Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

History of Art and Architecture

History of Art and Architecture
First semester
Propedeutic Introductory Module
Introducción a la historia del arte y de la arquitectura
Main language of instruction: English

Other languages of instruction: Spanish

Teaching staff

By appointment

Teaching staff:

Dr. Kathrin Golda-Pongratz - kgoldapongratz@uic.es

Octavio Mestre - omestre@uic.es


The study of history of architecture is both fundamental and very useful for architects; our contemporary urban and cultural landscapes are composed of historic layers and traces of architecture from all times. We will encourage the students to study the history of art and architecture in order to think their contemporary work and design proposals. We will transmit the evolution of architectural thinking and building from early high cultures and Greece to the Illustration, the industrial revolution and the early modern age in one semester, in a not complete but solid overview: we will focus on some key moments and buildings that we consider representative of an age and crucial for understanding the evolution of the traditions of building and of the arts. And we will build connections already to contemporary architecture and current debates on the role of architecture.

Pre-course requirements

English, because the subject is taught exclusively in this language


We want our students:

- to understand the evolution and history of architecture, art and urban structures and culture from a contemporary point of view

- to relate with architecture and urban development through the understanding of their historic development and meaning in our contemporary cultures and living environments

- to be able to recognize the different periods of the history of art and architecture in the particular city of Barcelona

- to acquire contemporary tools to analyse works of art and architecture

- to analyse the works of art and architecture both by drawing and writing


  • 48 - To acquire adequate knowledge of the general theories of form, composition and architectural typologies
  • 49 - To acquire adequate knowledge of the history of architecture.
  • 54 - To acquire adequate knowledge of the aesthetics, theory and history of Fine Arts and Applied Arts.
  • 66 - Ability to internalise architectural form.
  • 69 - Ability to discover the critical-cultural dimension of the role of the architect

Learning outcomes


By the end of the course, students should be able to:

- Recognize the more relevant styles of architecture, sculpture and painting studied during the course

- Distinguish their most important characteristics

- Have the capacity of comparative interrelation among the distinct styles and historic languages and know how to situate them in time and in the geographic context of influence

Have the capacity to enlarge his or her knowledge beyond occident and to identify cultural diversity

and cultural expressions in cities and global contexts

- Describe and explain a building, a sculpture and a painting correctly using an appropriate terminology

- Identify the most important artists and architects of the movements and periods studied

- Distinguish master and key works of each movement, knowing the artist who created it and the century of its creation

-   Be able to reflect on the course of history and its impact on the present


Week 1


Course presentation; Students’ brief presentation; Explanation of the course contents, methodology, research subject, distribution of groups and assignments

In Class / Blended

Lecture I_Introduction 1: On what is and what is not architecture

Lecture II_Introduction 2: Architecture as an autonomous process


Week 2


Lecture III_Early high cultures and Greek architecture and urban forms

In Class / Blended     

Exercise I: brief explanation of each student’s favourite historic building along with one self-made image

Research delivery I: group formation and research topic selection


Week 3


Lecture IV_Asian architecture I: Ancient China and Japan – a comparison

Field Visit I

MUHBA, to the Augustus temple remains, Roman streets and remains of the city wall

Exercise II: Sketching in the museum // Graphic report of the visit


Week 4


Lecture V_Pre-Columbian High Cultures in the Americas

In Class / Blended

Research delivery II: general first information about selected group project topic // Feedback


Week 5

Field Visit II

Romanesque architecture and artistic expressions: Visit of the monastery Sant Pau del Camp       

Exercise III: Photographic and drawing report of the building, glossary exercise


Week 6


Lecture VI_From Romanesque to Gothic Architecture

In Class / Blended

Research delivery III: graphic analysis of location, space relation, form and function // Selection of three relevant books


Week 7


Feedback on your research deliveries of the group project

In Class / Blended

Lecture VII_ Late Medieval architectural expressions and city formations


Week 8


Lecture VIII_Asian architecture II: India, the Mogul Empire, Indochina, Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam


Week 9 (Midterm Evaluation)


Research delivery IV (online): textual part of the group work

Field Visit II

Visit of the gothic quarter and Santa María del Mar church, El Born CCM and a gothic private house, lunch break, Hospital de la Santa Creu de Barcelona complex     

Exercise IV: Sketching // Graphic report of the visit


Week 10


Lecture IX_The European colonization of the world – urban palimpsests

In Class / Blended

Lecture X_Michelangelo vs. Sinan


Week 11


Lecture XI_The Renaissance: Alberti, Palladio and the ideal cities

In Class / Blended

Final review of the graphic documentation


Week 12


Lecture XII_Baroque architecture in Europe and the Americas

In Class / Blended

Presentations I: Groups 1-6


Week 13


Lecture XIII_Illustration, industrial revolution and the early modern age

In Class / Blended     

Presentations II: Groups 7-12

Presentations III: Groups 13-18


Week 14

In Class / Blended

Delivery of the group project and indications for the sketch book delivery and final exam


Week 15

Online or In Class (tbd) Final written exam of three hours


Teaching and learning activities

In blended

- The class will be theoretical and practical. 

