free Lab course.