Architecture Degree Programme at “Ion Mincu” University

The Faculty of Architecture / Architecture (English taught)
2nd Year, sem 1, 2020-2021

IT-6E | Architectural Language (2)

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

Exam 2020-2021

Procedure IT-6E AL2 June 2021.pdf

Time: Jun 18, 2021 09:30 AM Bucharest

Meeting ID: 979 6409 0876 / Passcode: 100545

General information

AL2 seminar theme 2020-2021.pdf
AL2 seminar analysis Phase I 2020-2021.pdf
AL2 seminar analysis Phase II 2020-2021.pdf


History & Theory of Architecture and Heritage Conservation
Course Leader:
prof.dr.arh. Mihaela Criticos
Teaching Staff:

Assist.Dr.Arch. Ioana Zacharias Vultur

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