Calligraphy on folding fan by Wang Maolin

You are here

ART H 290 A: History Of Architecture

We look forward to safely returning to in-person instruction and activities this autumn quarter. Current and prospective students please visit our COVID-19 Updates pages.
Meeting Time: 
MWF 9:30am - 10:50am
ART 003
Meredith Clausen
Meredith Clausen

Syllabus Description:

AH290 An Introduction to the History of Architecture
Autumn 2015
5 credits
MWF 9:30-10:50, room 03, Art Building
Instructor: Clausen (
Office hours: Wednesday, 2-5 pm, rm222 Art Building
Office tel: (206) 616-6751


Lecture Images


Required Readings

Link to complete Syllabus


Course Description: An introduction to the history cities and buildings throughout the world, from 1400 to the present. No slide identifications, as the emphasis is on developing analytical skills, not memorization of names and dates.


Course Objectives: To provide an understanding of differing building traditions across time and diverse cultures across the globe, Western and non-Western alike. Students will learn the basics of structure, as well as acquire an understanding of what goes into the design of buildings, the purpose of architecture, its meaning and expressive power.


Course Requirements: MWF meetings with discussion, participation expected. Three exams, each comprising 1/3 of the final grade. Students are required to take exams as scheduled; exceptions are granted only in cases of documented emergencies and must be approved by the instructor. And, yes, they are cumulative, with each exam emphasizing new material but drawing on knowledge, skills, and understanding acquired throughout the quarter.


Disabled Student Services: If you would like to request academic accommodations due to a disability, please contact Disabled Student Services, 448 Schmitz, 543-8924 (V/TDD). Please provide the instructor a copy of your letter from Disabled Student Services indicating you have a disability that requires assistance.


Common Classroom Rules of Thumb: Please, no talking in class and turn all cell phones off, as they are disruptive to other students. Come on time and don’t leave early; if for whatever reason you have to leave, sit in the back near the exit, so you don’t interrupt the class. No late papers will be accepted without a signed medical excuse.


Plagiarism: Plagiarism consists of using the creations, ideas, words, inventions, or work of someone else in your own work without formally acknowledging them through the use of quotation marks, footnotes, bibliography, or other reference. If in doubt as to what might qualify, check with the instructor. Instances of plagiarism will be referred to the Vice Provost/Special Asst to the President for Student Relations, and can lead to suspension or other major disciplinary action. (Not nice to have on your student record!)


Images:  Many (though not all) of the slides used in class are accessible on the Web, in the Cities/Buildings Database, an online digital image database created at the University of Washington in 1996 and added to continuously since then. There are also, of course, other image-based websites that one can use as a source of images.  Lectures will be in PowerPoint format. After each lecture, Powerpoints will be posted online via Canvas for review. 

Cities and Buildings Database:

Lecture Images


Texts: (available at the University Book Store and in the architecture library, Gould Hall)
James-Chakraborty, Kathleen. Architecture Since 1400, Univ of Minnesota Press, 2014 (required)
Kostof, The Architect. Chapters in the History of the Profession, Oxford, 1977 (recommended)
Salvadori, Why Buildings Stand Up, W.W. Norton, 1980. (recommended)

Students are expected to do the required reading before class meets. Class sessions are likely to start with questions based on the reading, which you may be asked to respond. Best come prepared and expect to be called on to speak.
Recommended readings are for those seeking a fuller understanding of the subject; see also James-Chakraborty text for her Further Reading. Books are available in the Architecture Library, Gould Hall; required articles/chapters are available via Canvas:


W 30sept -- Introduction; outline of course; discussion of syllabus and text

F 2oct -- Architectural history: basic premises and different methodological approaches
James-Chakraborty, "Introduction," Architecture Since 1400, pp. xi-xx.
Kostof, Spiro. "Introduction: The Study of What We Build," A History of Architecture, 2-19 (Canvas)
Trachtenberg & Hyman, "Introduction," Architecture. From Prehistory to Postmodernity. 49-53 (Canvas)

M 5oct -- Structure: Basic principles
Salvadori, "Structures," Why Buildings Stand Up, 17-26 (Canvas)
Salvadori, "Loads," 43-58; "Materials," 59-71; "Beams & Columns," 72-89, in Why Buildings Stand Up.

