How can I design an architectural elevation

Design theory and design

Basic course

Transferring pictorial notions of architecture into spatial facts is the task of the basic design course during the first few weeks of the architecture course. The lecture is intended to create a spatial understanding that leads to cartography, to the urban structure, with its individual objects and their respective constituent elements. Regardless of the scale of the action, abstraction becomes the means of representation that gives us an understanding of the relationships within and outside of a spatial structure. But it also becomes a constant that differs from all other forms of rendering human relationships and, as an aid, conveys a precise image of our environment. The knowledge of the representation, the description of a space also offers the prerequisites to grasp its internal and external relationships, to recognize its social ties, which are ultimately also responsible for the fact that a space is created. Parallel to the lectures, a series of five models depicts the content of the exercise. The essential parameters of an architectural design are processed in isolation in the individual tasks, which are determined by the requirements for structure, supporting structure, light and routing. In the fifth exercise, all of the above exercise criteria are applied together on the expanded basis of function and program. The starting point for all exercises is a basic body that is binding for everyone, with a fixed dimension and material specification as well as the required form of production. With the start of the exercise, these regulations can be understood as limiting. However, with the delivery of 900 models, the impression is completely opposite, especially since no solution is the same or the same as the other. A multitude of results creates the image of a city on the tables in the seminar room, a community that is thus composed of numerous individual solutions.


The semester draft is devoted exclusively to a single task that is carried out by the various design groups at the most varied of locations. The design task is not only based on a real situation, but also always on a person who defines the content requirements for the respective location. That means not only the exact knowledge of the requirement profile of the task, but also an exact study of the current spatial conditions, as well as a detailed research about the new location.

The basis for the design is a seminar that shows possible weightings of the design topic in all of its possible facets. So that the architectural concept is not only implemented on a general level, but also implemented accordingly in the detailed area, the department offers seminars and intermediate reviews on the structure, shell and material, which are based on the specific aspects of the respective task. For the individual design topics, locations are predominantly chosen that are arranged in a spatially pronounced environment, whereby this context can range from the natural landscape to a building-historical ambience. Essential for the choice is always the reference to a clearly defined spatial as well as social structure, which the individual design task inevitably has to deal with. It is only within this environment, with its numerous areas of friction, that the meaning of an architecture becomes established, which remains inextricably linked to its immediate context.


The understanding of the causal relationship between the structure of an architectural design and its constituent, space-defining elements should be expanded on the basis of the module within the framework of a research-led teaching. Space-forming components in their historical development and their form of possible differentiations, which are each derived from function, typology and construction, should be examined and evaluated with their meaning and interpretation in a spatial structure in order to develop extended statements for the design process on this basis can.

The design theory module deepens the interrelationships between structure and shape, which specifies and conveys the various constituent parameters of an architectural form on the basis of design theory. The detailed knowledge of these parameters with their development history, their current forms of application within the architectural design, and their interrelationship with the spatial environment, should form the basis for the students through a series of lectures and a seminar on which typologically clear but highly specific solutions can be developed within a context.

The supplementary subjects serve to check this knowledge with its practical application in the context of exercises.