Architecture in Europe


Image of Stockholm, Sweden
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
Open to non-KU Students: No
Fulfills KU Core 4.2: No
Fulfills KU Core 5: No

  • 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.

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 2023 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.

Dates:

Depart U.S. for Helsinki: Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Arrive in Helsinki: Thursday, May 23, 2024

Depart Copenhagen for U.S.: Friday, June 14, 2024

Itinerary:

This study abroad program is designed to provide students an opportunity to experience historically significant and important contemporary works of Nordic/Scandinavian architecture and urban design, and to absorb these unique design cultures and material sensibilities. 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 impact of their surroundings. The program is 21 days.

Helsinki, Finland (6 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 Finnish architect Alvar Aalto, including his design for the university that now bears his name, Aalto University. 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 Helsinki Central Station; Heikki and Kaija Siren’s Otaniemi Chapel; Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen’s Temppeliaukio Church), works from contemporary Finnish architects (ALA’s Oodi Public Library; Avanto’s Löyly sauna; K2S Architecture’s Kamppi Chapel of Silence), as well as the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, a highly acclaimed work of architecture by American architect Steven Holl.


Lahti and Jyväskylä, Finland (3 days): Jyväskylä is the largest city in the Finnish Lakeland region, an area characterized by its many lakes, and contains some of the most important works by Alvar Aalto, including Säynätsalo Town Hall, his Experimental House, and the University of Jyväskylä. In addition to these works, the program will visit several examples of contemporary architecture, including the spectacular Kuokkala Church, built with an arching laminated wood structure. Returning from Jyväskylä to Helsinki, the program will stop in Lahti, a small city in the Finnish Lakeland region. The city contains several excellent examples of contemporary wood architecture and design.


Turku, Finland (1 day):  At the end of our time in Finland, the program will travel west to visit the oldest city in Finland. Turku has an impressive array of contemporary works of architecture, including JKMM’s Turku Central Library and Sanaksenaho’s St. Henry’s Ecumenical Art Chapel, as well as some of the oldest works of architecture in the country. 


Stockholm, Sweden (3 days):  After experiencing the Finnish culture, the program will continue west to Stockholm via an overnight ferry into the heart of Scandinavia through the magnificent Åland Islands archipelago. Stockholm is considered the cultural center of Sweden and is home to some of the most important works of modern Scandinavian architecture, including works by 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 historic old town of Gamla Stan.


Copenhagen, Denmark (9 days): Heading south and leaping across the Øresund, the program will culminate 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 Jørn Utzon’s Bagsværd Church, Peder Vilhelm Jensen-Klint’s Grundtvig Church, 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, Bjarke Ingels Group’s Mountain Dwellings, 8 Tallet, and Copenhill). In addition to these modern and contemporary masterpieces, Copenhagen offers one of the most progressive models of urban design in the world and is internationally recognized for its progressive urban growth boundary master plan and for its emphasis on pedestrian/bicycle culture. While in Copenhagen, the program will include several excursions to nearby towns, such as Helsingør and Humlebæk, where students will experience the complimentary contrasts of historic and contemporary architecture (Kronborg Castle and BIG’s Danish National Maritime Museum) and architecture and landscape (Wohlert and Bo’s Louisiana Museum of Modern Art). 
 

Program Courses:

5 Year Master of Architecture Students will enroll in:
•    Arch 690 Study Abroad (5 Credits)
•    Arch 692  Documentation (3 Credits) this 3 credit documentation will result in a report due prior to Fall 2023. 


2 or 3 Year Master of Architecture Students will enroll in:
•    Arch 690 Study Abroad (6 Credits)


Interior Architecture Students will enroll in:
•    IA 690 Study Abroad for Interior Architecture (5 credits)

Accommodations

Participants will stay in hotels or hostels 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.

Program Cost for Architecture in Europe

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
scriss@ku.edu

Chad Kraus, Associate Professor
University of Kansas
Architecture Department
211 Marvin
ckraus@ku.edu