W 7oct -- Ming and Qing China
James-Chakraborty, 1-15
Steinhardt (ed), Chinese Architecture, 2002 Introduction, pp. 1-9, plus plates throughout text
Keswick, Maggie. The Chinese Garden. 1978, 2nd rev edition, 1986
Knapp, R. and Kai-Yin Lo, House Home Family. Living and Being Chinese, 2005

F 9oct -- Tenochtitland and Cuzco
James-Chakraborty, 16-29
Smith, Michael E. The Aztects, 1998
Pasztory, Esther. Teotihuacan. An Experiement in Living, 1997
Burger and Salazar, Machu Picchu. Unveiling the Mystery of the Incas, 2004

M 12oct -- Brunelleschi
James-Chakraborty, 30-43
Summerson, John. The Classical Language of Architecture, 1963, reprinted a zillion times, as it's a classic
Ettlinger, Leopold. "The Emergence of the Italian Architect during the 15th c., in Kostof, The Architect, 96-123
Salvadori, "Domes, Why Buildings Stand Up, 225-245

W 14oct -- Medici Florence
James-Chakraborty, 44-60
Summerson, John. The Classical Language of Architecture


F 16oct -- The Renaissance in Rome and the Veneto
James-Chakraborty, 61-74
Summerson, John. The Classical Language of Architecture
Wilkinson, Catherine. "The New Professionalism in the Renaissance," Kostof, The Architect, 124-160


M 19oct -- Resisting the Renaissance (northern Europe, France, elsewhere)
James-Chakraborty, 75-91
Rosenfeld, Myra Nan. "The Royal Building Administration in France from Charles V to Louis XIV," Kostof,
The Architect, 161-179

W 21oct -- Ottomans and the Safavids, Mughals (Northern Africa)
James-Chakraborty, 92-108
Salvadori, "Hagia Sophia," Why Buildings Stand Up, 246-258 (structure)
Holod, Renata. Architecture & Community. Building in the Islamic World Today.
Hattstein, Markus. Islam Art and Architecture.
Hillenbrand, Robert. Islamic Architecture, 1994 (mainly plates)

F 23oct - First Exam. Please use blue (or green) book and pen


M 26oct - Early Modern Southeast Asia (India, Taj Mahal, Afghanistan, etc.)
James-Chakraborty, 109-124
Stierlin, Henri. Hindu India (intro; images)
Cooper, Ilay and Barry Dawson, Traditional Buildings of India, 1998, Introduction, 8-20, plus plates
Tadgel, Christopher. The History of Architecture in India, 1990

W 28oct - Baroque Rome (the city, St Peter's, Bernini)
James-Chakraborty, 125-140

F 30oct -- Northern Baroque (France, Henri IV's Paris, Versailles; Russia)
James-Chakraborty, 157-172

M 2nov -- Living on North American Land
James-Chakraborty, 191-207
Eggener, Keith. American Architecctural History: A Contemporary Reader, 2004

W 4nov -- East and Southeast Asia; Edo Japan
James-Chakraborty, 208-236
Nishi and Hozumi, What is Japanese Architecture?
Jun'ichiro Tanizaki, In Praise of Shadows, 1977 (Engl transla)

F 6nov -- Neoclassicism, Gothic Revival, and the Civic Realm
James-Chakraborty, 237-254

M 9nov - Industrial Revolution
James-Chakraborty, 255-272
Wilton-Ely, John. "The Rise of the Professional Architect in England," Kostof, The Architect, 180-208


F 13nov -- Paris 19th c.
James-Chakraborty, 273-289

M 16nov -- Second Exam. Please use blue (green) book and pen


W 18nov - Chicago
James-Chakraborty, 323-341
Salvadori, "Skyscrapers," Why Buildings Stand Up," 107-125

F 20nov - Inventing the Avant-Garde (modernism, FLW, Le Corbusier)
James-Chakraborty, 342-358

M 23nov -- Architecture for a Mass Audience (democracy; standardization; Germany in the 1920s)
James-Chakraborty, 359-373

W 25nov -- Imposing Urban Order (city ideals, early 20th c.)
James-Chakraborty, 374-390


F 27nov -- THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY (enjoy!)


