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School of Architecture


Alejandro Zaera-Polo

Departmental Representative

Mario I. Gandelsonas

Director of Graduate Studies

Paul Lewis, M.Arch. Programs

Beatriz Colomina, Ph.D. Program


Stanley T. Allen

M. Christine Boyer

Beatriz Colomina

Elizabeth Diller

Mario I. Gandelsonas

Guy J. Nordenson

Jesse A. Reiser

Alejandro Zaera-Polo

Associate Professor

Paul Lewis

Spyridon Papapetros

Assistant Professor

Lucia Allais

Axel Kilian

Michael Meredith 

Associated Faculty

Hal Foster, Art and Archaeology

Thomas Y. Levin, German

John A. Pinto, Art and Archaeology

Anson G. Rabinbach, History

The undergraduate program at the School of Architecture is known for its rigorous and interdisciplinary approach to preprofessional education. The four-year undergraduate program leads to an A.B. with a concentration in architecture. In addition to design and the history and theory of architecture and urbanism, undergraduates study a range of disciplines that contribute to an architect's knowledge and vision, including courses in architectural analysis, representation, computing, and building technologies. Such a broad academic program also prepares students for a graduate program in architecture and other related disciplines such as landscape architecture, urban planning, civil engineering, art history, and the visual arts.

Information and Departmental Plan of Study


Students who wish to enter the school are normally required to complete two courses: ARC 203 Introduction to Architectural Thinking, and ARC 204 Introduction to Architectural Design. At least one course in architectural history, taken in either the School of Architecture or the Department of Art and Archaeology, is recommended but not required. Students are encouraged to enroll in ARC 203 and 204 in their sophomore year. However, this is not a mandatory sequence, and students may change the order in which they enroll in these three prerequisites.

Program of Study

The program provides a foundation for graduate professional study in architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, historic preservation, and related fields of study. In particular, the program prepares students for further study at the graduate level in design and the history and theory of art or architecture. Students may also elect a program offered jointly by the School of Architecture and the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

In addition to the general prerequisites and the requirements for independent work, each student is required to complete 10 courses in three cognate areas: (a) history and theory, (b) technology, and (c) design seminars, from those listed below. All students are required to take ARC 403 Topics in the History and Theory of Architecture in the fall semester of their senior year. This course covers methodologies of historical analysis and research, the literature of the field, and the varieties of architectural writing. All students are required to enroll in ARC 404 Advanced Design Studio, in the fall semester of their senior year. The advanced design studio presents a challenging independent design project in which the knowledge of previous studios is synthesized and new techniques of representation are employed. Students should check with the school office to determine which one-time-only courses are being offered during the academic year. The requirements are listed below:

NOTE: An asterisk indicates a mandatory course; a double asterisk indicates a one-time-only course or topic.

History and Theory (six courses required)

Three courses in History and Theory of Architecture, one of which is ARC 403; two courses in History and Theory of Urbanism and Landscape; and at least one course to be taken in the Department of Art and Archaeology, for a total of six courses.

Architecture (two courses required in addition to ARC 403)

302/ART 346 Architecture and the Visual Arts
308/ART 328 History of Architectural Theory
**489 Selected Works of 20th-Century Architects
MOD 500 Topics in Media and Modernity

Urbanism and Landscape (two courses required)

**ART 425 The Ordinary
URB 201 Introduction to Urban Studies
304 Historical Development of Urban Form
401 Theories of Housing and Urbanism
492 Topics in the Formal Analysis of the Urban Structure
525/ART 524 Mapping the City
570 The Sociology of Contemporary Design
332/ART 332 The Landscape of Allusion: Garden and Landscape Architecture, 1450-1750
565/ART 569 History and Theory of Landscape Architecture

Art and Archaeology (one course required)

ART 200 The Art and Archaeology of the Ancient Near East and Egypt
ART 213 Modernist Art: 1900 to 1950
ART 214 Contemporary Art: 1950 to the Present
ART 305 Greek and Roman Architecture
ART 315 Medieval Architecture
ART 320 Rome, the Eternal City
ART 333 Renaissance and Baroque Architecture
ART 337 Court, Cloister, and City: Art and Architecture in Central and Eastern Europe
ART 342 Modern Architecture
ART 351 Traditional Chinese Architecture
ART 445 Topics in the History and Theory of Architecture in Early-Modern Europe
ART 458 Seminar. Modern Architecture

Technology (two courses required)

CEE 262 Structures and the Urban Environment
*311 Building Science and Technology: Building Systems
CEE 361 Structural Analysis and Introduction to Finite Element Methods
CEE 362 Structural Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering
CEE 364 Materials in Civil Engineering
CEE 366 Design of Reinforced Concrete Structures
406 Energy and Form
CEE 461 Design of Large-Scale Structures: Buildings
CEE 462 Design of Large-Scale Structures: Bridges
510 Structural Analysis for Architecture
511 Structural Design
514 Environmental Engineering of Buildings, Part I
515 Environmental Engineering of Buildings, Part II
516 Architectural Acoustics and Lighting

Design Seminars (two courses required)

**306 Research Seminar: Eco-Urbanist Architecture
374 Computing and Representation
*404 Advanced Design Studio
**447 Analysis of Buildings

Independent Work

Each student is required to complete independent work in both semesters of the junior and senior years.

