Loyola University Chicago

John Felice Rome Center

FNAR 394 / ROST 390 drawing from Architecture

 Spring 2012

01_ Course description

The exploration of appropriate means of representing architectural works is the objective of this course. Students will develop drawing skills by conceptualizing and representing architectural ideas in relationship to the comprehension of  buildings and sites. It will introduce a full range of architectural  issues through drawing exercises, analyses of precedents and explored design methods.

The key components of architectural design are explored within the context of a real site in order to familiarize students with the language of architecture and the organizational principles of significant structures. Discussions regarding architecture's role in mediating culture, nature and technology will help develop the students' architectural vocabulary.

The course will meet once a week for 3 hours. Site visits will be coordinated according to the topics. N.B. the course is prepared for students planning to major in architecture or with an arts-based curriculum.

Note: Students should anticipate needing about €60 to cover entrance fees to museums, monuments, or galleries and required drawing supplies during this course.


02_ Course learning objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to  develop basic architectural drawing skills,  to understand graphic standards and drawing conventions of the architectural design as well as to analyze and appreciate architectural buildings and spaces.

During the semester work the following objectives will be pursued:

·           to analyze buildings in their context and to identify their main physical, conceptual and historical characteristics;

·           to define  strategies for analyzing this complexity and understanding the wider implications of a building's role within such a setting;

·           to learn  about building details through their physical study on site;

·           to develop skills for visually representing architecture;

·           to achieve an understanding and appreciation of the basic principles and concepts of Roman Architecture and Urbanism that shaped the Roman Empire and Western culture;

·           to elaborate in graphic form a comprehensive presentation of collected materials.


03_Course learning activities

Classroom slide lectures and workshops will alternate with extensive discussions and on-site visits in Rome. In our ”city walks” (on-site visits) students will be studying and analyzing buildings and sites as well as collecting notes, sketches and photographs. Once in class this information will be transformed into presentation material which will describe significant buildings and sites.


The standards of this class will be met through the satisfactory completion of the required drawings related to specific assignments and with the submission of a complete course journal with a record of your class as well as individual visits.

The course is structured in four assignments each representing a significant component for the positive outcome of your efforts. To follow is a brief description of these four portions of the semester work:

·           Assignment 1: The Ancient City;

·           Assignment 2: Renaissance Rome;

·           Assignment 3: Modern Rome;

·           Assignment 4: Individual Research

For each of the above listed assignments students will be given a selection of topics and will be asked to elaborate and graphically set up one board A2 format (42cmx60cm)  containing an analysis of each of the given topics. These boards will be conceived as a sort of tourist-information plate to be placed to inform and orient people on the relevant buildings and sites.

Students are expected to devote extra time to the completion of the assignments


Midterm exam will be based on the presentation of Assignments 1 & 2

Final exam will be based on the presentation of Assignments 1, 2,  3, & 4

In addition students are required to present their journals of observations, comments, notes, sketches and photographs.

N.B. Changes in examination dates are not open to negotiation. Absence from an exam without a valid excuse will result in an F (0 points) for the exam. Make-up examinations will not be given for travel-related absences. Cheating or dishonesty of any kind on an examination will be penalized with an F (0 points) grade.


Final exams will be held in a presentation format the end of the semester with faculty and guest critics, allowing for a synthesis of documentation through the individual presentations. A general class  discussion will allow participants to draw their conclusions of the ”field experience” and the related work.


Grading will be calculated according to the following criteria:

·           Your consistent attendance and participation:                                                   10%

·           The satisfactory depth of descriptive content of your journal                             20%

·           The satisfactory development and completeness at the due dates of the given

            Assignments 1,2,3,4                                                                                       70%


More specifically:

CLASS PARTICIPATION          10%      Class participation is inclusive of attendance and participating in class discussions.  Missing one class or more will result in the loss of a full grade point. As the majority of the classes meet on-site, it is important to arrive on time, to allow sufficient time to travel to each site and to follow the lecture as in a regular classroom setting.

Students are expected to attend all classes (on time) and will be held responsible for all material discussed in each class, regardless of             whether the student actually attended class. Students participation grade will be derived from attendance in class, participation in class activities as well as the completion of course assignments. 

JOURNAL                              20%      Students will be required to keep record in a graphic form of their site visits. The  journal will visually document the built environment in an analytical manner. This will be accomplished through a series of drawing exercises based on observation and inquiry. This methodology will train the students to engage with the built environment. The journal will be evaluated two times during the term.

