FA 0040 Introduction to Architecture
University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
248 Biddle Hall
T-TH 11:00 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
Dr. Valerie S. Grash, Associate Professor of Fine Arts
Office: 230B Biddle Hall
Office Hours: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 12:30-2:00 p.m., and by appointment.
Fundamentally, architecture is the art and science of designing, constructing and ornamenting buildings. It is also as Mies van der Rohe asserted "the will of an epoch translated into space." This course introduces students to the complex art of architecture, which goes beyond the immediate physical structure, to the universality of spatial constructs and symbolic forms.
By necessity, we will take a broadly chronological approach, yet singular monuments of great importance will receive more detailed study. At the conclusion of this course, you will:
1. Possess a strong understanding of the historical development of architectural forms and styles.
2. Comprehend the purpose and meaning of specific buildings within their societal context.
3. Understand thoroughly the materials and techniques used in architectural construction.
4. Have acquired detailed knowledge of key buildings and architects.
Leland M. Roth, Understanding Architecture: Its Elements, History and Meaning, Second Edition, 2006 (ISBN-13: 978-0813390451)
Course Web Site:
Additional textual and visual materials for this course (including monuments and terms covered in lecture); original documents and required readings; your grades; and pertinent announcements concerning class meetings and examinations are found at: http://courseweb.pitt.edu
Notice Regarding Course Changes:
I reserve the right to modify the timing, order and content of the course schedule. It is your responsibility to attend class and be aware of any changes. Check with the course web site regarding any class cancellations should they become necessary due to adverse weather conditions or other situations.
My role is to facilitate learning through lecture and clarification of specific points through questioning and discussion, whether in the classroom, during office hours or via electronic correspondence. It is your responsibility to attend class, take accurate notes and approach me with any questions and issues for clarification in a timely manner.
While there is no attendance policy for this course, be forewarned that what you will be tested on is discussed thoroughly in class. Even with the textbook, nothing replaces viewing the images projected on screen. Therefore, regular attendance is necessary to succeed in this course. In addition, as classroom discussion is expected, poor attendance will adversely affect you if it comes down to a borderline decision on your final grade.
Notes and Note Taking:
Under no circumstances do I provide notes for missed classes. It is your responsibility, if you miss a class, to acquire the lecture notes from a classmate. Class assignments and announcements are also available on the course website. You may tape-record lectures as long as you do not disturb others in the class.
I give make-up exams only in cases with legitimate, documented reasons (death in the family, personal hospitalization, required fieldtrips, etc.). In such cases, inform me in advance and provide written confirmation of your absence. Do not assume every absence is excused or warrants special consideration. The alternative make-up exam (all essay questions) must be taken within one week of the scheduled test; only one makeup exam per student will be permitted. No one can make-up the final exam, which must be taken at the scheduled time.
No extensions are granted for class assignments. Due dates are clearly noted on the syllabus at the beginning of the semester. You should start each assignment in a timely manner and even complete assignments early. Illness or any other excuse has no bearing on the fact that your work was not turned in on time. Any assignment not turned in by the due date will not be graded, thus earning 0 points for the work. No exceptions are permitted so do not ask!
Be certain your cell phone ringer is turned OFF, as it is both annoying and disruptive to the entire class. Anyone sending or receiving text messages will be asked to leave-this course deserves your full attention. If you can't do that, drop the class immediately.
Please read carefully the Academic Integrity Guidelines in your student handbook. They will be followed to the letter in this course. There is ZERO tolerance for cheating or plagiarism. Any time that you use another person's words or thoughts as your own without giving them proper credit is plagiarism, including copying and pasting from the Internet. Any instance of cheating or plagiarism will result in an automatic "F" (0 points) for that assignment, and steps will be taken, according to the Academic Integrity Guidelines, to receive an "F" for the course and for action leading to expulsion from the university. I will not permit re-writing any suspected plagiarized assignment.
If you have a disability for which you are or may be requesting an accommodation, you are encouraged to contact both your instructor and the Office of Health & Wellness Services (OHWS), G-10 Student Union Building, (814) 269-7119 to schedule an appointment as early as possible in the term. OHWS will verify your disability and determine reasonable accommodations for this course.
Course Examinations and Assignments:
Overall, you can earn 500 points during the semester. On this scale:
500-490 (A+) 489-465 (A) 464-450 (A-)
449-440 (B+) 439-415 (B) 414-400 (B-)
399-390 (C+) 389-365 (C) 364-350 (C-)
349-300 (D) 299 and below (F)
Your grade will be determined in the following manner:
Examinations (400 points):
There will be four exams during the semester (September 25, October 18, November 8, and December 11), each worth 100 points. The format will be multiple choice and essay questions drawn from class notes and readings. The final will not be comprehensive, but will cover only the material since the previous exam.
Quizzes (100 points):
There will be six quizzes given during the semester, each worth 20 points. Only your five highest scoring quiz grades will count. No quiz can be made up if you are not present in class to take it; as your lowest score (0 points), the missed quiz will simply be tossed.
The quizzes will cover the following areas: fundamental architectural terminology (September 6); the classical orders (September 13); terminology associated with Christian churches (October 2); pre-modern architectural theorists and writers (October 25); modern building materials and terminology (November 15); and modern architectural theorists and writers (December 4). Prior to each quiz, you will be provided with a study guide to help you prepare for what will be covered. The format will be matching and/or identification.
August 28 Introduction
August 30 The Beginnings of Architecture (Chapter 9)
September 4 The Architecture of Mesopotamian and Ancient Egypt (Chapter 10, pp 181-201)
September 6 Temples and Towns in New Kingdom Egypt (Chapter 10, pp 201-210) * Quiz 1
September 11 Greek Architecture (Chapter 11, pp. 215-229)
September 13 Greek Sanctuaries and Temple Complexes (Chapter 11, pp. 229-245) * Quiz 2
September 18 Roman Housing and Urban Planning (Chapter 12, pp. 247-264)
September 20 Public Buildings in Ancient Rome (Chapter 12, pp. 264-273)
September 25 Exam I
September 27 Early Christian and Byzantine Architecture (Chapter 13)
October 2 Early Medieval Architecture (Chapter 14, pp. 301-313) * Quiz 3
October 4 Romanesque Schools of Architecture (Chapter 14, pp. 313-323)
October 9 No Class-due to Fall Break, Monday classes meet on Tuesday
October 11 Gothic Structure and Aesthetics (Chapter 14, pp. 323-351)
October 16 Gothic Structure and Aesthetics (con't)
October 18 Exam II
October 23 Humanism in Italian Renaissance Architecture (Chapter 15)
October 25 Humanism in Italian Renaissance Architecture (con't) * Quiz 4
October 30 Baroque and Rococo Architecture (Chapter 16)
November 1 Baroque and Rococo Architecture (con't)
November 6 The Origins of Modernism in the Age of Enlightenment (Chapter 17)
November 8 Exam III
November 13 19th Century Revivals: Neoclassicism and Neo-Gothic (Chapter 18, pp. 469-486)
November 15 Architecture of New Industrialism (Chapter 18, pp. 486-495; 497-502; 511-515) * Quiz 5
November 20 No Class-Thanksgiving Recess
November 22 No Class-Thanksgiving Recess
November 27 Turn-of-the Century American Architecture (Chapter 18, pp. 495-497; 502-509)
November 29 European Modernism (Chapter 19)
December 4 Late Modernism (Chapter 20) * Quiz 6
December 6 Contemporary Trends and Issues (Chapter 20)
Final Exam: Thursday, December 13, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.