- The theoretical part is based on lectures; the student is supposed to contrast the information given with the information he or she has read before. Lectures, especially online, will always be split in smaller units and have an interactive space to ask questions and test knowledge

- Most lectures will be delivered online via Collaborate and all material is made accessible to the students via the Moodle platform

- The practical part will be divided in two parts; students should do an individual notebook and a research exercise (in team work) on relevant architectural works according to given frames of analysis in a comparative way.

- Relevant field visits complete the course, as on-site observation is fundamental for the understanding of historic buildings in a contemporary context.

- The notebook should contain drawings of the different periods, notes from the lectures adding information, sketches, prints, maps, etc., historical and graphic report of the site visits.

- The research exercise should be done with the re-drawing of the buildings, a model or other spatial interpretation of a part of the buildings and an explanation of the buildings in a comparative way; all the research exercises will be presented in class.

- Reviews, presentations and feedback sessions both on individual and on the group research will be in class or blended, so to enhance the personal exchange with the students. A few lectures will also be delivered in class in the blended format, so to foster a dynamic class atmosphere under the given Covid-19 restrictions.

Class exhibition
48 49 54 1,5
Class participation
48 49 54 0,2
Clase practice
48 49 54 1,1
48 49 54 0,2
Individual or group study
48 49 54 3

Evaluation systems and criteria

In blended

Classes will be held two hours online and two hours in a blended format each week, with three in- person field visits outdoor, sketching and urban experiential classes throughout the semester

- Class note and sketchbook (submission online and participation and performance in class, online, in person and in blended) (20%)

- Research exercise (research development, dedication outside class hours, online, in blended and personal tutorials and oral presentation in class) (30%)

- Written exam (50%)

- The continuous use of the Moodle is mandatory.

- The evaluation process is based on the personal work of the student and presupposes the authenticity of authorship and the originality of the exercises realised

- It will qualify as suspense if a lack of originality is detected in the authorship of any activity or submission to be evaluated, if materials have been utilised without authorization, or copied and pasted from internet sources, manuals or articles (without the corresponding citation), or from other students.

Bibliography and resources

- Alberti, L.B., The ten books of architecture. Dover, New York, 1986 (COAC: D-5134)

- Argan, G.C., Brunelleschi. Mondadori, Milan, 1955

- Argan, G.C., Renacimiento y Barroco, Akal, Torrejón de Ardoz 1987 (COAC: S-7034 (45) ARG-2 V.2)

- Argan, G.C., Michelangelo architect. Electa, Milan, 2004 (COAC: 72 MIQUEL ÀNGEL)

- Bacon, E., Design of the Cities, London: Thames & Hudson, 1982

- Benevolo, L., El diseño de la Ciudad, Barcelona: Gustavo Gili, 1977
- Benevolo, L., Storia della città, Bari: Ed. Laterza, 1975

- Blaser, W., Drawings of Great Buildings, Birkhäuser Verlag, 1983

- Blunt, A., Borromini. A. Lane, London 1979

- Blunt, A., Art and Architecture in France 1500-1700. Yale University Press, New Haven, London, 1999

- Borsi, F., Bernini. Ed. Akal, Madrid, 1998

- Brothers, C., Michelangelo, drawing and the invention of architecture. Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2008

- Carver, H., North African Villages. Documan Press, Kalamazo, 1989

- Carver, H., Form and Space of Japanese Architecture. Shokokusha, Tokyo, 1955 (COAC: S-72.032.12 CAR)

- Denyer, S., African traditional architecture: an historical and geographical perspective. Africana, New York, 1978 (COAC: S-72.031.6 DEN)

- Early, J., The Colonial architecture of Mexico. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, 1994 (COAC: S-72.034(72) EAR)

-  Eisenman, P., Palladio virtuel. Yale University Press, New Haven, 2015 (COAC: D-43951)

