The College of Architecture and Planning has received a generous gift of $10,000 from the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art (ICAA), Rocky Mountain chapter
to help the Department of Architecture deliver a special topic area in
Classical architecture for its Master of Architecture students.
Students choosing to follow this topic area take a set of
classes already delivered in the MArch (Master of Architecture degree), several of which are specially
tailored to meet the curriculum requirements of the ICAA certificate program
located in New York City. Students who satisfactorily complete these
courses receive the ICAA certificate in addition to the MArch.
The gift supports a special topics studio
in Classical Design, as well as bringing visiting design critics from
ICAA to CU Denver. There are also opportunities for CU Denver students
to study further at the ICAA school in New York.
The certificate provides additional credentials in an area of
specialization likely to become increasingly important in the next
decades, for several reasons. First, the sustainability movement has
shown that the greenest buildings are the ones already built; we have
already harvested, mined and manufactured their materials. Where
possible, it makes more sense to re-use existing buildings and adapt
them to their new needs, rather than wastefully tearing down and
building again. Add to this the changes in the way buildings are
financed after the global economic meltdown, and architects in the next
few decades will be undertaking adaptive re-use projects as much as
building new. And if they are going to re-use existing buildings, they
need to understand the languages used to design them, including
Classical, as well as their building technologies.
This special topic area builds on existing strengths and interests
in the College of Architecture and Planning at CU Denver. The college
delivers the only Master of Science degree in Historic Preservation
in the region, with an emphasis on old building technologies. The College’s Center of Preservation Research
(CoPR) undertakes a variety of funded projects to study and document
buildings and landscapes of cultural significance in the region, using
state of the art laser technologies.
A number of the architecture faculty in CU Denver have long focused
on architectural history and theory. In recent years, this interest has
turned renewed attention to traditional design languages. Some are
seeking more enduring principles for design in response to our current
throw-away culture, and look for these in a careful study of
architectural ideas across time. Others have long valued the craft of
building, and believe there are important lessons in traditional
construction methods and assemblies. Yet others, in response to our
wholesale adaption of digital technologies for design production, have
rediscovered the traditional value of hand-crafted drawings for training
the hand and eye. And others are rediscovering a special character and
beauty in traditional designs, and are exploring how this might be brought
into buildings for the 21st century.
The courses within the M.Arch leading to the ICAA certificate include:
The Beaux-Arts Atelier Studio
is a 6-credit spring semester collaborative classical studio with
ateliers located at the Institute for Classical Architecture & Art
in New York City and at the University of Colorado Denver. The ICAA
Rocky Mountain Chapter generously sponsored the inaugural spring
semester 2013 Beaux-Arts Atelier Studio.
The formal design principles of the Beaux-Arts are taught,
including proportional principles, utilizing the human body and its
scale in design, understanding basic structural logic and
architectonics, developing essential graphic and presentation skills. Shared outcomes for the Atelier Studio were developed jointly
with colleagues at the ICAA. Most importantly, the Beaux-Arts
Atelier Studio is a required course for Denver students applying for a
Certificate in Classical Studies from the ICAA.
An appreciation of the classical tradition provides students with
the intellectual and practical skills necessary to position themselves
as discerning practitioners and critical thinkers in a particular sector
of architectural practice, as well as within allied fields including
urban design, preservation, the building arts, interior and landscape
architecture. Theoretical inquiry is combined with skill-based learning
following the Beaux-Arts paradigm. Atelier students will graduate with a
highly valued skill set when they enter the job market.