Traditional/Classical Architecture programs


Hi! I'm a prospective undergraduate architecture student. I am going to be starting my senior year of high school in September. For as long as I can remember, I have loved architecture, and am tremendously passionate about it. I am well aware of architecture degrees. I am open to either a B.Arch or BA/BS + M.Arch. I feel that there are pros and cons with both. In my college applications I would like to consider both options. Although I do have a large problem. I am inspired by classical and traditional architecture. I am certainly aware of the many citics of building buildings by traditional means in a traditional manner today. However, the varying opinions about architecture and how personal it is, is one of the best things about it. Architecta such as Robert AM Stern and Ferguson and Shamanian demonstrate that traditional buildings can seamlessly fit into the modern world and more than anything is an acceptable and viable design philosophy drawing inspiration from the past for the future. Architecture schools (from what I know, with exception to Notre Dame) have a very negative view of traditional architecture, and may only teach it in Architectural History courses, if at all. Based on the knowledge of h

Jul 17, 13 10:49 pm
Austen Redman

Yes, very few schools teach Classical architecture. It is quite common for people to produce modernist schemes while at college and then attach themselves to a Classical practice once they graduate. 

Jul 18, 13 9:30 am

Uc denver has classical architecture concentration now, kinda ruined the program for the rest of us though. 

Jul 18, 13 11:56 am

I would look into the University of Miami! they have a very strong classical architecture concentration!

Jul 18, 13 12:12 pm

Uc denver has classical architecture concentration now, kinda ruined the program for the rest of us though.

I'm familiar with the program, having once applied and been admitted.  That program has really struggled with finding itself, when its purpose was probably to be a bread and butter comprehensive urban program, which ought to be a simple mission, complete with elective credits available for internships during the academic year, typically the last year.

The cool thing about them was the downtown location as well as the graduate only format, meaning that those who hung out in the work force for a few years prior to doing the M.Arch. could go to school without 19 y.o. undergrads in the program with them while in the first year of the 3 year program.

They now have a new BS Arch downtown which looks pretty good on paper.  I just wonder if they'll keep the grads and undergrads separate.

How are they classical?  I'm just asking. Their website shows mostly modernist work.  As for classical architecture, I would say Notre Dame, first and foremost, followed by Virginia, at least in terms of instruction, though their design work can be modernist.  I'm sure the classicism impacts the modernist design work, to some extent.

^ Please clarify if you mean Miami of Ohio or University of Miami in Florida.  I would think it's the former more so than the latter, which is down the street from Arquitectonica's offices.

Jul 18, 13 12:37 pm
vado retro

he's talking about the U.

Jul 18, 13 12:41 pm

I work in admissions for the College of Architecture and Planning at University of Colorado Denver. We have a classical focus area and certificate in our MARCH program. The certificate is offered in cooperation with the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art. Some students choose to focus on classical architecture while others can focus on the design areas that are more relevant to them. I think one of the strengths of our MARCH is its flexibility for students. 

We did recently launch a BS ARCH at CU Denver. While there is a bit of overlap in certain introductory courses, the undergraduates are largely kept to their own courses.  

Jul 18, 13 2:23 pm

Thanks, RachaelCAP -

It's funny when these guys and gals from academia chime in so quickly, as if just waiting to pounce!  I'm just kidding.

I would have gladly come to your school, but had only taken calculus, and not physics, and you guys want(ed) both for the 3 year M.Arch.  Quite a few of the programs I applied to were more concerned with calculus as a prerequisite.

I liked your downtown location, the absence of undergrads in courses after having worked for 5 years, the fact that there was enough technology in the curriculum, the use of a full-time summer instead of a 7th semester (big plus), and the internship options during year 3, at the time I was considering CU-Denver.   The curriculum looks a little different now, but still good.

At any rate, thanks for clarifying this for the interested party seeking classicism.

Jul 18, 13 2:44 pm
Time machine?
Jul 18, 13 3:40 pm

Hmm you might be OK just browsing through schools course catalogs and finding classes/professors that focus on/are well known in regards to classical architecture. 

The reason you're having trouble finding programs that specialize in this is because most want you to have a comprehensive view of architectural history, not necessarily favoring or specializing in one period over the other.

As I said above, you can do this by taking specific classes to match your interests; just think outside the box a bit instead of trying to find the 'classical program.' The great thing about studio is you can have a bias in your designs. Use classical precedents from the a aforementioned classes. This approach may take a little more creative thinking, but you'll be required to study buildings that inform your projects anyway, so it can't hurt to throw a classical project in here and there.

That being said, there will be some programs (and more importantly professors) that may view this a little more favorably, or just be a little more open minded. Great professors should be willing to let their students using a breadth of precedents, not just those from one particular style/period/fad.

Otherwise, major in history instead.

Jul 18, 13 4:28 pm
Austen Redman

The University of Virginia seems to have links with the Prince of Wales Institute:

In the UK, Portsmouth University offers a course:

Oxford Brookes used to be interested in Classical architecture, but looking at their website, they aren't so much now.

Jul 19, 13 5:00 am
boy in a well


well each to their own.

im gonna go shoot some heroin and molest a little girl.

Jul 19, 13 5:13 am
You are in Newport? Certainly a lot of great old homes there and some local architects carrying on the traditions. Maybe go interview a few? Notre dame is the best choice for you. Or, maybe you should broaden your horizons some and see why most architects are not traditionalists.
Jul 19, 13 7:57 am
Austen Redman

Stick with it. I found most tutors had a very negative attitude to traditional architecture, but then I ended up working here:

Jul 19, 13 8:11 am

I'm no traditionalist in any sense, and would never replicate classical buildings, but the point of this thread was not for a prospective student to come in and get bashed. If you're going to be useless and talk about 'molesting a little girl,' which is disgusting, offensive, and not clever in any context, just leave. Please.

Jul 19, 13 10:10 am
Austen Redman

Newportri1, can I recommend this book to you:

It is quite a slim volume, but very good.

Jul 19, 13 11:09 am
Also become familiar with the difference between contemporary and Modernism/modern/modernity.

A building that takes cues from past detailing and philosophies could certainly be contemporary.

The way I see it, 'Capital - M Modern' will one day be a 'classical' method of operating.

That's my naive contribution. Good luck in your studies, whatever they may be.
Jul 19, 13 12:12 pm
vado retro

"the whole secret of art consists in proportionalita"- daniele barbaro

"firmness, commodity and fypon"- vado retro

Jul 19, 13 12:47 pm
In that respect, I've found Philadel
Jul 19, 13 12:49 pm

About Philadel
Jul 19, 13 12:50 pm
Good Lordy.

Philadelphia. Proportion. Study.
Jul 19, 13 12:51 pm
Austen Redman

Have a read of Quinlan Terry's essay's too:

Jul 19, 13 1:08 pm
Erik Evens (EKE)

I teach for the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, and I just got back from Newport, where we had our national curriculum conference. There were several people from Colorado in attendance.  RachaelCAP is correct, the University of Colorado program has integrated the ICAA curriculum into their otherwise modernist architecture program.  What it represents is an alternate track within their program, where you can simultaneously get the ICAA certificate in Classical Architecture, and your degree in Architecture, with all of the ICAA units applicable.  So you will get a full exposure to the elements of classical architecture, the orders, proportion and geometry, the literature and history of classical architecture, etc.  

Jul 19, 13 11:59 pm

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