MIDTERM PRESENTATION     30%      Students  will be asked to elaborate and graphically set up one board A2 format (42cmx60cm) for each assignment, containing an analysis of each of the given topics. These boards will be conceived as a sort of tourist-information plate to be placed to inform and orient people on the relevant buildings and sites.

                                               (Assignments 1 & 2 = Two boards A2 format total)

FINAL PRESENTATION           15%      Students will be asked to elaborate and graphically set up one     board A2 format (42cmx60cm) for Assignment 3 containing an    analysis of the given topics.

                                               (Assignment 3 = One board A2 format)

                                               25%      Individual Research

The subject of the proposal will be chosen freely within the parameters of the course.

Requirements: 1 board A2 format (42cmx6cm0) containing the analysis of the selected topic .

                                               (Assignment 4 = One board A2 format)

General recommendations on reproductions and copies: The original drawings or an excellent quality copy of the work will be retained. Please plan and discuss with the instructor the appropriate representation techniques in advance in order to be able to easily submit reproduced material.

Graphical supporting material will be provided

Students will be given a list of required drawing supplies and convenient stores' addresses

04_Materials List

Students are required to obtain drafting equipment in order to complete the required assignments.

The following list of equipment is a minimum that you should obtain:

Sketchbook: size A4 (21cmx29.7cm)

Pencils:   graphite 3H, H, HB, 2B, 4B

Colored pencils set of 8 - 12.  Prismacolor or Design

Pilot pen (V5) extra fine 1

Paper:   Large (recommended size A2 60cmx42cm)) tablet of good quality drawing paper (smooth surface)

Felt tips pens--fine line 1-2

Kneaded eraser and soft white gum eraser

Pencil sharpener, or  utility knife with break-off blades

Tsquare or parallel slide, 45 & 30/60 degree triangles various sizes, adjustable triangle

Compass, Drafting tape



05_Course semester schedule

Class meeting time: Wednesday  9:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Final Exam: TBA

N.B. The professor reserves the right to change the sequencing of lectures and site visits when necessary



Class Topics



Jan 18

Class 1


Introduction to Drawing from Architecture

       Summary of course goals and expectations

Loyola Rome Center


Jan 25

Class 2


The Architecture of Ancient Rome

·          The Temple of Portunus

·           1rst Sketching Session

Site visit

Meet in front of the Mercato Trionfale Via Andrea Doria:

bus 990 for 17 stops

(see map)


Feb 1

Class 3


Class Workshop

Loyola Rome Center

Assignment 1: The Temple of Portunus; Assigned


Feb 8

Class 4


Class Workshop

Loyola Rome Center

Assignment 1: The Temple of Portunus;

Journal to be submitted for review

Feb 15

Class 5


The Architecture of the Renaissance

·          Bramante's Tempietto

·          2nd Sketching Session

Site visit

Meet in front of the Mercato Trionfale Via Andrea Doria:

bus 990 for 17 stops

(see map)

Assignment 1 Due

Feb 22

Class 6

Class Workshop

Loyola Rome Center

Assignment 2: The Tempietto di San Pietro in Montorio


Feb 29

Class 7

Spring Break


Spring Break


Spring Break


Mar 7


Class Workshop

Loyola Rome Center

Assignment 2: The Tempietto di San Pietro in Montorio

Mar 14

Class 8

Midterm Exam


Loyola Rome Center

Midterm Exam:

Presentation of  Assignments 1 & 2 & Journal

Mar 21

Class 9

The Architecture of the Modern City

·           L. Moretti's La casa della GIL Trastevere Class Workshop

Site visit

Meet in front of the Mercato Trionfale Via Andrea Doria:

bus 990 for 17 stops

(see map)


Mar 28

Class 10

Class Workshop


Loyola Rome Center

Assignment 3: Modern Rome; Assigned

Apr 4

Class 11

Class Workshop


Loyola Rome Center

Assignment 3: Modern Rome

Apr 11

Class 12

The Architecture of the Contemporary City

·           Richard Meier’s Ara Pacis


Site visit

Site visit

Meet in front of the Ara Pacis:

bus 913 to PIAZZA AUGUSTO IMPERATORE walk to the Ara Pacis

(see map)

Assignment 3 Due

Apr 18

Class 13

Class Workshop

Loyola Rome Center

Assignment 4: Individual Research; Assigned


Final Exam TBA:  Presentation of  Assignments 1, 2, 3 & 4 and Journal