Architecture in Europe

Architecture in Europe
Participants will visit culturally significant works of architecture and urbanism in Finland, Sweden and Denmark
Location: Helsinki, Finland; Stockholm, Sweden; Copenhagen, Denmark
Language of Instruction: English
Term: Summer
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, Sweden and Denmark.


Depart U.S. for Helsinki: Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Arrive in Helsinki: Thursday, May 19, 2022 

Depart Copenhagen for U.S.: Thursday, June 9, 2022


This study abroad program is designed to provide architecture students an opportunity to absorb Nordic design culture and material sensibilities in Finland, Sweden and Denmark. Special attention will be paid to sustainability, phenomenology, and materiality.

Helsinki, Finland (9 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), works from contemporary Finish architects (Heikkinen and Komonen’s Mediacenter Lume and Vuosaari House; JKMM’s Viikki Church and Turku Central Library; K2S Architecture’s Kamppi Chapel of Silence; Matti Sanaksenaho’s St. Henry’s Ecumenical Art Chapel), as well as the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, a highly acclaimed work of architecture by American architect Steven Holl.

Stockholm, Sweden (4 days):  After experiencing the Finnish culture, the program will travel west to Stockholm via an overnight ferry into the heart of Scandinavia. Stockholm is considered the cultural center of Sweden and is home to some of the most important works of Modern Scandinavian architecture, including the works of Gunnar Asplund (Stockholm Public Library and Woodland Cemetery) and Sigurd Lewerentz (Woodland Cemetery and St. Mark’s Church). Students will also visit Stockholm City Hall by Ragnar Ostberg - an excellent example of National Romanticism, and the Moderna Museum and Architecture Museum by Rafael Moneo.

Copenhagen, Denmark (9 days): Leaping across the Øresund, the program will spend its last several days in the economic and cultural center of Copenhagen. Students will have an opportunity to experience several modern masterpieces as well as the flourishing Danish contemporary architecture movement (including Arne Jacobsen’s Denmark National Bank, Jørn Utzon’s Bagsværd Church, Peder  Vilhelm Jensen-Klint’s Grundtvig Church, Wohlert and Bo’s Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Schmidt Hammer Lassen’s Royal Danish Library, White Arkitekter’s  Kastrup Sea Bath, Lundgaard and Tranberg’s Royal Theater Playhouse, Henning Larsen’s Copenhagen Opera House, and a handful of innovative projects by Bjarke Ingels Group).

Program Overview

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

In addition to experiencing historically significant and important contemporary works of architecture, the summer 2022 Architecture in Europe program is designed to provide architecture students an opportunity to absorb Nordic/Scandinavian design culture and material sensibilities in Finland, Sweden and Denmark. 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.

Program Courses:

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

ARCH 692 Documentation (2 credit hours) Required for M. Arch I Students, Optional for M. Arch II and III students.


Participants will stay in hotels in program cities. 

SAGE is dedicated to creating international engagement opportunities that meet the needs of all our students and providing resources to support you through the process of studying abroad. Study abroad is achievable for students of all identities including our BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ students, students with disabilities, and students with religious/non-religious viewpoints. Before selecting a program, consider how your identities may impact your experience abroad in unique ways and talk with your Program Coordinator about any program-specific concerns. Students with documented disabilities should discuss any accommodation needs with their Program Coordinator early in the planning process.

Check our Identity Abroad page and resources listed below for information specific to you and other students who may be on your program.

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.

Shannon Criss is a Professor of Architecture at the University of Kansas School of Architecture and Design.  She is a licensed architect with over thirty years of experience teaching and practicing architecture and is the co-director of Dotte Agency, a multi-disciplinary design collaborative that enables community engagement processes. Her research and teaching are focused on sustainable development, public interest design, and healthy communities practice.  

Chad Kraus, AIA, 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. He is the editor of the book Designbuild Education (Routledge 2017) and an Editor of the journal Technology | Architecture + Design (TAD). Prior to teaching, Chad worked for Pritzker-prize laureate Shigeru Ban and studied architectural history and theory under Alberto Perez-Gomez at McGill University.

For more information, contact:

Shannon Criss, Professor
University of Kansas
Architecture Department
102 Marvin

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