Programme details
Study load15 EC
PeriodSeptember - January / February - July
LanguageDutch / English
Application Online form
TeachersJos Rijs, Marlies Boterman

Students who have completed a higher vocational training in architectural design or interior architecture with mathematics and physics at VWO / HAVO level can take the Building technique course. This course serves to bring the technical knowledge to such a level that students with differing entry levels in the construction and technical fields can start the  architecture study program at the Academy.

Theory and design education
The program of the course is aimed at comprehensively teaching the technical and practical foundations of design. Importance is attached to the calculation and visual representation of external and internal forces in the interplay between construction and constructional parts. The relationship between the support structure and design is the central theme in the course material. The course is concluded with a design exercise in which the importance is emphasized of comprehensive design with technical knowledge and skills.

Architecture and the architectural practice are the basis of this course. A specific series of lectures is organised in which various speakers elaborate on their field of specialisation or their fascination for a certain part of architecture.

The course is completed when all examinations about the theory components and all design components have been passed. Entrance to the Academy of Architecture’s Master’s degree program in Architecture can be obtained with a positive recommendation.

After the Building technique course, you will do the follow-up training course ‘Tools’ in the first year of the regular Master’s program. This training course replaces the morphology classes in the first and second semester. The emphasis in this training course is on the structural and constructive elaboration on the design. A lot of the design and communication will be done by means of scale models during the lessons. The building component or building will be further elaborated on in various steps up to the level of detail.

Program components

Building physics
During the preparatory Building physics course you will receive insight into the building-related physical aspects in relation to the design process. The objective is to develop a basic knowledge in the fields of thermal, hydrological (water balance) and acoustic qualities of a building, and knowledge about the daylight access, energy usage, installation technology and sustainability.

Construction and mechanics
The lessons are divided into two series of seven lessons. In the first series, the emphasis is on the acquisition of knowledge and insight into the subject of mechanics. The course material will be provided during lectures and students will do exercises in the lesson. In addition, self-study is offered. The second series is aimed at the application and deepening of the knowledge and insight acquired. The course material will also be provided during lectures in this series.

Design tools
During this program, you will gain basis constructional knowledge on the basis of hands-on exercises. Themes such as building system, material and drawing technique will be dealt with on the basis of architectural examples. The exercises will be completed as much as possible in the lesson.

Photography I *
Photography is a tool of choice to describe and approach atmosphere. Under the supervision of a photographer, you will start working with this theme. Atmosphere is very personal. In combination with an image, it can be a strong means of communication to express your ideas.

Movies *
During the course, students will watch movies together on architecture, special spatial images or the work of an architect who has been singled out. Film and architecture have a lot in common. An architectural film festival is organised in the Netherlands every year.

During the excursion, various special buildings in Amsterdam will be visited, together with the architect, a user, a resident or someone who is closely connected with the project.

Design assignment project
The assignment is small in scale and will be developed on the basis of a limited number of points of departure, which will be determined in advance. The learning objective is to develop a clear and focused architectural design. Translating an idea into an architectural design, and developing a feeling for scale, proportions and use of space are the main focus, as well as the development of skills that communicate the design. The result is a fully-fledged architectural design that will be presented on the basis of drawings, image material and, in particular, scale models.

Lectures: fascinations of architects
An architect or someone who has a lot to do with architecture and design will come and discuss his or her fascinations in relation to the profession during this series.

Exercise: Photography II *
In the last weeks of the course, you will finish off your design with a presentation in which photography plays a big role. During these lessons, you will learn to make beautiful photos of your scale model(s) and reflect on photos made earlier and look if and how you can use earlier photo material in your final presentation. By doing this, you will learn to reflect on your earlier work. It will also offer you the opportunity to focus on parts in your design that you had not previously shed light on and thus arrive at a better achievement.

Final presentation
The course will be concluded with a digital presentation of all your work. All the work will be bundled in one file in a uniform layout.

Apart from the above-mentioned educational requirements, a portfolio and a letter of motivation are an obligatory part of the admissions procedure. The working language in this course is Dutch and English.

To be admitted to the Building Technique course the applicant needs to have a Bachelor’s degree in  architectural design or interior architecture. Applicants are expected to possess qualifications in maths, physics and English at general secondary education or pre-university education level (havo/vwo) or equivalent. A selection procedure is part of the admission procedure. Selection is based on a motivation letter, resume and portfolio.

Admission and assessment of suitability for the Building technique course occur on the basis of a portfolio. This is a compactly designed document in which demonstrate your design and drawing skills.

Letter of motivation
Clearly indicate in a letter of motivation why you want to do the Building technique course.

* In the 1st semester, the following courses are offered as an option: Photography I and II and Movies.

Registration and costs
The costs (tuition fees) for the course are € 950. Apply by going through the online application procedure. The deadline for application for the course of the first semester of 2018-2019 is May 1st 2018.