Architecture Degree Programme at “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urban Planning

The Faculty of Architecture / Architecture (English taught)
2nd Year, sem 1, 2023-2024

IT-6E | Architectural Language (2)

Compulsory Course | Hours/Week: 2C+1L | ECTS Credits: 3

Partial examination

On 21.11.2023 there will be a PARTIAL EXAMINATION, as follows:
year II EN: both groups, 2:30 p.m., room B3
year II RO:
Series 1 - groups 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 - 14:30, Amphitheater
Series 2 - groups 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 - 15:30, Amphitheater

The examination will be based on the material taught up to this date (C1-C5; basic vocabulary elements).
Students have the right to use their own notes. The use of laptops / tablets / phones is not allowed.
The duration of the test will be 50 min.

General information

01 general announcement AL2 2023-2024.pdf
02 Bibliography LA2 2023-2024.pdf
03 Seminar topic AL2 2023-2024.pdf


FA-E IT-6E Architectural Language (2).pdf
History & Theory of Architecture and Heritage Conservation
Course Leader:
prof.dr.arh. Mihaela Criticos
Teaching Staff:
lect.dr.arh. Irina Băncescu, asist.dr.arh. Ioana Zacharias Vultur, asist.dr.arh. Ilinca Păun Constantinescu, asist.dr.arh. Diana Mihnea, asist.dr.arh. Irina Calotă
Teaching language:


Learning outcomes:

Continuing to introduce students in the matter of architectural form, seen not as materialization of immediate need or subjective creativity, but as active principle which bears meaning and shapes the human environment;
To discover the expressive potential of architectural form from the point of view of the primary significances (universal, characteristic for the whole human species) and cultural-symbolic significances ;
To understand the logical mechanism of forming a coherent and unitary architectural language.


Lecture titles:
1 The architectural language as language of forms. The structure of architectural language in analogy to spoken language: vocabulary and syntax.
2-4 Fundamental elements of the architectural language: the base plane, the roof and the lateral surfaces (the walls). Primary effects and meanings of forms.
5 Architectural syntax. Classification: utilitarian („rection”) syntax and artistic („composition") syntax; simple and complex syntax. Articulation of simple architectural elements (beam-post, solid-void, horizontal and vertical surfaces). Complex morphological and syntactic models (the tectonic logic of the classical order, mannerist reactions, modern mutations – Frank Lloyd Wright, Josef Hoffmann, De Stijl). Organisations of architectural forms and their signifying potential.
6-7 Architectural composition: relations and principles. Equality - repetition and rhythm; hierarchy – axial organisation and symmetry; complementarity – contrast.

Seminar titles:
1 Applications – ways of inducing primary effects or meanings to given architectural forms (work nr. 1).
2 Application: classical syntax and its modern interpretations – presentation and discussions.
3-4 Application: examples of interventions in urban spaces dating from different historical periods. Analysis of the architectural vocabulary and composition by pointing out the resulting effects. Choosing an example to be analysed in two students'groups.
5-7 Analysis of the form and composition of a historic urban space which suffered a significant intervention during the contemporary period (work nr. 2). Correction, panel presentation of the works and discussions.

Teaching Method:

- Lectures with digital images
- Seminars : presentations, discussions, themes with applications


Examination paper - 50%
Evaluation of seminar activity - 50%


- Rudolf Arnheim, Dynamics of Architectural Form, Berkeley, Los Angeles and London, University of Californa Press, 1977
- Thomas Thiis-Evensen, Archetypes in Architecture, Oslo, Oxford and Norwegian University Press, 1987
- Pierre von Meiss, De la forme au lieu, (trad. engl. From Form to Place), Lausanne, 1986
- Christian Norberg-Schulz, La Signification dans l'Architecture Occidentale, Liège, Pierre Mardaga éd., 1984
- Francis Ching – Architecture : Form, Space & Order, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1979
- Kenneth Frampton - Studies in Tectonic Culture, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., London, England, 1996
- Kenneth Frampton, Modern Architecture – A Critical History, Thames & Hudson, New York, 1985
- William Curtis, Architecture since 1900, Phaidon, London, 1996
- Rob Krier, Architectural Composition
- Sir John Summerson, The Classical Language of Architecture, Thames & Hudson, London, 1980