M 30nov - Modern Movement in the Americas
James-Chakraborty, 391-410

W 2dec - Africa: Villages & Cities (guest lecturer: Prof Daniel Hoffman, Anthropology)
James-Chakraborty, 411-423

F 4dec -- Postcolonial Modernism
James-Chakraborty, 424-438


M 7dec - Postwar Japan
James-Chakraborty, 439-448 [CHECK PG NUMBERS]


W 9dec -- Postmodernism to Neomodernism in U.S. and Europe
James-Chakraborty, 456-471
Venturi, Robert. Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture, MoMA, 1966, 1977 (esp pp. 16-33)
Jencks, Charles. The Language of Post-Modern Architecture, esp plates





These will consist of five short-answer questions. I will show you images of the buildings in question, each of which will be drawn from the text or lectures, with names, date, place, and architect if known. What is being evaluated here is not your ability to memorize names and dates, but to think critically about the material we've studied. Exams will be grade by a reader assigned to the course.


RESERVE BOOK LIST (on 2-hr reserve, Architecture Library, Gould Hall)


Alex, William. Japanese Architecture, NY, 1963

Berkeley, Ellen Perry (ed)., Architecture. A Place for Women, 1989

Brownlee and DeLong, Kahn. In the Realm of Architecture, NY, 1992

Cooper, Ilay and Barry Dawson, Traditional Buildings of India, 1998

Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect. MoMA, NY, 1994

James-Chakraborty, Kathleen. Architeture Since 1400, 2014

Jencks, Charles. The Language of Post-Modern Architecture, 3rd ed. or later

Kostof, Spiro. A History of Architecture, Oxford, 2nd edition, 1995

Kostof, Spiro. The Architect. Chapters in the History of the Profession, Oxford, 1977

Kubler, George. Art and Architecture of Ancient America. 1990

Martin, Brenda and Penny Sparke, Women’s Places: Architecture and Design 1860-1960, 2003

Robertson, D. Pre-Columbian Architecture, New York, 1963

Salvadori, M. Why Buildings Stand Up, New York, 1990

Toy, Maggie. The Architect. Women in Contemporary Architecture, 2001

Trachtenberg, Marvin and Isabelle Hyman, Architecture. From Prehistory to Postmodernity. 2nd ed.

Venturi, Robert. Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture, New York, 1966




These are suggested readings for students who wish to pursue specific subjects in depth. All books are available at the Architecture Library, Gould Hall. Be sure to check the text, too, for recommended additional texts.



Ching, Jarzombek, Prakash, A Global History of Architecture, John Wiley & Sons, 2007

Cuff, Dana. Architecture: The Story of Practice, Cambridge, Mass. 1991

Kubler, George. The Shape of Time.  Remarks on the History of Things, New Haven, 1962.

Mainstone, Robert. Deveopments in Structural Form, Cambridge, Mass, 1975.

Mark, Robert. Architectural Technology up to the Scientific Revolution,  Cambridge, Mass, 1993

Moholy-Nagy, Sibyl. Native Genius in Anonymous Architecture, NY, 1957

Mumford, Lewis. The City in History, New York, 1961.

Pevsner, N.icolas  A History of Building Types, Princeton, 1976.

Rapoport, Amos. House Form and Culture, New Jersey, 1969.

Rasmussen, S. Experiencing Architecture, 1959

Rudofsky, Bernard. Architecture Without Architects, New York, 1964.

Salvadori, Mario. Why Buildings Stand Up, NY, 1980; 1990.

