Intro to Architecture

Introduction to Architecture
Dates: 1/4-3/22
Wednesdays 2pm-3:30pm (NOTE 90 minute class time)
Ages 10-18
Tuition: $225  Drop ins: $20 per class

What is architecture, and how do we make buildings?  In this class students will take a concept and a site and develop it into a building.  As part of this we will explore many of the components that go into a building and how they will effect your design, from structure down to how you present it to the public so that they love your idea.  Because you will love your idea you will probably want to spend time outside of class working on it.


Week 1: Introduction.  

In the first class we will explore what is architecture, how is it different from engineering or sculpture.  We will also take a quick look at why architects are licensed like doctors and lawyers.

Week 2: Representation.  

Buildings are three dimensional objects that we experience by traveling through them.  How does how we represent what we are designing affect the final product?  We will look at various ways that we represent a 3 dimensional object in 2 dimensions and what are the implications of those various representations.

Week 3: Program.  

Computers have programs, but so do buildings.  We will also discuss what a program is, how to analyze it and distribute the program for our building.  We will explore the implications of a program, and seek out strategies that will inform our design choices.

Week 4: Site.

What is a site and how does it impact what we design?  We will examine what we mean by Site and context, and explore how the history, context and topography can inform our site choices.  We will also look at exposures and touch on Green Strategies that can effect the carbon footprint of our structure.  We will discuss zoning and how it impacts building choices, and finally take a field trip to the proposed site of our building.

Week 5: Structure.

What holds a building up?  How are tall buildings different from short ones?  We will take an  overview of the forces that affect a building and discuss strategies for keeping our buildings standing.  We will take a quick overview of wood, concrete and steel structures and look at the implications of these various structural systems

Week 6: Mechanical Systems.

Buildings have to breathe, just like living things.  How do we incorporate ventilation, ductwork, heating and cooling into our buildings?  We will overview various mechanical strategies and look at how they might impact our building.

Week 7:Envelope

We put letters in envelopes to protect them, what about buildings?  As we develop our buildings we will look at various exterior systems and how they effect our building from an aesthetic to a performance point of view.  We will also touch upon electrical and plumbing systems and how to incorporate them.

Week 8: Details

So you’ve got a great idea, how do you get it built?  This week we will discuss constructability, detailing and materials, and how these things can make your building live up to your initial concept.

Week 9: Design Review

We will have informal presentations of our buildings to discuss what works and what could be refined.  No pressure, this  is just with your fellow students

Week 10: Presentation

We will look at some presentation techniques and discuss the most appropriate way to represent your ideas.  Can you use minecraft or legos?  We will see. . .

Week 11 Desk review

One on ones with the students to tweak design and suggest changes

Week 12 Final Critique

This is the time when you get to present your ideas to the public.  We will have an open presentation with a guest critic as well to ask questions and provide input about your final design presentation.

About the Instructor:

Jon Moss has been practicing architecture for almost 30 years, designing hospitals, laboratories, hotels, houses and even the occasional chicken coop.  He is a principal at Berg Moss Architects based in Beacon that does projects in the Hudson Valley and in New York City.  As a kid he knew he either wanted to be an architect or a physicist, until he took physics.