New York City College of Technology – City University of New York

300 Jay Street, Brooklyn, New York 11201


Department of Architectural Technology


ARCH 1121   HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURAL TECHNOLOGY (W)                Fall 2017

3 Classroom hours, 3 credits

            Associate Professor Robert Zagaroli 3rd

Office Hours:  Wednesday 10:30 – 11:30 am  and Thursday 11:30am – 12:30 pm

or by appointment.


Course Description: The study of architectural technology from prehistoric times to the present, stressing the development of structural systems and the exploration of materials. This course will also explore the interaction of building design and historic socio-economic determinants. This is a writing intensive course.


Prerequisite: CUNY proficiency in reading and writing


Required Text:     A World History of Architecture by Michael Fazio, Marian Moffett, and Lawrence Wodehouse (2nd Edition) London: Laurence King Publishing Ltd., 2004 & 2008. Print

Attendance Policy: No more than 10% absences are permitted during the semester. For the purposes of record, two latenesses are considered as one absence. Exceeding this limit will expose the student to failing at the discretion of the instructor.


Academic Integrity:  Students and all others who work with information, ideas, texts, images, music, inventions and other intellectual property owe their audience and sources accuracy and honesty in using, crediting and citation of sources.  As a community of intellectual and professional workers, the college recognizes its responsibility for providing instruction in information literacy and academic integrity, offering models of good practice, and responding vigilantly and appropriately to infractions of academic integrity.  Accordingly, academic dishonesty is prohibited in The City University of New York and is punishable by penalties, including failing grades, suspension and expulsion.


Learning Objectives:  Upon the successful completion of this course, the students shall be able to:

  1. Comprehend architecture as an artistic endeavor and as a response to human needs. (Knowledge)
  2. Understand architecture in the context of its geopolitical, economic, social, cultural and technological trends. (Knowledge)
  3. Develop a vocabulary of architectural terms and use it to describe buildings.

(Gen Ed)

  1. Communicate ideas & information both verbally and through writing and sketching. (Gen Ed)
  2. Research and evaluate information from diverse sources. (Gen Ed)
  3. Identify paradigm plans and elevations of significant buildings. (Knowledge and Skill)
  4. Analyze proportion, scale, rhythm in paradigm buildings. (Skill)



Assessment: The professor will evaluate the students’ achievement of the learning objectives by doing the following:

  1. Test the students’ ability to recall and recite the key terms and material of the readings and lectures through weekly quizzes, midterm and a final exam. (Los:1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7)
  1. Evaluate students’ understanding of the development of architecture from pre-history through to the 19th century in their written and sketching assignments. (Los: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7)
  2. Assess the students’ use of professional vocabulary in the written work and during class discussions.(Lo:3)



Grading: There will be a series of quizzes, homework assignments and short writing exercises throughout the semester. Students will maintain a glossary of architectural terms. A final project will be assigned during the mid-term period.

  • Homework assignments/ quizzes. 30%
  • Writing assignments                        30%
  • Mid-term             20%
  • Final Exam                         20%


Work submitted late will be down-graded based on the amount of time delayed.


Class Conduct

  • Turn off all electronic devices for the duration of the class.
  • Be considerate of others. Respect is the key to your daily lives and professional careers.
  • Class starts promptly on schedule; be prepared.


Class Format

  • Share your contact information with at least two other classmates. Use this information to contact classmates if you are absent and need to discuss the assignment.
  • We will be using Open Lab, City Tech’s digital platform. It is where you will participate in the course and collaborate with other students. On this site, we will be writing about architecture, thinking and forming ideas, interacting with one another, and eventually posting final projects.


Open Lab

  • Go to and join Open Lab.
  • Then find our class site “ARCH 1121 A History of Architecture… Fall 2017 Zagaroli” and sign up as a member in the course.
  • The assignments on the Open Lab web site will generally be written, although at times we will include images and graphics. Here there is no right or wrong- only a lack of clarity or ideas unsupported by facts.
  • Generally assignments will be due on Tuesdays by midnight and comments Thursdays by 6 am.
  • I encourage you to write your piece in Word and then copy and paste it into the site.
  • Categorize your posting properly. If you submit it in the wrong category or in uncategorized, I will not give you credit.
  • Work submitted late will receive a lower grade based on the amount of time it is late. However it is better to hand in work at any time.
  • No question is dumb. If I don’t know the answer, another student might be helpful or I will find someone who knows the answer.




