Architectural Design - AR558

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
Spring 6 30 (15) DR A Gillick checkmark-circle


This module, the final one in the programme, focuses on the detailed design of a significant new piece of architecture that responds to, adapts /retrofits and extends existing urban architectural fabric in response to sustainable urban development goals. Responding to urban and architectural context, the module assesses a student's capabilities, skills, knowledge and understanding of the relationships and intersections between new building work and existing buildings within a broader urban and cultural context. Central to this is the development of strategies of adapting and extending existing architecture towards improved and new uses and enhanced environmental, social and economic sustainability. Two key design skills will be demonstrated: the integration of the conflicting demands surrounding a proposal that successfully balances the requirements of client, user and the public with the cultural, technical and environmental pressures encountered; and the thoughtful engagement with and adaptation and extension of existing built environments. The design and integrated technical proposals must therefore be contextual and developed with reference to historical and social aspects of the existing built environment, as well as broader environmental concerns. This practical design project is supported by both lectures, seminars and workshops on the technical and environmental specification of sustainable architectural design, including illumination, acoustics, heating and cooling strategies and material specifications. Additionally, lectures, seminars and tutorials addressing regulatory, historical, theoretical, ergonomic, spatial, formal and aesthetic principles of architectural design and the adaptive reuse of existing buildings are provided.


This module appears in the following module collections.

Contact hours

65 hours

Method of assessment

Design (70%)
Technology & Environment (30%)
Both of the above assessed components must be passed

Indicative reading

Bizley, Graham. (2007). Architecture in detail. Architectural Press.Blundell-Jones, P. (2002). Modern architecture through case studies. Oxford: Architectural Press.
Blundell Jones, Peter. et al. (2005). Architecture and Participation. Oxford, Spon Press.
Deplazes, A. (2002). Constructing architecture: Materials, processes, structures: a handbook.
Hawkes, Dean. (1996). The Environmental Tradition: studies in the architecture of environment. London: Taylor & Francis.
Hawkes, Dean. (2007). The Environmental Imagination. Routledge/Taylor and Francis.Herzog, T.,
Lechner, Norbert. (2008). Heating, Cooling & Lighting – Sustainable Design Methods for Architects (3rd ed). Wiley.
Porteous, Colin. (2002). The new eco-architecture: alternatives from the modern movement. London: Spon Press

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

8.1 An ability to prepare and present building design projects of diverse scale, complexity, and type in a variety of contexts, using a range of media, and in response to a brief. [GC1.1]
8.2 The ability to understand the constructional and structural systems, the environmental strategies and the regulatory requirements that apply to the design and construction of a comprehensive design project. [GC1.2]
8.3 An ability to develop a conceptual and critical approach to architectural design that integrates and satisfies the aesthetic aspects of a building and the technical requirements of its construction and the needs of the user. [GC1.3]
8.4 A knowledge of the creative application of such work (the fine arts) to studio design projects, in terms of their conceptualisation and representation. [GC3.3]
8.5 An understanding of the needs and aspirations of building users. [GC5.1]
8.6 An understanding of the need to critically review precedents relevant to the function, organisation and technological strategy of design proposals. [GC7.1]
8.7 An understanding of the need to appraise and prepare building briefs of diverse scales and types, to define client and user requirements and their appropriateness to site and context. [GC7.2]
8.8 An understanding of the contributions of architects and co-professionals to the formulation of the brief, and the methods of investigation used in its preparation. [GC7.3]
8.9 An understanding of the investigation, critical appraisal and selection of alternative structural, constructional and material systems relevant to architectural design. [GC8.1]
8.10 An understanding of strategies for building construction, and ability to integrate knowledge of structural principles and construction techniques. [GC8.2]
8.11 An understanding of the physical properties and characteristics of building materials, components and systems, and the environmental impact of specification choices. [GC8.3]
8.12 A knowledge of principles associated with designing optimum visual, thermal and acoustic environments. [GC9.1]
8.13 Knowledge of systems for environmental comfort realised within relevant precepts of sustainable design. [GC9.2]
8.14 Knowledge of strategies for building services, and ability to integrate these in a design project. [GC9.3]
8.15 Skills to prepare designs that will meet building users' requirements and comply with UK legislation, appropriate performance standards and health and safety requirements. [GC10.3]
8.16 An ability to relate the concepts underlying one's own design to themes in contemporary theory. [B5]
8.17 An understanding of the alternative materials, processes and techniques that apply to architectural design and building construction. [GA3]

9.1 An ability to generate design proposals using understanding of a body of knowledge, some at the current boundaries of professional practice and the academic discipline of architecture. [GA1]
9.2 An ability to apply a range of communication methods and media to present design proposals clearly and effectively. [GA2]


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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