Junior Year. In the junior year, the independent work requirement is satisfied by taking a design studio in each semester. All undergraduate design studios are organized topically. The projects in each studio may vary in scale and complexity; design methodologies and representational skills are introduced incrementally beginning with the fall semester. Teaching methods within the design studios include seminars, desk criticism, and schoolwide reviews of student projects. Students may choose from one of several offerings in each semester via a lottery system at the beginning of each semester. Every effort will be made to see that as many students as possible receive their first choice from the design studios being offered in each semester, and to keep the enrollment of the design studios to a maximum of 12 students.

Senior Year. In the fall and spring semesters of the senior year, the independent work requirement is satisfied by the architectural thesis. The senior thesis is a detailed project, presenting a well-argued piece of research on a precise architectural theme, and may include a substantial amount and variety of visual materials (including any of several forms of representation, for example, architectural drawings, models, video, photographs, and computer-generated images). The relative proportion of written to visual material for each student must be agreed upon with the adviser and thesis committee. The final presentation and oral defense of the senior thesis in the spring will constitute a section of the departmental examination.

The thesis is a year-long project that begins in the fall semester. Faculty thesis advisers are assigned at the beginning of the fall term of the senior year, and students work closely with the adviser in the formulation of the topic, research methods, organization of the thesis material, and presentation of the work.

Senior Departmental Examination

All students in the program will take the departmental examination in May of their senior year.

Preparation for Graduate Study

Students who contemplate pursuing graduate professional study in architecture are strongly advised to elect MAT 103, or 101 and 102; and PHY 101. Courses in the social sciences and art and architectural history are also encouraged.

Professional Study in Architecture. Princeton undergraduates completing the program, if admitted to Princeton's graduate professional program (M.Arch. degree), generally complete their graduate studies in three years. Advanced standing may be granted by professional graduate schools at other universities.

In order to qualify for licensing as architects in the United States, students are required, by individual states, to complete a program leading to a professional degree that is accepted by the National Architectural Accrediting Board. Please see the NAAB statement at the end of this section.

Architecture and Engineering. Students interested in pursuing studies in both architecture and civil engineering may participate in the joint Program in Architecture and Engineering offered through the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. The program leads to the B.S.E. degree. For further information, consult the appropriate program entry in the engineering section.

Other Facilities. Most of the school's facilities are in the Architecture Building, which is adjacent to McCosh Walk near the center of campus. The building is home to undergraduate and graduate design studios, seminar rooms, the Betts Auditorium, an exhibition gallery, faculty and administrative offices, the School of Architecture Library, the Visual Resources Collection, the Computer-Aided Design and Imaging Facility, and facilities for work related to building and construction technologies.

The Architecture Laboratory is used by faculty members and students for model making and work related to building systems and construction and for the testing and analysis of materials and structural models. This hands-on experience helps students develop a deeper understanding of the tectonic aspects of building.

The laboratory houses facilities for building in wood, plastic, metal, and concrete, and enables students to learn general model theory, build and test models of actual buildings, and study current building systems and technology.

The laboratory is staffed by skilled craftsmen from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; provisions are made to keep the facility open for additional hours when necessary. The introductory course in construction meets in the laboratory for a weekly workshop.

The Architecture Library is a division of Princeton's Firestone Library system. Located in the Architecture Building, its holdings focus on current publications in architecture, urbanism, and landscape. These holdings include approximately 32,500 volumes; 3,748 microfiche reels; and the collections of the former Bureau of Urban Research and the Winton Reading Room. (The Winton Reading Room, a gift from Mrs. C. W. Jones, David J. Winton '20, and Charles J. Winton Jr. '22, was the school's original library until 1967-68, when the library system was expanded.) The library subscribes to more than 350 domestic and international periodicals, ranging from professional journals in the various design disciplines to periodicals covering the history and theory of design.

