Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

Architectural Theory and Criticism

Architectural Theory and Criticism
First semester
Project Planning Module
Teoría y crítica de la arquitectura
Main language of instruction: Spanish

Other languages of instruction: Catalan, English

Teaching staff

By appointment

Prof. Dr. Josep Lluis i Ginovart: jlluis@uic.es

Arq. Cinta Lluis i Teruel; cintalluis@uic.es


The state of crisis that contemporary society is currently immersed in is not only due to the conditions imposed upon us by the global economic crisis but is also a product of a profound crisis of ideas and values.

We might claim that the ideological disorientation that has manifested itself particularly harshly in the field of architecture has contributed decisively to the gradual disappearance of critical intervention in the sphere of cultural debate.

The aim of the course on the Theory and Criticism of Architecture is to make an analysis of the current situation of architecture from a perspective that asks searching questions about the different aspects that define the status quo of architecture today and the viewpoints and thinking patterns that have developed around them.

The objective underlying the course syllabus is to motivate students to recognise the components of rigour, responsibility and commitment when it comes to making interpretations and diagnoses of the social, political and cultural realities of their environment with the aim of recovering architecture’s leading role in the construction of society.

Pre-course requirements

  • Knowledge of the history and philosophy of architecture.
  • A good understanding of English.
  • The ability to handle interdisciplinary contents.
  • The ability to handle information flows in different media and on different conceptual levels.
  • A self-demanding attitude to written expression.


. To incentivize students to develop modes of attention and reaction to the synergies and facts which define the immediate state of the present.

.To provide students with a conceptual foundation that will enable them to develop their own approaches when theorizing on contemporary architectural manifestations and to formulate consistently critical, useful and relevant opinions at both a personal and group level.

.To develop written and oral expression skills to a professional level so students can express their personal opinions consistently and rigorously in different registers that are suitable for all kinds of media and formats (interviews, reviews, texts for blogs, etc.).


  • 40 - Ability to express architectural criticism.
  • 49 - To acquire adequate knowledge of the history of architecture.
  • 51 - To acquire adequate knowledge of the study methods of social needs, quality of life, habitability and basic housing programmes
  • 55 - To acquire adequate knowledge of the relationship between cultural patterns and the social responsibilities of the architect
  • 57 - To acquire adequate knowledge of urban sociology, theory, economy and history.
  • 64 - Ability to conceive, put into practice and develop architectural and urban culture.
  • 65 - Ability to recognise contemporary characteristics and freedom in the understanding of architecture.
  • 67 - Ability to understand and analyse architecture and the city in relation to philosophical and societal systems.

Learning outcomes

. A general understanding of the fundamental aspects that define present-day architecture and urban planning.

. The formation of reasoned and critical personal viewpoints on these aspects.

. The capacity to express and communicate these points of view in order to be able intervene in debates and discussions on contemporary architecture.


Continguts de l’assignatura:

1. Les teories del Restauro

1.1 La intervenció en el Renaixement

1.2 La intervenció en el Barroc

1.3 El restauro arqueològic

1.4 El restauro estilístic

1.5 La antirestauració

1.6 El restauro històric

1.7 El restauro modern

1.8 El restauro científic i les seves conseqüències

1.9 El restauro crític. L’arquitectura i la ciutat.


2. La teoría de la restauració moderna

2.1 La restauració del moviment modern

2.2 La restauració de finals del segle XX

2.3 La restauració del segle XXI

Teaching and learning activities

In blended

The practical work: It consists of the analysis the intervention of a building that has been intervened. The exercise is aimed at achieving recognition of the methods and techniques for the conservation, restoration and rehabilitation of heritage. Its main objective is to carry out a project, or the assessment of an intervention in the built heritage, applying some of the theories of restoration, as an alternative to a built project. Tangentially there will be an evaluation of the building to which it will be necessary to add the justifying memory on the criteria of intervention realized in the project of restoration. Thus, the project, or the analysis of an intervention, is aimed at establishing results, based on a set of knowledge on which it will be necessary to apply the theory of the intervention developed in the syllabus of the subject.

