Postgraduate Course: Culture and performance in the history of construction (ARCH11195)
|School||Edinburgh College of Art
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||The course is based on broad queries on the structural performance and technology of historic construction systems. Research on a wide extent of types and forms highlights issues beyond the technical problems and design strategies, of wider interest to students of the culture of building, its agents and its evolution. The course attempts an alternative reading of architectural forms through the technical processes and culture that produced them. It is of primary use to students with an interest in the technology of historic forms and their conservation, but also to all those who want to reflect on the complex array of conditions and their interaction in the historic development of building forms.
This course reviews the historic aspects of the culture of construction as the ¿highly interconnected process between craft and science¿, beyond a historic survey. The histories and theories of architecture are critically appraised within the building processes that created architectural design. Building is examined as the manifestation of technological advancement of increasingly organised societies and the role of individuals like masons rather than designers and patrons, in materialising collective aspirations and co-ordinating endeavour. The knowledge of the performance of these processes can inform current architectural and engineering practice as well. Aspects of architectural conservation are also integrated as they are relevant to the critical process of selection or survival of these manifestations.
Some specific areas in the field are selected like the creation of fire-proof long spans, lessons from disasters, technology transfer, tectonics of fabric, processes of assembly. Each area is examined in a seminar through recurring themes like masons and patronage, efficiency and performance, regional variations, cultural context, production practice. The students have the opportunity to reproduce some of these processes at a model scale and engage with the experience.
1. The idea of building (the prehistoric builder, vernacular construction)
2. Hiding the fabric (Roman, baroque, neoclassicism)
3. Prominence of the fabric (tectonics, early modernism, brickwork, artificial ruins)
4. Building fabric as a sculpture (the classic world, neoclassicism)
5. Optimisation and fire-proof long spans (Roman, Gothic, early shells)
6. Learning from ruins (Romanesque, late Roman)
7. Transmission of knowledge (empirical rules, scientific approach, building
8. Processes of assembly (timber and steel structures, Renaissance, neoclassicism)
9. Lessons from disasters (Beauvais, WTC, Ronan Point, Royal Mile, London Fire)
10. Technology transfer (industrialisation, Gothic to Greece and the Levant, colonies)
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2014/15, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22,
Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 30,
Fieldwork Hours 20,
Formative Assessment Hours 2,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Essay or coursework (100 %)
Learning Outcomes Assessed
1.Understand how historic structural schemes became possible as a condition of materials procurement, technical context, the training of their creators and aspirations of their owners - 20%
2. Analyse historic structural and constructional strategies by surveying a building type and understanding the structural theories, construction processes and physical properties of building materials used - 30%
3. Critically appraise the structural performance or construction process of the model of a historic building type by devising and discussing appropriate simulation and testing techniques - 30%
4.Communicate the research, analysis and critical appraisal of the model of a historic building type by producing a clear and analytical report - 20%
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Understand how historic structural schemes became possible as a condition of materials procurement, technical context, the training of their creators and aspirations of their owners.
- Analyse historic structural and constructional strategies by surveying a building type and understanding the structural theories, construction processes and physical properties of building materials used.
- Critically appraise the structural performance or construction process of the model of a historic building type by devising and discussing appropriate simulation and testing techniques.
- Communicate the research, analysis and critical appraisal of the model of a historic building type by producing a clear and analytical report.
|Acland, J. H. (1972). Medieval structure: the gothic vault. Univ. of Toronto Press, Toronto.|
Edinburgh New Town Conservation Committee (1981). The care and conservation of Georgian Houses. 3rd ed., The Architectural Press.
Mainstone, R. J. (1998). Developments in structural form. Architectural Press.
Nicholson, Peter (1828). A Popular and Practical Treatise on Masonry and Stone-cutting (1st ed.). London: Thomas Hurst, Edward Chance & Co.
Ousterhout, R. (2008). Master Builders of Byzantium. 2nd edition, University of Pennsylvania Museum Publications
Theodossopoulos, D. (2012). Structural design in building conservation. Routledge
Yeomans, D. T. The development of timber as a structural material / Aldershot : Ashgate/Variorum, c1999.
|Course organiser||Dr Dimitrios Theodossopoulos
Tel: (0131 6)50 2300
|Course secretary||Miss Jennifer Watson
Tel: (0131 6)51 5735
© Copyright 2014 The University of Edinburgh - 12 January 2015 3:21 am