Description: For this assignment, students will analyze an architecturally-interesting building or structure from the time period and cultures covered in Unit Two. This essay should be one-two pages typed (double spaced). It is more important to cover the required components rather than to worry about length.
Use essay format with paragraphs rather than question / answer format or bulleted list format.
Sources are not required, but any used must be documented correctly. Essays must be submitted electronically so that they can be submitted to Safe Assign to check for plagiarism. Please read the syllabus policies on the use of Safe Assign and the consequences of plagiarism. The policies will be strictly enforced.
Components: In the first paragraph, tell the reader about the building. What is its title? Who was the artist / architect? Is it still standing? Where is it / was it? What is its condition? Where did you view it (give specifics: in suchandsuch textbook on page soandso or on the internet at suchandsuch address or at soandso museum on suchandsuch date)? When was its composition? What does it look like (you might include an image of it, though make sure you cite it!)?
Then, in a series of body paragraphs, address as many of the following categories as relevant to the building:
- Structure: What is the structure of the example? How do the elements you can see suggest how the building is supported?
- Materials: What materials have been used in the construction? How have various materials been combined to form the structure and decorative elements?
- Scale and proportion: How does the size of the building relate to the human form / size? What emotional sensations result from the scale? How do each of the elements of the example relate to each other in terms of the proportions?
- Context: How does the building explore its context? What is the environment in which the building stands / stood? Do the buildings / terrain around it harmonize or conflict with the design elements?
- Space: How are interior spaces designed? How are the interior spaces reflected in the exterior design of the building—if at all? In what manner does the design of the interior result in traffic patterns that may be advantageous or disadvantageous to the intent of the building?
- Climate: Does the building make any accommodations to the climate? How does the building create shelter from the elements?
The concluding paragraph should be your Reaction: how do the previous elements combine to create a reaction in you? In other words, what draws your attention? What is your emotional response to the work, and what do you think causes the response?
Questions were taken from page 30-31 of the Artsguide: World and Web by Dennis Sporre (2004)