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Architecture in Europe

Architecture in Europe
Participants will visit culturally significant works of architecture and urbanism in Finland.
Helsinki, Finland;Jyvaskyla, Finland;Lahti, Finland
Language of Instruction: 
Academic Disciplines: 
Architectural Engineering
Graduate Courses
Program Type: 
Faculty Led
  • Learn about historical and contemporary trends in European urban design.
  • Experiencing historically significant works of architecture and important historical and contemporary works of architecture in Finland.
Program Summary: 

Program Overview

This study abroad program is designed to provide architecture students an opportunity to absorb Nordic design culture and material sensibilities in Finland.

In addition to experiencing historically significant and important contemporary works of architecture, the summer 2021 Architecture in Europe program is designed to provide architecture students an opportunity to absorb Nordic/Scandinavian design culture and material sensibilities in Finland. Special emphasis will be placed on the role of architecture and urbanism in shaping everyday experience. Through direct observation and study, including live sketching, diagramming, and writing, students will learn to heighten their observational skills and analyze the impacts of their surroundings. The built environment is shaped by cultural forces, and in turn significantly shapes culture. Special attention will be paid to sustainability, materiality, and phenomenology.



Depart U.S. for Helsinki: July 27,2021
Arrive in Helsinki: July 28, 2021
Depart Helsinki for U.S.: August 10, 2021


Helsinki, Finland (11 days):  The program begins in Helsinki, the capital of Finland - a country admired for its dedication to design and craftsmanship. In addition to excellent examples of modern and contemporary architecture in this unique city, several excursions to nearby regions will originate here. Students will visit masterpieces by the renowned Finish architect Alvar Aalto, including his design for the university that now bears his name, Aalto University (as well as Alvar Aalto’s House and Studio, Finlandia Hall, and the House of Culture). In addition to Aalto’s impressive opus, our time spent in Helsinki and surrounding regions will include a glimpse into Finland’s fertile tradition (Seurasaari Open-Air Museum), works by other modern masters (Eliel Saarinen’s Villa at Hvitträsk and Helsinki’s Central Station; Heikki and Kaija Siren’s Otaniemi Chapel; Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen’s Temppeliaukio Church), and works from contemporary Finish architects (JKMM’s Viikki Church; K2S Architecture’s Kamppi Chapel of Silence; Avanto’s Chapel of St. Lawrence and the Löyly public sauna; and the recently completed ALA Architect’s Oodi Helsinki Central Library).

Lakeland Region (3 days):

Lahti, Finland: Lahti is a small city in the Finnish Lakeland region, an area characterized by its many lakes. The city contains excellent examples of contemporary wood architecture and design, including Sibelius Hall by Lintula and Tikka, a wood structure wrapped in glass, the nearby Piano Pavilion by Gert Wingårdh, a wooden pavilion perched on the water’s edge, and the Pro Puu Gallery and Shop, an association dedicated to wood craft.

Jyväskylä, Finland: Jyväskylä is the largest city in the Lakeland region and is home to the University of Jyväskylä, designed by Alvar Aalto, as well as a museum dedicated to his work. Other excellent works of Finnish architecture include the Kuokkala Church by Lassila Hirvilammi. Near Jyväskylä are two important Aalto works, the Säynätsalo Town Hall and Aalto’s own Experimental House in Muuratsalo.


Academic Information: 

Program Courses:

ARCH 690 Architecture Study Abroad (6 credit hours) Required. 

ARCH 692 Documentation (3 credit hours) Required for M. Arch I Students, Optional for M. Arch II and III students.



Participants will stay in hotels in program cities. 



The program is open to all Architecture and Interior Architecture Students with Study Abroad requirements. Prior to the study abroad program, the KU Masters of Architecture Students (3 year or 5 year program) should have completed ARCH 209 or ARCH 502 and Interior Architecture Students should have completed Arch 109.  

The following additional students are eligible on a space-available basis:

  • KU Architectural Studies Students who have completed third year
  • KU Architectural Engineering students who have completed ARCH 200
  • KU Design students who have completed third year and have drawing experience

Priority will be given to KU Architecture and KU Interior Architecture Students.

Further Reading: 
For more information, contact:


Chad Kraus, Associate Professor
University of Kansas
Architecture Department
211 Marvin

Program Faculty: 

Chad Kraus is an Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Kansas and a licensed architect. He teaches architectural theory, architectural design studio, and the designbuild Dirt Works Studio. Prior to teaching, Chad worked for Pritzker-prize laureate Shigeru Ban and studied history and theory under architectural theorist Alberto Perez-Gomez.

Add Course: 
This course is worth 6 credit hours and is a required course.
Course Prefix: 
Language of Instruction: 
KU Course
KU Credit Hours: 
See Note
This is a required course for M.Arch I students. It is optional for M.Arch II & III students.
Course Prefix: 
Language of Instruction: 
KU Course
KU Credit Hours: 


Spring 2022 programs now accepting applications !

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