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Syllabus for

Academic year
ARK626 - Architectural heritage and transformation  
Arkitekturarv och omvandling
Syllabus adopted 2018-02-22 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPDSD
22,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Architecture

Course selection in architecture has a separate process. Please contact Director of Studies Anna Knutsson if you have questions.
Teaching language: English
Open for exchange students: Yes
Maximum participants: 20

Course module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0118 Project 9,5 c Grading: TH   9,5 c    
0218 Project 13,0 c Grading: TH   13,0 c    

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Kia Bengtsson Ekström


ARK625   Architectural heritage and urban transformation


In order to be eligible for a second cycle course the applicant needs to fulfil the general and specific entry requirements of the programme that owns the course. (If the second cycle course is owned by a first cycle programme, second cycle entry requirements apply.)
Exemption from the eligibility requirement: Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling these requirements.

Course specific prerequisites

Qualification for the masters programme or Bachelor degree or similar in Architecture, Architecture and Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Interior Architecture.


The studio will give and apply knowledge in the field of architectural conservation and transformation in an historic and contemporary context and in a sustainable perspective.
Methods for inventory, analysis, assessment of the building stock are compared, and the summary is the basis for decisions about approach. By separating facts, they can be combined and supplemented into a new strategy for transformation and property development. Social, cultural, technical, esthetical and economic factors are to be considered and motivated.
Abilities in decision-making, positioning and proposing are trained. The studio is ends with a personal reflection on the learning in the studio, plus reading and review of current master¿s theses.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

Knowledge and understanding
At the end of the study the students shall have obtained learning outcomes that enable them to:
- Describe and analyze characteristics from urban, architectural, technical, historical, cultural, functional and resource aspects.
- Describe, analyze and balance different values, shortcomings, needs and possibilities in the building and environment.
- Exhibit knowledge and understanding of architectural and urban heritage and conservation and the impact of physical threats.
- Be able to reflect upon their professional role in relation to a cultural heritage and sustainable development as well as be oriented about other relevant professions and their tasks in conservation matters.

Ability and skill
- be able to properly register and document buildings and sites through digital mappings as well as manual tools.
- be able to use methods for searching for information, examining, interpreting and estimating
architectural heritage vectors, design and characteristics of buildings and place and identify indicators.
- be able to describe, analyze and interpret a local situation in a broad perspective, including spatial and architectural characteristics as well as environmental, social and economic aspects.
- exhibit ability to design and project for conservation, rebuilding and transformation of a building and site or an area in a historic urban context, with reference to scientific, or experience-based knowledge and value-based arguments
- be able to visualize and communicate different proposals for students, clients, stakeholders, local authorities, civil servants and experts
- perform, visualize and describe a proposal for restoration and renewal in a project of architectural or urban conservation with regard to historical, cultural, functional, technical considerations as well as resource, energy and climate related aspects

Ability of Assessment and Attitude
- compare and assess various sources and statements concerning the concepts of conservation/restoration/transformation, as well as their relation to sustainable development
- understand and coordinate knowledge from different disciplines and sectors in proposals for actions and measures of conservation
- combine scientific and artistic approaches in the design process
- evaluate physical impact and climate change on the built environment


The studio is divided into three parts:
1. Investigating and analyzing the buildings, the site and its context.
2. Reading and critically analyzing relevant theories and literature and making a program for a design proposal and
3. Perform an in-depth design project for a building or a plan. Knowledge from programs set up and previous parts that can support the objectives and strategies will be used in the in-depth planning and design projects. These projects may be carried out at different spatial levels.

The students can choose between an architectural or urban conservation and transformation project.
Relevant lectures with regard to climate change, environment, development, policy and management will be included. Other lectures will focus on urban space, architectural history, architectural conservation, buildings and their construction, energy issues and building materials.
The design studio includes site activities in the chosen site. The assignments will be carried out in smaller groups. Apart from the three assignments smaller individual assignments will be carried out. The work on the course assignments will also be supported by study visits, literature seminars, field studies and measurement practice, as well as workshops with analysis through methods like SWOT and DIVE.
Presentation and critics will be conducted at the end of each part. At the final presentation and critique guest critics will attend. The projects will be presented for owners, local authorities and civil servants.


The studio is full time, project and design based. The number of participants in the studio is limited. As the studio is within the master program Design for sustainable development (MPDSD), students who are admitted to MPDSD will have priority.
The studio is run by a teaching team.
Extern and intern lecturers will be engaged in fields of their competence. For tuition lecturer, assistant and practicing architects are at hand.


A list of compulsory and reference literature will be presented at the start of the course.

Examination including compulsory elements

To pass the studio the following is required:
  • Attendance and active participation at lectures, seminars and other scheduled activities (at least 80% presence)
  • Active participation in group work, presentations and cross-critics
  • Delivery of course assignments of sufficient quality (fulfilling the requirements regarding content and presentation of the assignments respectively)
  • Active participation in exhibition/presentation

Page manager Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.