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Regular version of the site
Master 2020/2021

Contemporary Architecture

Area of studies: History of Arts
Delivered by: School of History
When: 1 year, 3, 4 module
Mode of studies: offline
Master’s programme: History of Artistic Culture and the Art Market
Language: English
ECTS credits: 6

Course Syllabus


This course provides an introduction to the history of global architecture between 1900s and the present. The aim of the course is to illuminate the key trends and approaches that shaped contemporary architecture. Simultaneously the course will examine how architects and architectural historians and critics speaks about architecture. Besides the general outline the course will investigate the phenomenon of modernism in Soviet Union and Asia. This is a reading-intensive course, and students will be expected to do a significant amount of reading and revision of the critical material from different sources.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • to provide students with an introduction to Modern architecture, its key trends and concepts
  • to provide students with experience of writing and analysing buildings and architectural theory
  • to provide a critical overview of the major architectural movements
  • to give a historical and cultural context that influenced modern architecture
  • to develop a critical knowledge of problems faced by architects in the 20th century
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • to begin to recognize architectural movements and styles
  • to recognize the major building types and construction types
  • to develop persuasive verbal analysis
  • to develop research skills through the original investigation
  • to become aware of material and visual qualities of the building
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Introduction to the modern architecture
    Periodization of the modern architectural history. Problems that faced by architects in the 20th century. Researchers and architectural theory. Architectural schools. Review of the historiography.
  • Architecture and Urbanism Between the Two World Wars
    Terminology. Architecture in Europe, Americas and Russia. Architecture and politics. Architecture and economics. International exhibitions and architecture of the pavilions. Architectural journals. Urban planning and architecture in the USSR.
  • Post-war modern architecture: 1945-1980s
    Post-war reconstruction of the cities and development of the urban planning theory. Architects and housing problem. International style in Europe and US. Soviet modernism and its heritage. Reaction to modernist 'ideology'. Post-modernism and its manifests and leaders.
  • Modern architecture in India, China and Japan
    Architectural schools and agenda in Asian region. Colonial and postcolonial historical and cultural context and architectural design and studies. Leading schools and architectures in the post-war Asian architecture.
  • Contemporary architecture
    Contemporary architectural theory and practice. Architectural prizes and biennales. Ecological agenda and architecture. Social agenda and architecture.
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Homework
    Homework could include readings and tasks on writing
  • non-blocking Presentation
    In a form of short presentation in-class (15 minutes) and followed discussion
  • non-blocking Written assignment
    Submitted in doc, pdf or ppt file format.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (4 module)
    0.2 * Homework + 0.5 * Presentation + 0.3 * Written assignment


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Collins, P. (1998). Changing Ideals in Modern Architecture, 1750-1950. Montreal, Que: MQUP. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=403914
  • Colquhoun, A. (2002). Modern Architecture. Oxford: OUP Oxford. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=493720
  • Peter Scriver, & Amit Srivastava. (2015). India : Modern Architectures in History. Reaktion Books.
  • Иконников, А. В. Архитектура XX века. Утопии и реальность. Издание в двух томах Том II [Электронный ресурс] / А. В. Иконников; Под ред. А. Д. Кудрявцевой. - М.: Прогресс-Традиция, 2002. - 672 с.: 1225 ил. - ISBN 5-89826-130-3. - Режим доступа: http://znanium.com/catalog/product/453257
  • Иконников, А. В. Архитектура XX века. Утопии и реальность. Издание в двух томах. Том I [Электронный ресурс] / А. В. Иконников. - М.: Прогресс-Традиция, 2001. - 656 с.: 1055 ил. - ISBN 5-89826-096-Х. - Режим доступа: http://znanium.com/catalog/product/453255

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • 1000 years of world architecture, Prina, F., Demartini, E., 2005
  • 20th century pewter : art nouveau to modernism, Robinson, P. C., 2012
  • 21st century London : the new architecture, Powell, K., 2011
  • A companion to Asian art and architecture, Brown, R. M., 2011
  • A concise companion to modernism, Bradshaw, D., 2003
  • A history of western architecture, Watkin, D., 2005
  • A second modernism : MIT, architecture, and the 'techno-social' moment, Dutta, A., 2013
  • ADAM, R. (2020). TIME FOR ARCHITECTURE : On Modernity, Memory and Time in Architecture and Urban Design. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
  • Art since 1900 : modernism, antimodernism, postmodernism, Foster, H., Krauss, R., 2012
  • Ashby, C. (2017). Modernism in Scandinavia : Art, Architecture and Design. London: Bloomsbury Academic. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1460060
  • Ashley Maher. (2020). Reconstructing Modernism : British Literature, Modern Architecture, and the State: Vol. First edition. OUP Oxford.
  • Ching, F. D. K., Jarzombek, M., & Prakash, V. (2017). A Global History of Architecture (Vol. Third edition). Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1492721
  • Chŏng, I. (2013). Architecture and Urbanism in Modern Korea. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=750833
  • Contemporary architecture in China : towards a critical pragmatism, Xiangning, L., 2018
  • Dutta, A. B. (2017). Architectural Voices of India : A Blend of Contemporary and Traditional Ethos. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
  • Faroldi, E., & Vettori, M. P. (2018). History as a Design Element: Dialogue between Existing and Contemporary Architecture. Editorial Universitat Politècnica de València, 2018.
  • Nancy Shatzman Steinhardt. (2019). Chinese Architecture : A History. Princeton University Press.
  • Penick, M., Doordan, D. P., Kulić, V., & Parker, T. (2014). Sanctioning Modernism : Architecture and the Making of Postwar Identities: Vol. First edition. University of Texas Press.
  • Postmodernism : a very short introduction, Butler, C., 2002
  • Scriver, P., & Prakash, V. (2007). Colonial Modernities : Building, Dwelling and Architecture in British India and Ceylon. Routledge.
  • Self, R. (2014). The Architecture of Art Museums : A Decade of Design: 2000 - 2010. London: Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=nlebk&AN=760768
  • The reform of housing in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union / ed. by Bengt Turner . (1992). Routledge.
  • The sourcebook of contemporary architecture, Vidiella, A. S., 2007
  • Venugopal Maddipati. (2021). Gandhi and Architecture : A Time for Low-Cost Housing. Routledge India.
  • Wang, D. (2017). A Philosophy of Chinese Architecture : Past, Present, Future. Routledge.
  • Woods, M. N. (2017). Women Architects in India : Histories of Practice in Mumbai and Delhi. Routledge.