History of Architecture : from the origins to the Middle Ages

ltarc1140  2021-2022  Tournai

History of Architecture : from the origins to the Middle Ages
3.00 credits
30.0 h
Main themes
Introduction to the theological, ideological and theoretical stances which inform works from Antiquity and the Middle Ages
  • The beginnings of architecture
  • Pharaonic Egypt: petrified eternity
  • Hellenic Antiquity: divine perfection of proportion
  • The Roman world: a universal and imperial construction
  • Paleochristian conversion: the renewal of meaning
  • Byzantine synthesis: Hellenism, Roman culture, Orientalism, Christianity
  • Isla : abstract expression of the divine
  • Romanesque experiments: Christianity made manifest
  • Gothic exaltation: structured use of light
Learning outcomes

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

1 The History of Architecture teaching unit is designed to provide a set of references. It will however avoid considering history as merely a reservoir of examples, but attempt to analyse 'historically', i.e. to put these examples in their context to gain better understanding of their complex meaning.  

The main objective of the unit is to ask questions and attempt to understand architecture, as a complex phenomenon, of an intellectual, physical and social kind, and its meaning. This will be done by taking a strictly historical approach.
Specific learning outcomes:
By the end of this course, students are able to
  • understand and use the vocabulary of art, architecture and urbanism.
  • identify and name the main (typical) stylistic characteristics of an artistic, architectural or urbanistic work in the period being studied.
  • logically place, in time and space, architecture and town developments representative of the period being studied.
  • explain the meaning of a work by putting it back in context, namely by understanding the whys and wherefores which shaped it.
  • place unfamiliar examples by referring them to familiar models.
  • convey the link between art history and the political, economic and social organisation of society.
Contribution to the learning outcome reference framework:
Build knowledge of architecture
  • Be familiar with and analyse the basic references
  • Be able to use given references which, by analogy, can lead to other interpretations of the context
Place the action
  • Analyse the environments and contexts according to various given methods and starting from various identified points of view
Make use of other subjects
  • Make use of other subjects to ask questions about the design and implementation of an architectural project

Use the technical dimension
  • Observe and assess the main construction principles of a building
  • Von MEISS (P.), De la forme au lieu. Une introduction à l'étude de l'architecture, Lausanne, 1993.
  • TARICAT (J.), Histoires d'architecture, [Parenthèses], 2004 .
  • NORBERG-SCHULZ (Ch.), La signification dans l'architecture occidentale, Bruxelles-Liège, 1977.
  • CHEYNUT (J.) et LEFEVRE (P), Parcours d'architectes, Paris, [Le Cavalier Bleu], 2012.
  • DONNADIEU (B.), L'apprentissage du regard. Leçons d'architecture de Dominique Spinetta, Paris, 2002.
Teaching materials
  • moodle
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Learning outcomes
Bachelor in Architecture (Tournai)