Architecture in London and Paris: a Tale of Two Cities

Image of London, England
Location: London, England; Paris, France
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

  • Spend 3 weeks over the summer experiencing the architecture, designed environments, and cultures of London and Paris.
  • Visit buildings, streets, open spaces, and museums, while meeting architects, and other designers in both cities.

“London is a riddle. Paris is an explanation.” -G. K. Chesterson

“You find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” -Samuel Johnson

“A walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of Life.” -Thomas Jefferson

The shared knowledge of a culture is made manifest in no more important way than in its cities. The physical culture comprised of buildings, and urban morphology hold a dialogue with the life of the inhabitants (past, present, and future). This is no truer than with the cities of London and Paris.

Through readings, visits, research, drawing, photography, hearing, tasting, touching, smelling, seeing, and walking, students in this program will experience the living culture of two great cities.

London, England: We will have seven busy days to explore London’s historic and contemporary art, architecture, culture and urban environment. With cameras, and sketchbooks in hand, we will explore many of the most important sites of the city. We will find its premier architectural achievements, and visit museums. Some highlights include: “The Eye”, Westminster Abbey, Imperial War Museum, British Museum, St. Paul’s, Tate Modern, The Shard, The Tower, Greenwich, Hyde Park, St. James Park, Green Park, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, and many other sights along the way. You will be given Saturday, and Sunday for independent visits, and time for research/report preparation.

Paris, France: The program continues in the City of Lights. After a first day of orientation and touring the city by bus, we will have a group dinner at which you will sample French cuisine. We will explore Paris in much the same way as we visited the sites in London – primarily by walking. We will visit some of Paris’ greatest museums: Musee Picasso, Musee de Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, l’Orangerie, Musee Branly, Cite de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, Musee Cluny, and Centre Pompidou. Walking the city, we will experience places such as: Place de Vosges, l’Arsenal, Ile St. Louis, Ile de la Cite, Place Dauphin, Pont Neuf, Parc Citroen, Parc de la Villette, Trocadero, Les Invalides, Place de la Concorde, Tuileries, Palais Royale, Jardin du Luxembourg, and of course, the Seine. Two day trips are also scheduled: one to Poissy to visit Villa Savoye, and one to Chartres. As time permits, we will also have visits to some of the architecture firms that host KU interns. As with the London visit, Saturday, and Sunday will be yours for independent visits, and research/report preparation.

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:

•    IAD 690 Study Abroad for Interior Architecture (5 credits)

Participants will stay in hotels or apartments in London and Paris.

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.

Open to Architecture, Architectural Studies, and Interior Architecture majors. Other majors are welcome to apply, however, priority will be given to those listed.

Steve Padget, RA, LEED AP, Professor of Architecture                                                             

Director, KU/Paris Academic Internship Program

Professor Padget has been a faculty member in Architecture at the University of Kansas since 1978. He is a registered architect (Kansas), and a LEED AP. His research and teaching have included design, sustainability, Western Civilization., sacred place, and the architect’s role in society.  His design, research, teaching, and service have resulted in multiple grants, presentations, awards and publications. Professor Padget has degrees from the University of Kansas (Environmental Design) and the University of London (MSc, Architecture).

For more information contact:

Steve Padget, Assoc. Prof.

KU Architecture Department


Kate Gerken                                                                                                                                                                                      

Study Abroad & Global Engagement