Course Outline:

The topics covered each week are subject to change.


Week  1 Course Introduction                                             August 29

Lecture: What is architecture? Discuss meaning of history, architecture, technology, shelter, timeline, shelter, and ecology. Introduce key architectural terms such as form, scale, proportion, volume, rhythm, color, weight, texture, and light.


Week 1 Homework Assignment:

  1. Log into the class web site (ARCH 1121 – Fall 2017 on Open Lab
  2. Write and post an essay of 100-200 words introducing yourself. Follow the directions on Open Lab.
  3. Log into the CUNY portal and the class blackboard site.


Week 1 Reading: Fazio, et al. A World History of Architecture,  pp. 1-7.



Week  2  The Beginnings of Architecture                         

Post and Lintel

Topics: Post and Lintel Construction (trabeation) and illustrate with the example of the Stonehenge and other Megalithic structures. Corbelled construction and illustrate the use of masonry coursing, battered walls and using examples from the Western Hemisphere.


Three Great Rivers: Mesopotamian and Egyptian Architecture

Topics: Origins of writing; Mesopotamian religion, politics, and agricultural life style; Ziggurat.

The historical periods of Egypt; Egyptian religion, politics, and agricultural life style; architecture of the dead: mastaba, stepped pyramid, and pyramid; mortuary temple of Hatshepsut; pylon temple plan.


Origin of the pyramid and contrast to the Ziggurat. Available technology and materials of both regions. Empirical knowledge of structures.


Development of cities


Week 2 Homework Assignment:

  1. Answer questions “Beginnings” and submit via e-mail


 Week 2 Reading: Fazio, et al. A World History of Architecture, pp. 9-33.


Week  3 The Greek World                                                   

Minoan and Mycenaean Architecture:

Topics: The Aegean world; Crete; the advantages of living on an island for trade and safety; origins of term Minoan; palace of Minos; the term labyrinth. Mycenae; disadvantages of living inland; the Loin Gate; Treasury of Atreus


Compare and contrast development of cities; discuss organization of ancient Athens


Classical Greece

Topics: social, scientific, philosophical, planning and architectural refinements of Greek city states. Origins and development of classical orders; temple architecture; the Acropolis and the importance of procession; the Parthenon, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Propylaea, and the Erectheion; agora; comparison the Acropolis and Agora as two concepts of space planning and social organization


Hellenistic Period

Topic: Alexander the Great; Corinthian Order; the Theater at Epidauros.


Week 3 Homework Assignment:

  1. Answer questions “Greece” and submit via e-mail.
  2. Complete analysis of the uses in the agora. Submit via e-mail. Label “agora”.


Week 3 Reading: Fazio, et al. A World History of Architecture, pp. 35-61.

Ching, Francis D.K., Architecture: Form, Space and Order, pp. 252-269, 319-375.


Additional readings to be handed out in class.

LeGates, Richard T. and Frederic Stout, “Introduction” in The City Reader, Routledge, London and New York, 1996.

Lynch, Kevin, “The City Imageand Its Elements” in The City Reader, op. cit. pp 98-102.

Mumford, Lewis, “WhatIs a City?” in The City Reader, op. cit, pp 183-188. Read “The city-state” and “Democracy”. View video “The Acropolis Deconstructed” and photos of Greek architecture.




Week 4 Greece (continued) & The Roman World                        

Topics: social, technology, planning and architecture; stone construction and the development of the  Roman Arch, barrel vault, the groined vault and the dome; development of concrete and its impact on Roman building technology; building/ planning types- forum, baths, markets, aqueducts and the Pantheon; effect of classicism on architecture styles.


Week 4 Homework Assignment

  1. Select one reading and relate why you selected it. Post on Open Lab.
  2. Analyze the uses in the forum. Submit via e-mail labeling it “forum”.


Week 4 Reading: Fazio, et al. A World History of Architecture, pp.104-132.

Continue readings on the city


Week  5 Roman World (continued)                                               


Week 5 Homework Assignment

  1. Answer questions “Rome” and submit via e-mail.


Week 5 Reading: continue city readings.