Summerson, Sir John. The Classical Language of Architecture, Cambridge, Mass. 1963

Upton, Dell. "Architectural History or Landscape History?" Journal of Architectural Education, Aug. 199l, 195-199.



Bourdier, J-P and Minh-Ha, T., Drawn from African Dwellings, 1996

Prussin, L. African Nomadic Architecture. Space, Place and Gender, 1995



Chinese Landscapes: The Village as Place, 1992.

Johnston, R. S. Scholar Gardens of China, Cambridge, England, 1991

Keswich, Maggie. The Chinese Garden, New York, 1978

Liu, Laurence.  Chinese Architecture, 1989

Liang Ssu-Ch'eng, A Pictorial History of Chinese Architecture, 1986

Schinz, Alfred. Cities in China, 1989.       

Sickman, L. and Soper, A. The Art and Architecture of China, 3rd ed., Baltimore, 1971.

Steinhardt, N. Chinese Traditional Architecture, 1984

Steinhardt, N. Liao Architecture, 1997

Steinhardt, N. (ed). Chinese Architecture, 2002

Steinhardt, N. Chinese Imperial City Planning, 1999



Alex, W. Japanese Architecture, NY, 1963

Bognar, B. The New Japanese Architecture, NY, 1990

Drexler, A. The Architecture of Japan, MoMA, NY, 1955

Gropius, Tange, Ishimoto, Katsura. Traditon and Creation in Japanese Architecture, New Haven, 1960      

Nishi, K. & Hozumi, K.  What is Japanese Architecture?, NY, 1983.

Nishihara, K. Japanese Houses: Patterns for Living, Tokyo, 1967.

Paine, R. and A. Soper, The Art & Architecture of Japan, 3rd ed, Baltimore, 1981

Stewart, D. The Making of a Modern Japanese Architecture, 1868 to the Present, Kodansha International, NY,        1987



Hardoy, J. Urban Planning in Pre-Columbian America, NY, 1968

Kubler, G. The Art and Architecture of Ancient America., Penguin Books, Baltimore, MD, 3rd ed. 1990

Reese, T., ed. Studies in Ancient American & European Art. The Collected Essays of George Kubler, New             Haven,   1985.

Robertson, D. Pre-Columbian Architecture, NY, 1963.

Pasztory, Esther. Teotihuacan, 1997

Smith, Michael E. The Aztecs, 1998



Ettinghausen, R. and O. Grabar, The Art & Architecture of Islam, 650-1250, England and NY, 1987.

Freely, J. and R. Burelli, Sinan. Architect of Suleyman the Magnificent and the Ottoman Golden Age,      1992

Hillenbrand, R. Islamic Architecture. Form, Function, & Meaning. 1994

Hoag, J. Islamic Architecture, NY, 1977.

Michell, G., ed. Architecture of the Islamic World: Its History and  Social Meaning, NY, 1984



Huntington, S. & J., The Art of Ancient India: Buddhist, Hindu, Jain, NY, 1985

Cooper, Ilay and Dawson, Barry. Traditional Buildings of India, 1998

Meister, M. Encyclopedia of Indian Temple Architecture, 1985

Nath, R. Islamic Architecture and Culture in India, Delhi, 1982

Rowland, B. The Art and Architecture of India, 3rd ed., Baltiimore, 1977

Stierlin, Henri. Hindu India. From Khajuraho to the Temple City of Madurai, 1998



Krinsky, C. Contemporary Native American Architecture, 1996

Nabokov, P. Native American Architecture, NY, 1989

Sturtevant, Wm. (ed), Handbook of North American Indians, 1990



Travis, J, ed. African-American Architects, 1991



Lloyd, S., H. Muller & R. Martin, Ancient Architecture: Mesopotamia, Egypt, Crete, Greece, NY, 1974

Lampl, P. Cities & Planning in the Ancient Near East, NY, 1968.

Edwards, I. The Pyramids of  Egypt, Baltimore, 1964.

