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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 Germany, Czechia, Austria, and Switzerland.
Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland
Language of Instruction: 
Academic Disciplines: 
Architectural Engineering
Program Type: 
  • Learn about historical and contemporary trends in European urban design.
  • Experiencing historically significant works of architecture and important contemporary works of architecture in Berlin, Prague, Bregenz, Vals and Basel
Program Summary: 

Program Overview

The summer 2018 Architecture in Europe program is designed for architecture students to become familiar with the architecture and culture in the European countries of Germany, Czechia, Austria, and Switzerland. 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 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.

Following our time in Berlin, the program will travel to Prague, the capital of Czechia 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.

From Prague, the program will spend one day in the carefully preserved village of Český Krumlov on route to Vorarlberg, the westernmost state of Austria. In Austria, we will stay in the town of Bregenz, the capital of this forested alpine region, with excursions throughout a cluster of villages. Vorarlberg is renown 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.

From Vorarlberg, the program will 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. The Architecture in Europe 2018 program will culminate in Basel, Switzerland, a city known for its dedication to the arts and culture. We will have opportunities to experience works by many of the most influential architects of our day.



Depart U.S. for Berlin: May 16, 2018
In Germany: May 17-26, 2018
In Czechia: May 27-31, 2018
In Austria: June 1-3, 2018
In Switzerland: June 7-11, 2018
Depart Basel for U.S.: June 11, 2018


Berlin, Germany (10 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; Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp; Dutch Embassy; German Historical Museum; Bode Museum; Pergamon Museum; Alte Nationalgalerie; Neues Museum; Altes Museum; Berlin Wall Memorial and Documentation Center; Chapel of Reconciliation

Prague, Czechia (4 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

Český Krumlov, Czechia (1 day): Český Krumlov Castle; Church of St. Vitus; Town Hall

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

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

Basel, Switzerland (4 days): Vitra Campus (Weil am Rhein, Germany); Beyeler Foundation; Antoniuskirche; Rathaus Basel-Stadt; Messe Basel New Hall; Novartis Campus; Museum Tinguely; Kunstmuseum; Museum der Kulturen; Goetheanum; Ricola Kräuterzentrum

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 Berlin, Germany; Prague, Czechia; Český Krumlov, Czechia; Bregenz, Austria; Vals, Switzerland; and Basel, Switzerland.



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 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 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 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: 


Study Abroad Information Center
To learn more about your study abroad options, we encourage you to visit the Study Abroad Info Center (105 Lippincott Hall). The Study Abroad Info Center offers walk-in advising for current and prospective students. Drop by to learn more about program options, make an appointment with a study abroad program coordinator, get information on scholarships and financial aid, and talk to returned study abroad students. We also encourage you to explore the resources available on our website to learn more about the application process, KU Core Approved programs, and the cost of study abroad. 

Study Abroad Information Center
Lippincott Hall, Room 105
1410 Jayhawk Boulevard
Hours: Monday - Friday. 9AM - 5 PM
Contact: studyabroad@ku.edu

Study Abroad Financial Advising
The Office of Study Abroad has weekly 'You Can Afford to Study Abroad' Financial Aid and Scholarship Info Sessions/Open Meetings on Wednesday afternoons at 4:00 pm and Thursday afternoons at 2:00 pm in the Info Center (105 Lippincott Hall). The financial aid officer will be happy to take any questions and can offer individual advising at the end of sessions for specific concerns. For those that cannot attend the weekly Info Sessions due to scheduling conflicts, we also offer appointments for financial planning as well as financial aid and scholarship advising for students. Please visit 108 Lippincott Hall or call 785-864-3742 to set up an appointment.


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