Collective Dwelling - ARCH5410

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Spring Term 5 30 (15) Jef Smith checkmark-circle


This module introduces students to urban design, focussing on housing as a building type. It takes place in two stages, the first being to plan a group of buildings, possibly in an urban context, and the second to develop the design of one of the individual housing blocks comprising multiple units. Students will examine the various typologies of collective dwellings and investigate alternative ways in which these can be combined to form urban blocks. In preparation for this module students will explore some of the principles and theories of urban design and apply some of these in their projects. The principles of sustainability will be examined in the context of energy and environmental assessment methods, and the use of appropriate construction techniques will be explored. Students will develop both digital and hand-drawn presentation and communication techniques.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 51 hours
Private study hours: 249 hours
Total study hours: 300 hours

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Design Project (100%)

Reassessment methods
Like for like.

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List

Alexander, C. (1978). A pattern language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Cullen, G. (1961, 1996). A concise townscape. London: Architectural Press.
Davies, C. (2005). The Prefabricated Home. London: Reaktion.
Hertzberger, H., 2001. Lessons for students in architecture. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers.
Larice, M., and Macdonald, E. (2nd ed, 2013) The urban design reader. Abingdon: Routledge.
Sherwood, Roger. (1981) Modern Housing Prototypes. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to demonstrate:

1 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
2 A knowledge of the application of appropriate theoretical concepts to studio design projects, demonstrating a reflective and critical approach
3 An awareness of the theories of urban design, the planning of communities and the influence of the design and development of cities, past and present on the
contemporary built environment
4 An understanding of the impact of buildings on the environment, and the precepts of sustainable design
5 An understanding of the way in which buildings fit into their local context and the ability to plan a group of buildings to create a series of appropriately scaled external
6 An understanding of the potential impact of building projects on existing and proposed communities
7 An understanding of the investigation, critical appraisal and selection of alternative structural, constructional and material systems relevant to architectural design
8 A knowledge of principles associated with designing optimum visual, thermal and acoustic environments
9 A knowledge of systems for environmental comfort realised within relevant precepts of sustainable design

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to demonstrate:

1 An ability to apply a range of communication methods and media to present proposals clearly and effectively.
2 An ability to work as part of a team


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 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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