Krautheimer, R. Rome: Profile of a City, 312-1308, 1974

MacDonald, William L. The Pantheon, 1976

MacDonald, William L. The Architecture of the Roman Empire, vols I and II, New Haven, 1982, 1986      (corrected paperback edition, 1988)

Vitruvius, The Ten Books of Architecture

Ward-Perkins, J. Roman Architecture, NY, 1977



Bony, J. French Gothic Architecture of the 12th & 13th Centuries, 1984

Krautheimer, R. Early Christian & Byzantine Architecture, 1975

MacDonald, W. Early Christian & Byzantine Architecture, NY, 1962

Mark,  R. Experiments in Gothic Structure, Cambridge, Mass. 1982

Mark, R.and A. Cakmak, eds,  Hagia Sophia From the Age of Justinian to the Present, 1992

Mathews, T. The Early Churches of  Constantinople - Architecture & Liturgy, 1974

Panofsky, E., Gothic Architecture & Scholasticism, 1951

Smith, E. B. The Dome, A Study in the History of Ideas, Princeton, 1982.



Ackerman, J. Michelangelo, 1961

Ackerman, J. Palladio, 1966, 1983

Kaufmann, E. Architecture in the Age of Reason, NY, 1968.

Lemagny, J. Visionary Architects, Houston, TX, 1968

Middleton, R. & D. Watkin, Neoclassicism & 19th c. Architecture, 1980

Portoghesi, P. Rome of the Renaissance, 1974

Wittkower, R. Architectural Principles in the Age of Humanism, London, 1952

Wittkower, R. Italian Baroque Architecture, 1973



Riley and Reed, eds.  Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect, MoMA, NY, 1994

Banham, R. Theory & Design in the First Machine Age, NY, 1967

Benevelo, L. History of Modern Architecture, Cambridge, Mass. 1977

Brownlee, D. & D. DeLong, Kahn. In the Realm of Architecture, NY, 1992

Banham, R. Theory & Design in the First Machine Age, NY, 1967

Curtis, W. Modern Architecture Since 1900, Oxford, 1987

Cook & Klotz, Conversations with Architects, 1973

Frampton, K. A Critical History of Modern Architecture

Hayden, Dolores. The Grand Domestic Revolution: A History of Feminist Designs for American Homes,   Neighborhoods and Cities, 1982

Jencks, C. The Language of Post-Modern Architecture, NY, 1979, rev.ed, 1987

Klotz, H. The History of Postmodern Architecture, 1984 (Engl trans, Cambridge, Mass., 1988)

LeCorbusier, Towards a New Architecture, London, 1923 (Engl trans, 1927)

Mignot, C. Architecture of the 19th c. in Europe

Scully, V. Frank Lloyd Wright, NY, 1960

Schulze, F. Mies van der Rohe. Critical Biography, 1987

Spaeth, David. Mies van der Rohe, New York, 1985

Tschumi, Bernard. Le Parc de la Villette, NY, 1987

Venturi, R. Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture, MoMA, NY, 1966.

Vlath, J. Back of the Big House. The Architecture of Plantation Slavery, Raleigh, NC, 1993

Zukowsky, J., ed. Chicago Architecture, 1872-1922, Chicago, 1987



Berkeley, Ellen Perry (ed). Architecture. A Place for Women, 1989

Coleman, Debra et al, (eds). Architecture and Feminism, 1996

Hughes, Francesco (ed). The Architect. Constructing Her Practice, 1996

Martin, Brenda and Penny Sparke, Women’s Places: Architecture and Design 1860-1960, 2003

Nochlin, Linda. "Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists [architects]?", Women, Art & Power, 1988

Toy, Maggie (ed). The Architect. Women in Contemporary Practice, 2001

Wright, Gwendolyn. "On the Fringe of the Profession. Women in Amer. Architecture," Kostof, The Architect 280-308


Catalog Description: 
Introduction to the history of architecture across a broad range of cultural contexts.
GE Requirements: 
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
October 5, 2016 - 9:20pm