Library materials acquired before 1980 can be located in the Supplementary Electronic Card Catalog. Items added to the collection since 1980 are cataloged in Voyager, an online database that also provides access to the holdings of the University's entire library system, all of which may be used by architecture students. These include the general collection of the Firestone Library; the Marquand Library, one of the finest art libraries in the world and home to approximately 54,000 architecture books out of a collection totaling approximately 260,000 volumes; the library of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs; the Office of Population Research Library; and the Social Science Reference Center at Firestone Library.

The School of Architecture Archive houses materials of historic value related to the history of the school. These include selected students' thesis projects, student files, school files, and the Jean Labatut collection, which includes papers, slides, and drawings that Labatut donated to the school.

The Hobart Betts Auditorium is used for class lectures, special lectures, symposia, and conferences hosted by the School of Architecture and other departments. It contains audiovisual equipment for slide projection, video projection and recording, audio recording, and other presentation aids.

The most up-to-date listings of events, lectures, exhibitions, symposia, courses, and faculty can be accessed through the School of Architecture website or through the academics section of Princeton University's website.

Visual Resources Collection. The Visual Resources Collection contains more than 64,000 slides, 5,000 digital images, 300 audiotapes of major lectures and conferences held at the school, and a growing collection of videotapes and CD-ROMs on architecture. The history of architecture is covered in the collection, although more emphasis is placed on the 19th and 20th centuries. The collection is international but is strongest in American and Western European architecture. It is steadily growing in both size and scope. The majority of the collection is devoted to the works of more than 3,000 architects and artists. A section documenting the projects of Princeton students is also maintained. The collection is cataloged in a database that enables the researcher to search for information by architect, building name, site, or other categories. The collection contains equipment for making slides for lectures and class presentations. Students may use the equipment to photograph their own work.

The Department of Art and Archaeology also maintains a large slide collection that documents all aspects and all periods of Western and non-Western art. Housed in McCormick Hall, the collection is available to students for lectures and class presentations.

Computer-Aided Design and Imaging Facility. The Computer-Aided Design and Imaging Facility is a cluster of workstations and peripherals maintained for the purpose of helping students and faculty to embrace the latest developments in computer-aided design in their work. Computing is an integral part of nearly all aspects of architectural design and research today. The school is committed to training all students in the productive use of the most advanced-design and imaging technologies, as well as leading the field in the critical examination of the implications of these new technologies in architecture and urbanism. Drawing on a broad range of sources and expertise, faculty and students engage in an open-ended investigation of the new potentials for computer technology within the specific demands of architecture as a discipline. These include spatial modeling, simulation of program and use, the generation of formal and organizational strategies, and rapid prototyping.

Faculty and support staff are continually reviewing new software and other developments in the field to ensure that the most appropriate and up-to-date software and equipment are available for student use.

National Architectural Accrediting Board Statement. In the United States most state registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit U.S. professional degree programs in architecture, recognizes two types of degrees: the bachelor of architecture and the master of architecture. A program may be granted a six-year, three-year, or two-year term of accreditation, depending on its degree of conformance with established educational standards.

Master's degree programs may consist of a preprofessional undergraduate degree and a professional graduate degree, which, when earned sequentially, constitute an accredited professional education. However, the preprofessional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.


ARC 201 Introductory Drawing (see VIS 201)

ARC 202 Introductory Drawing (see VIS 202)

ARC 203 Introduction to Architectural Thinking   Fall LA

A broad overview of the discipline of architecture: its history, theories, methodologies, and its manners of thinking and working. Rather than a chronological survey, the course will be organized thematically, with examples drawn from a range of historical periods as well as contemporary practice. Through lectures, readings, precepts, and studio sessions, students will acquire a working knowledge of key texts, buildings, and architectural concepts. Two lectures, one preceptorial. S. Allen, J. Kipnis

ARC 204 Introduction to Architectural Design   Spring LA

The first in a series of design studios offered to students interested in majoring in architecture. The course will introduce architecture as an "impure'' plastic art, inseparable from a network of forces acting upon it. The student will be confronted with progressively complex exercises involving spatial relations in two dimensions, three dimensions, and time. The course will stress experimentation while providing an analytical and creative framework to develop an understanding of structure and materials as well as necessary skills in drawing and model making. Two three-hour studios with lectures included. M. Meredith

ARC 215 Graphic Design (see VIS 215)

ARC 242 The Experience of Modernity: A Survey of Modern Architecture in the West (see ART 242)

ARC 262A Structures and the Urban Environment (see CEE 262A)

ARC 262B Structures and the Urban Environment (see CEE 262B)