Class exhibition
40 49 51 55 57 64 65 67 0,3
Class participation
40 49 51 55 57 64 65 67 0,3
Clase practice
40 49 51 55 57 64 65 67 0,33
40 49 51 55 57 64 65 67 0,33
Individual or group study
40 49 51 55 57 64 65 67 1,25

Evaluation systems and criteria

In blended

Assessment: The assessment scheme that we will use during the course, will use the criterion of continuous assessment throughout the semester. The system is based on assessing the course work that corresponds to 60% of the grade, the final work 25% complementary to the course, the assessment of attendance equivalent to 15%. This feature will be maintained in both calls

Bibliography and resources

Bibliografia bàsica:


* Beltrami, L. - Moretti, G. (1898). Resoconto dei lavori di Restauro del Castello, Milano: Allegretti.

* Boito, Camille (1893). Q Questioni pratiche di belle arti. Restauri, concorsi, legislazione, professione, insegnamento. Milano: U. Hoepli.

* Bonelli, Roberto. (1995). Scritti sul restauro e sulla critica architettonica, Scuola di specializzazione per lo studio ed il restauro dei monumenti, Università degli studi di Roma “La Sapienza”. Roma: Bonsignori

* Brandi, Cesare. (1963). Teoria del restauro,  Roma: Edizioni di storia e letteratura.. Teoría de la restauración. Madrid: Alianza (1988).

* Cavalcaselle, G. B. (1863) Sulla conservazione dei monumenti e sulla riforma dell’insegnamento accademico.Torino: Tipografia Subalpina di Zoppis e Marino.

* Courajod, L. (1887). Alexandre Lenoir, son journal et le Musée des Monuments français. Tome III Paris: Honoré Champion Libraire.

* Didron, A. N. (1844). Actes de vandalismes. Annales archéologiques, t. I, pp. , 51-56.

* Didron, A.N. (1846). Démolition de la flèche de Saint-Denis. Annales Archéologiques, t. IV e t. V.

* Giovannoni, G. (1913). Restauri di monumenti. La tutela delle opere d’arte in Italia, Atti del I Convegno degli Ispettori Onorari dei Monumenti e Scavi, Roma 22-25 ottobre 1912, in “Bollettino d’Arte del Ministero della Pubblica Istruzione” n. 1, pp. , 1-42.

* Giovannoni, Gustavo. (1931). Vecchie città ed edilizia nuova. Milano: Torino. Città studi Edizioni.

* Giovannoni, G. (1946). Il restauro dei monumenti. Roma: Tipografia editrice italiana.

* Mandosio Jean-Marc (2000). Conserver ou restaurer: les dilemmes du patrimoine.

*Mérimée, P (1847, 1-11). Rapport sur les monuments historiques. Annales archéologiques, t. V.

* Merimée, P.; Viollet-Le-Duc, E. E. (1849-131-155)  Instruction pour la conservation l’entretien et la restauration des édifices diocésain, et particuièrement des cathédrales. Bulletin du Comité Historique des Ars et Monuments. Archéologie et Monuments. t. I, 1849.

* Pugin, August Welby (1836). Contrasts or a parallel between the noble edifices of fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and similar buildings of the present day shewing the present decacy of Taste: Accompanied by appropriate text. London..

* Quatremère De Quincy, Antoine Crisostome (1788-1825). Dictionnaire historique d’architecture, comprenant dans son plan les notions historiques, descriptives, archeologiques, biographiques, théoriques didactiques et pratiques de cet art. 3 vols Paris: Panckoucke.

* Riegl, Aloïs. (1903). Der Moderne Denkmalkultus. Sein Wesen und seine Entstehung. Wien und Leipzig: W. Braumüller.  El culto moderno a los monumentos. Caracteres y origen. Madrid: Visor (1987).

