Course Number

ARTS 277

Course Title

Modern Architecture in the 20th Century

Course Date

Fall 2017

Course Level


Professor or Professors' Departmental/Program Affiliation

Robert McVaugh, Art and Art History

Document Type



Art and Art History


This course considers architecture during the first two-thirds of the Twentieth Century. Emphasis will be on European and American architects, with special attention given to projects by Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, Alvar Aalto, and Louis Kahn. We will be using a framework developed by historian W. J. R. Curtis, who is reliable though a bit cautious, with the significant addition of important primary writings by the architects themselves. Additionally, the syllabus will identify a number of valuable secondary, scholarly resources of interest.

It is expected that you will become familiar with a corpus of significant buildings and theoretical/critical concepts pertinent to the first two-third of the Twentieth Century. Some of these you will encounter in class and for others you will need to depend on the textbook as well as other resources you might access in the library. You will also become comfortable with the vocabulary essential for architectural analysis and the techniques of graphic presentation essential to design, especially elevations, ground plans and sections. To aid in the latter, there will be a lab component, within which students will be introduced to issues related to reading and drawing plans and elevations. The labs will provide the foundation for the design projects that comprise the primary evaluative instruments of the course.


The syllabus may not be applicable to the current semester. Be sure to verify content with the professor(s) listed in the document.