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Architecture in Europe

Architecture in Europe
Participants will visit culturally significant works of architecture and urbanism in the European countries of France, Switzerland, Austria, Czechia (Czech Republic) and Germany
France, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic and Germany
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 France, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic and Germany
Program Summary: 

Program Overview

The summer 2020 Architecture in Europe program is designed for architecture students to become familiar with the architecture and culture in the European countries of France, Switzerland, Austria, Czechia, and Germany. In addition to experiencing historically significant works of architecture and important contemporary works of architecture, the program will explore the interrelated nature of culture and the built environment. 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.

The program will begin in Lyon, France and will continue on to Basel, Switzerland, visiting two important World Heritage Sites designed by Le Corbusier along the way - Couvent Sainte Marie de la Tourette and the Chappelle Notre Dame du Haut.  While in Basel, a city known for its dedication to the arts and culture, the group will have opportunities to experience works by many of the most influential architects of our day.

From Basel the program will travel eastward to spend several days in Graubünden (Grisons), the easternmost canton of Switzerland. While in Graubünden, the program will visit several masterpieces by Pritzker prize-laureate Peter Zumthor.

In Austria, we will stay in the town of Bregenz, the capital of Vorarlberg, a forested alpine region, with excursions throughout a cluster of villages. Vorarlberg is renowned for its natural beauty as well as its deep tradition in timber architecture, reawakened in the twenty-first century with quality examples of contemporary timber buildings.

Following our time in Bregnz, the program will travel to Prague, the capital of Czechia (Czech Republic) and one of the most admired cities in Europe. Prague is a palimpsest of history and culture, having a clear medieval urban fabric, layered with architecture from nearly every historic period from the Middle Ages to the present. Our spatiotemporal 1,000-year tour of architecture will allow us to experience the great soaring Gothic volumes of St. Vitus to the pure, unadorned, pioneering modernism of Adolf Loos.

The program will culminate in Berlin, the capital and mended heart of Germany. In Berlin, the focus will be an intensive study of the physical and cultural transformation of Germany’s new, unified capital since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the collapse of East Germany and the Soviet Union. Since the late 90s, the historic center has been transformed by over one hundred new building projects by many of the world’s most influential architects and designers.



Depart U.S. for Lyon: May 21, 2020
In France: May 22-26, 2020
In Switzerland: May 26-June 2, 2020
In Austria: June 2-5, 2020
In Czechia: June 5-8, 2020
In Germany: June 8-16, 2020
Depart Berlin for U.S.: June 16, 2020


Lyon (3 days):  Lyon is a 2,000-year-old city with historic Roman ruins, medieval and Renaissance architecture. It is known for its modern Confluence district and the Traboules, covered passageways between buildings. Participants will also visit the Musée des Confluences by Coop Himmelb(l)au.

La Tourette (1 day): participants will visit and stay the night at Le Corbusier’s iconic monastery, the Couvent Sainte Marie de la Tourette.

Basel, Switzerland (4 days): Vitra Campus (Weil am Rhein, Germany); Beyeler Foundation; Antoniuskirche; Rathaus Basel-Stadt; Messe Basel New Hall; Novartis Campus; Swatch-Omega Headquarters

Chur & Vals, Switzerland (3 days): Protective Housing for Roman Excavations; Holy Cross Church; Therme Vals; Cinema Sil Plaz; Saint Benedict Chapel

Bregenz, Austria (3 days): Kunsthaus Bregenz; Vorarlberg Museum; Am Kaiserstrand Bathhouse; Pfarrhaus Krumbach; Salgenreute Chapel; Gardening Shop Strubobuob; Montforthaus in Feldkirch; Festspielhaus

Prague, Czechia (3 days): Prague Castle (Vladislav Hall, St. Vitus Cathedral, St. George’s Basilica, Golden Lane, Royal Garden); Charles Bridge; Old Town Square; Powder Tower; Municipal House; Dancing House; Villa Müller

Berlin, Germany (9 days): Potsdamer Platz; Nordic Embassies; Bauhaus Archive; Brandenburg Gate; Elbe Philharmonic (Hamburg); AEG Turbine; Kulturforum; Neue Nationalgalerie; Berlin Philharmonie; Sony Center; Crematorium Baumschulenweg; Berlin Olympic Stadium; Reichstag/Bundestag; Jewish Museum; Dutch Embassy; German Historical Museum; Bode Museum; Pergamon Museum; Alte Nationalgalerie; Neues Museum; Altes Museum; Berlin Wall Memorial and Documentation Center; Chapel of Reconciliation


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 centrally located hotels or hostels in Lyon, France; Basel and Chur, Switzerland; Bregenz, Austria; Prague, Czechia; and Berlin, Germany. Additionally students will stay one night at the Sainte Marie de La Tourette Monastery in Éveux, France. 



The program is open to KU Masters of Architecture Students (3 year or 5 year program) who have completed ARCH 209 or ARCH 502.

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

  • KU Architectural Studies Students 
  • KU Interior Architecture and Design Students
  • 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 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 2021 programs now accepting applications !

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