* Riegl, Aloïs. (1893) Stilfragen: Grundlegungen zu einer Geschichte der Omamentik. Berlin: Richard Carl Schmidt & Co. Problemas de estilo. Barcelona: Editorial Gustavo Gili, S.A. 1893.

* Ruskin, John (1859). The seven lamps of architecture. New York: John Wiley (1 ed. London, 1849). Las siete lámparas de la arquitectura. Barcelona: Alta Fulla editorial (2000).

* Ruskin, John (1856). Lectures an Architecture and Painting, delivered al Edinburg in novembre, 1853. New York: Wiley & Halsted.

* Ruskin, John (1851). The Stones of Venice. Volume the firts. The foundations. London: Smith, Elder and & Co., 65. Cornhill. Las Piedras de Venecia. Murcia: Colegio Oficial de Aparejadores y Arquitectos Técnicos de Murcia (2000).

* Ruskin, John (1853). The Stones of Venice. Volume the second. The Sea / Stories. London: Smith, Elder and & Co., 65. Cornhill.

* Ruskin, John (1853). The Stones of Venice. Volume the fhird. The Fall. London: Smith, Elder and & Co., 65. Cornhill.

* Valadier, G. (1822). Narrazione artistica dell’operato finora nel ristauro dell’arco di Tito letta nell’Accademia Romana di Archeologia li 20 dicembre 1821. Roma: De Romanis.

* Violet-Le-Duc,  E.E. (1854-1868). Dictionnaire raisonné de l’Architecture française du XIe au XVIe siècle. Paris: Imprime Chez Bonaventure et Ducessois.

* Violet-Le-Duc,  E.E. (1863) Entretiens sur l’architecture. Vol 1. Paris : A. Morel et C. Otras ediciones :

* Violet-Le-Duc, E. E. (1875). Van Brunt, H. (ed.).  Discourses on architecture. Vol.1. Boston: James R. Osgood.

* Violet-Le-Duc, E. E. (1877). Bucknall, B. (ed.). Lectures on architecture, tr. by B. Bucknall.  Vol.1. Londres: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle and Rivington Crown Buildings.

* Violet-Le-Duc, E. E. (1872). Entretiens sur l'architecture, vol. 2, Paris : A. Morel et Cie Éditeurs. Otras ediciones


Fonts Complementaries:


* Casiello, S. (2000). Restauro dalla teoria alla prassi. Napoli: Electa Napoli 2000.

* Ceschi, Carlo. (1970).  Teoria e storia del restauro. Roma: Mario Bulzoni Editore.

* Capitel, Antón. (1988). Metamorfosis de monumentos y teorías de la restauración. Madrid: Alianza.

* Casiello, S. (1996).  La cultura del restauro. Teorie e fondatori. Venezia: Marsilio. (3ª ed. 2005,Venezia: Marsilio.

* González-Varas, Ignacio (1999). Conservación de bienes culturales. Teoría, historia, principios y normas. Madrid: Cátedra.

* Jokiletho, Jukka. (1999). A History of Architectural Conservation. Oxford: Butterworth Heinemann, ICCROM

* Macarrón, A. M. (1995). Historia de la Conservación y la Restauración. Madrid: Tecnos.

* Martínez Justicia, María José (et al). (2009). Historia y teoría de la conservación y la restauración artística. Madrid: Tecnos

* Miarelli Mariani, G. (1979). Monumenti nel tempo. Per una storia del restauro in Abruzzo e nel Molise. Roma: Carucci.

* Rivera Blanco, J. (1997, 101-170). Restauración arquitectónica desde los orígenes hasta nuestros días. Conceptos, teoría e historia. En Teoría e Historia de la restauración, Máster de Restauración y Rehabilitación del Patrimonio. Madrid: Universidad de Alcalá.

* Rivera Blanco, José Javier (2008). De varia restauratione: teoría e historia de la restauración arquitectónica. Madrid: Abada.

* Soraluce Blond, José Ramón (2008).  Historia de la arquitectura restaurada de la Antigüedad al Renacimiento. A Coruña: Universidade da Coruña Servizo de Publicacións