Handout “Brooklyn History: A Guide” from Summer Institute 2011, SAFA


Week 6  Visit to Brooklyn Historical Society                               

Week 6 Homework Assignment

  1. Write about your experience at BHS and post on Open Lab.

Week 7  Walking tour of downtown Brooklyn                              

Meet in classroom. Introduce contemporary map of downtown Brooklyn. Discuss final assignment and visit to BHS


Week 7 Homework Assignment

  1. Analyze the uses found in downtown Brooklyn. Compile a chart listing and comparing

uses found in Brooklyn and those in Athens and Rome. Submit via e-mail labeling it

“use comparison”.

  1. Write an essay of approximately 200 words on the topic “What is a city” and post on

Open Lab.



Week  8  Byzantine & Romanesque Architecture        


Topics: division of Roman Empire into East and West; dual development of the dome on squinches and pendentives; basilica plan versus centralized plan; Hagia Sophia and St. Mark’s in Venice.


Topics: fall of the Roman Empire; rise of the church and the monasteries; elements of the church cruciform plan of the Christian churches and ribbed vaulting; histrionic architecture and illiteracy; comparison of variations during the Romanesque period.


Week 8 Homework Assignment:

  1. Answer questions “Byzantine” & “Romanesque”
  2. Submit notes/outline of final project via e-mail or meeting.
  3. Study for mid term


Week 8 Reading: Fazio, et al. A World History of Architecture, pp. 133-151;176-211.


Week 9 Mid-term Exam

Introduction to the Architecture of China


Week 9 Homework Assignment

  1. Submit draft of final assignment via e-mail labeling it “draft”.
  2. Schedule appointment with me to discuss final project.



Week 10 Gothic Architecture                                                         

Topics: Evolution of the cathedral plan, types of vaulting; pointed arch; flying buttress, stained glass and its implementation in the skeleton stone framing


Week 10 Homework Assignment:

  1. Answer questions “Gothic” and submit via e-mail.


 Week 10 Reading: Fazio, et al. A World History of Architecture, pp. 213-249 and 410-413.



Week 11 Renaissance Architecture                                           

Topics: nature of this rebirth;  Early Renaissance in Florence and the High Renaissance in Rome;. Florence Cathedral’s Dome and Brunelleschi’s solution; works of Brunelleschi, Alberti, Bramante, Michelangelo and Palladio and Vicenza; St. Peter’s in Rome; influence European and colonial architecture.


Week 11 Homework Assignment:

  1. Answer questions “Renaissance”
  2. Submit revised version of final project via e-mail labeling it “final”


Week 11 Reading: Fazio, et al. A World History of Architecture, Introduction, pp. 284-337.


Week 12 Baroque and Rocco Architecture                               

Topics: characteristics of Baroque & Rocco architecture; Bernini, Borromini, Christopher Wren and St. Paul’s Cathedral; East Wing of the Louvre and Versailles.


Week 12 Homework Assignment:

  1. Answer questions “Baroque”
  2. If approved, post final project on Open Lab or revise and submit via e-mail labeling it



 Week 12 Reading: Fazio, et al. A World History of Architecture, Introduction, pp. 338-377.


No class   November 22                      Happy Thanksgiving!


Week  13 The Industrial Revolution and Historicism                  

Topics: Industrial Revolution, development of structural iron, and steel accompanied by new forms of energy and power; rise of the engineer; historicism; revival styles, Neo-classicism.


Week 13 Homework Assignment:

  1. Answer questions “Industrial”
  2. Post final project on Open Lab.


 Week 13 Reading: Fazio, et al. A World History of Architecture, Introduction, pp. 400-449.



Week  14 Reform Movements                                                       

Topics: Arts and Crafts, Chicago School, Art Nouveau, Werkbund and Destijl, Bauhaus; advent of structural steel, modern plumbing and heating, vertical transportation, and the building industry; Morris and Ruskin, Sullivan and Adler, Burnham & Root.


Week 14 Homework Assignment:

  1. 1. Study for Final Exam


 Week 14 Reading: Fazio, et al. A World History of Architecture, Introduction, pp. 450-505.




Week  15  Final exam                                   


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