ARCH 21121: 2nd Year Studio

The Assignment 21121


As an architect begins a design problem, it is essential to develop a complete understanding of those precedents – historic, contextual, and programmatic – which might best inform his/her design process.  Through the careful study of important buildings already designed, the architect learns the principles which might, in turn, be applied to the resolution of new design challenges.

Similar to last semester, our studio will start with a project in building analysis.  This project is meant to further our understanding of responsible and effective precedent research, as well as diagramming as a means of analyzing.  As your next project will involve the design of a building with a complex site condition and a series of formal spaces, we have pre-selected a number of related precedents that illustrate fundamental design principles, including the manner in which complex architectural geometries can be ordered and resolved.

Each student will begin by selecting one pre-defined grouping of three buildings, as well as one additional building of the student’s choice (a list of some recommended additional buildings will also be provided).  Then, he/she will proceed to use analytical diagrams as a means of studying those buildings, extracting the various principles that guide their design, and comparing and contrasting them with one another.  These diagrams will then be arranged and presented to studio groups as a cohesive precedent study that will assist in the development of our next project.


The purpose of this first project is to familiarize the architectural student with one of the most important steps in the design process, research and analysis.  Through a guided research assignment and instruction in building analysis, students will be prepared for a design involving complex geometries and the following goals will be achieved:

  • Familiarity with library resources and methods of research
  • Selection and analysis of appropriate precedents
  • Representation of building analyses through diagramming
Last Update: January 15, 2013 10:28 | Tagged with: architecture