"The events of human life, whether public or private, are so intimately linked to architecture that most observers can reconstruct nations or individuals in all the truth of their habits from the remains of their monuments or from their domestic relics." (Honore de Balzac)

From the Step Pyramid of Djoser to the Palace of Versailles, from Neolithic pile dwellings to the Great Mosque of Damascus, the Colosseum in Rome to the Great Wall of China, the human story can be told by charting the history of the buildings and spaces around us.

Discover the impact of religious rituals and astronomy on design. Study the Mesoamerican pyramid-temples of the Maya and their grizzly secrets. Learn about the innovation and technology that has transformed the way we think about buildings, such as glass and the ability to transport materials across the globe. Discover how and why buildings were constructed before the arrival of these design solutions and why Gothic architecture is really all about light!

Consider the impact of weather and war on the way buildings have been constructed across the globe and the understand the social anthropology at the heart of how we live together and design our buildings. Immerse yourself in the opulence of the Baroque and Palladian beauty of Versailles and Blenheim and see how the post war modernists rejected the traditions of the neoclassical age.

Learn the stories of the architects themselves, the challenges they faced and the inspiration for their designs. From the court of Versailles to the rise of Christopher Wren from the ashes of the Great Fire of London, follow the political and religious battles at the center of these iconic buildings.

Potential Themes

  • Architectural history
  • Religion and architecture
  • Antiquity – Greco Persian architecture

  • Rome!
  • Pre-columbian architecture, astronomy and ritual sacrifice
  • Gothic churches

  • Renaissance architecture
  • Post war modernism, art deco, arts and crafts
  • Materials, technology and industry

Study Architecture

Discover what our buildings say about us

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