- Fanelli, G., Brunelleschi’s Cupola: Past and Present of an Architectural Masterpiece. Mandragora, Florence, 2004

- Fletcher, B., The History of Architecture by the comparative Method. Batsford, London, 2012

- Frampton, K., Historia crítica de la arquitectura moderna, Barcelona: Gustavo Gili, 1993

- Frankl, P., Gothic Architecture. Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2000 (COAC: S-72.033.5 FRAU)

- Giedion, S., The Eternal Present: the beginnings of art. Bollingen Foundation, New York 1962

- Hall, P., Cities in Civilization, London, Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1998

- Hayden, D., Building Suburbia. Pantheon Books, New York, 2003

- Heyden, D. and P. Gendrop, Pre-columbian architecture of Mesoamerica. New York, Harry N. Abrams,1975 (COAC: D-5083)

- Ingersoll, R., World architecture: a cross-cultural history. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013 (COAC: S-72.03 ING)

- Kostof, S., Historia de la arquitectura. Madrid: Alianza (vol 1, 2, 3). 1998

- Kostof, S., The City shaped: urban patterns and meanings through history, London: Thames&Hudson, 1991

- Martienssen, R. D., The idea of space in Greek architecture, with special reference to the Doric temple and its setting. The Witwatersrand University Press, Johannesburg, 1954

- Museu d’Historia de Barcelona MUHBA (ed.), La Barcelona gòtica. Museu d'Història de la Ciutat, Institut de Cultura de Barcelona, Ajuntament de Barcelona, Barcelona, 1999 (COAC: S-9(467.1 BAR) BAR)

- Parker, J. H., Classic dictionary of architecture: a concise glossary of terms used in Grecian, Roman, Italian and Gothic architecture. New Orchard, Poole, 1986. (COAC: S-D 72 PAR)

-Pevsner, N., An Outline of European Architecture. Thames and Hudson, London, 2009

- Pevsner, N., Pevsner's architectural glossary. Yale University Press, New Haven, 2010 (COAC: S-D 72 PEV)

- Popkin, M.L., Architecture of the Roman Triumph. Cambridge University Press, 2016 (COAC: D-44466)

- Puig i Cadafalch, J., L’arquitectura romànica a Catalunya, Ed. Base, Barcelona 2016

- Robertson, D.S., Greek and Roman Architecture. Cambridge University Press, 1974 (COAC: D-20804)

- Rowe, C., The mathematics of the ideal villa and other essays, MIT Press, Cambridge, 1976 (COAC: 72(04) ROW-4)

- Ruschi, P., Michelangelo architetto a San Lorenzo, Mandagora, Firenze, 2007

- Ruskin, J., The stones of Venice. Little, Brown & Company, Boston and Toronto, 1981

- Rykwert, J., The idea of a Town. The Anthropology of Urban Form in Rome, Italy and the Ancient World. Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1976 (COAC: D-1340)

- Schapiro, M., Romanesque Art. Selected Papers, George Braziller, New York, 1977

- Scott, G., The Architecture of Humanism; A Study in the history of Taste, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston and New York, 1914

- Senseney. J.R., The art of building in the classical world: vision, craftsmanship, and linear perspective in Greek and Roman architecture. Cambridge University Press, 2016 (COAC: D-40334)

- Stierlin, H., Encyclopedia of World Architecture. Fribourg: Evergreen-Taschen, 1977

- Stierlin, H., Islam: Early architecture from Bagdad to Cordoba. Taschen, Cologne, 1996

- Summerson, J., El lenguaje clásico de la arquitectura. Barcelona: Gustavo Gili, 1984 [1963]

- Tadgell, C., Early medieval Europe: the informal contained. Ellipsis, London, 2001 (COAC: D-25968)

- Trager, P., The villas of Palladio, Little, Brown, Boston, 1986

- Travenor, R., On Alberti and the art of Building, Yale University Press, New Haven, London, 1998

- Whitehill, W.M., Spanish Romanesque architecture of the eleventh century. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1968. (COAC: D-8627)

- Wilson Jones, M., Principles of Roman Architecture. Yale University Press, New Haven, London, 2000 (COAC: 72.032.7 JON)

- Wittkower, R., Architectural principles in the age of humanism. Academy Editions, London, 1998 (COAC: D-23143)

- Worringer, W., Form Problems of the Gothic, G.E. Stechert & Co., New York, 1910

- Zevi, B., Saber ver la arquitectura: ensayo sobre la interpretación espacial de la arquitectura. Poseidon, Buenos Aires, 1971