Perspectives of the school of architecture: Reflections on European schools of architecture and their educational systems

Jana Fečkaninová


The article addresses the issue of spatial context of buildings of schools of architecture with regard to their institutional character and teaching methods. In the intersection of these two areas of study arise schools of various spatial forms, with respect to both their architectural image and spatial requirements, especially with respect to their different use and understanding of functionally identical units. The paper focuses on the representation of the school’s internal system in its physical form—a building.

The article describes the selected schools of architecture since the beginning of the institutional formation of the architectural schools in Europe up to the current architectural education full of progressive strategies, which have their significant place with respect to the milestones in education in this field. For research purposes, the best and globally well-respected European schools of architecture have been selected, with as many distinct and unique teaching systems and unique buildings as possible. They have been chosen because of their specific characteristics and diversity, therefore, schools public and private, technical and artistic have been selected. These are schools whose architecture of the building still refers to the initial intention with which they were established, whether they were designed for the particular purpose to be a school of architecture or were transformed to fulfil this function later on. The only criteria limiting the selection of the architectural schools researched is their geographic location—Europe, which, with respect to the context, is naturally the closest to Slovakia.

Since there are circa 1,350 architectural schools all over the world, including approx. 400 schools in Europe, the research of the selected schools of architecture covers not only specific types of characteristic forms of the schools under review, but primarily offers broader understanding of the principles of architectural education, which majority of the architectural schools apply, though on a much smaller scale and with a more diverse combination of foreign modules. Through the study of these various systems of teaching in connection with their manifestation in particular architectural schools, the article outlines the various concepts of the ideal school of architecture nowadays.

Keywords: comparison, school of architecture, teaching system, trends, architecture, education, pedagogy