Modern Culture: 4 Cities: Urbanism and Architecture

Course content

A course is being offered on problems and procedures in the analysis of architecture and urban space. The course focuses on individual works, which are contextualized by 1) a broader historical context; 2) the interplay with other forms of art. The question of the meaning of architecture is at the center of this course.


With Copenhagen as a central reference it presents the main developments of 19th and 20th century European cities and explores the form and the function of selected types of architecture.  The course addresses themes such as: „reading a plan‘; ‚the role of the city square in urban planning’;’the architecture of modern institutions such as the town hall, central station, the museum, the school’; ‚entertainment as a response to modernization: ‚the theatre’, ‚the amusement park’, ‚the shopping mall’, ‚the zoological garden’; ‚’the architecture of private life: interior decoration and different ideas of home’ ; ‚ecology and architecture‘.


The aim of this module is to provide students with competences that enable them to analyse architecture in an urban context. In particular, the students should learn

1: how to read plans, at the level of the individual buildings as well as at the level of urban plans

2: how to describe ‘genres’ and types of architecture (the town hall, the school, the city square etc.)

3: historical analysis – how to understand the relationship between historical development and architecture

4: interdisciplinary analysis – how describe the interplay between architecture and art, film and literature


Modern Culture

Lectures and seminars

A reader will be ready by the 1st of August. Suggested prepatory reading:

1)      William Whyte: “How Do Buildings Mean? Some Issues of Interpretation in The History of Architecture”, in: History and Theory 45 (2006)

2)      Bruno Zevi: Architecture as Space. How to look at Architecture, New York, 1993,

3)      Jens Kvorning: ”Copenhagen. Formation, Change and Urban Life”, in: Peter Madsen & Richard Pluntz: The Urban Lifeworld. Formation, Perception, Representation,  Routledge: London, 2002

4)      Alan Colquhoun: Modern Architecture, Oxford and New York, 2002, pp. 193-207

Type of assessment
All aids allowed
Censorship form
No external censorship
Criteria for exam assessment
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 20
  • Preparation
  • 296
  • Seminar
  • 20
  • Exam
  • 84
  • English
  • 420


Course number
Programme level
Full Degree Master
Full Degree Master choice

1 semester

Fall 2022
Study board of Arts and Cultural Studies
Contracting department
  • Department of Arts and Cultural Studies
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Humanities
Course Coordinator
  • Martin Zerlang   (7-7d68756f64716a436b7870316e7831676e)

Martin Zerlang

Saved on the 05-05-2022

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