ARC 302 Architecture and the Visual Arts (also ART 347)   Spring LA

Explores the relationships between architectural discourse and the visual arts from the historical avant-garde to the present. Architectural discourse will be considered here as the intersection of diverse systems of representation: buildings, projects, drawings, but also architectural theory and criticism, exhibitions, photographs, professional magazines, and the popular press. The course will treat as visual arts not only painting and sculpture, but also photography, cinema, fashion, advertisement, and television. Two lectures, one preceptorial. A. Andraos, D. Wood, S. Papapetros

ARC 304 Cities of the 21st Century   Spring HA

Examination of a range of urban spatial types, city plans, maps, and communication networks. Focus on how inherited models have been used by modern architects/planners in the 20th century. One 90-minute lecture, one 90-minute preceptorial. M. Boyer

ARC 305 Urban Studies: Analysis of Contemporary Urban Form   Not offered this year LA

Studies of the contemporary problems and process of urban design and physical planning. Analysis of the design and organization of space, activities, movement, and interaction networks of the urban physical environment. One three-hour seminar. S. Whiting

ARC 308 History of Architectural Theory (also ART 328)   Fall HA

Architectural theory, criticism, and historiography from the Renaissance to the present, emphasizing the transformations of the classical Vitruvian tradition and theories of modern architecture from the end of the 17th century to the 1930s. Architectural thought in its institutional and cultural context and as it relates to design method and practice. Two lectures, one preceptorial. L. Allais

ARC 311 Building Science and Technology: Building Systems   Fall

An introduction to the nature of building. Emphasis will be placed on understanding construction methods, materials, and evaluating the processes by which architects formulate strategies to execute their design ideas. A continuing theme will be to evaluate the relationship between architectural design and building systems and technology. Two lectures, one two-hour laboratory. N. Oppenheimer

ARC 315 Medieval Architecture (see ART 315)

ARC 320 Rome, the Eternal City (see ART 320)

ARC 327 Introductory Painting (see VIS 203)

ARC 328 Introductory Painting (see VIS 204)

ARC 332 The Landscape of Allusion: Garden and Landscape Architecture, 1450-1750 (see ART 332)

ARC 333 Renaissance and Baroque Architecture (see ART 333)

ARC 351 Traditional Chinese Architecture (see ART 351)

ARC 364 Materials in Civil Engineering (see CEE 364)

ARC 374 Computational Design   Fall LA

This course will examine the possibilities of representation and information in the virtual realm. Through a series of modeling/rendering/compositing exercises, presentations, and in-class discussions, students will investigate the evolving relationship between architecture and its means of representation, as well as broader issues of technology and culture. The course will provide a firm understanding of current computer software. One three-hour seminar. S. Sanderson

ARC 401 Theories of Housing and Urbanism   Fall SA

Housing ideas and urban projects of architects and social scientists since the mid-19th century as a response to industrialization, the development of the welfare state, the rise of professionalism, and the dispersion of democratic culture. Material drawn from architecture, urban planning, political theory, sociology, and social psychology. One three-hour seminar. , A. Laing Staff

ARC 403 Topics in the History and Theory of Architecture   Fall LA

Selected issues in relationship to the development of architectural history and theory as critical disciplines, emphasizing the historiography and methodology of these disciplines. Course focuses on particular critics through a close reading and analysis of selected texts. One three-hour seminar. S. Papapetros

ARC 404 Advanced Design Studio   Fall

Examines architecture as cultural production, taking into account its capacity to structure both physical environments and social organizations. A specific problem or topic area will be set by each studio critic, and may include a broad range of building types, urban districts or regional landscapes, questions of sustainability, building materials, or building performance. Studio work will include research and data gathering, analysis, and program definition. Students are expected to master a full range of design media, including drawing, model-making, and computer-aided design. L. Rice

ARC 406 Energy and Form (also ENV 406)   Not offered this year

Introduction to concepts of energy utilization and conservation in building. Course presents the physics of building thermal performance, including quantitative methods, and discusses conservation strategies in building design and source energy. Passive design and alternative energy sources, including wind and solar-thermal, will be covered. One three-hour seminar. Staff

ARC 445 Topics in the History and Theory of Architecture in Early-Modern Europe (see ART 445)

ARC 458 Seminar. Modern Architecture (see ART 458)

ARC 492 Topics in the Formal Analysis of the Urban Structure   Spring

The Western city, American and European, has undergone a number of mutations since the Renaissance. This course will explore the complex relationships between different cities and architecture, between "real" cities and "fictional" architectural cities. Possible topics might include: urbanization as it affects contemporary life; the American vs. European city; the state of New Jersey, the exurban state "par excellence." One three-hour seminar. M. Gandelsonas

ARC 497 Princeton Atelier (see ATL 497)