Building Design

A building and its tectonics

Thesis work within Building design

"Refining convention. Getting close to built reality, from overall idea into detail." 

Built reality

A thesis work should be built. To bring architectural ideas into the physical world, using material and construction, also in detail, to form spaces around human activities is the core of our profession as architects. Due to practical and economic reasons this is not possible at university. The aim of this thesis work is however to get asnear built reality as possible.

Robust architecture

The task of the thesis work is to design a building in a complex context, investigating both building typology and the art of handling construction, material and building components as basic means of creating space. Building  materials such as brick, concrete and wood, which have proven to be durablein human history, and building typologies, whichhave been capable of handlingchange in functions, are in focus. The thesis work aims at refining convention rather than innovation. Continuity is a key word here. The perspective of robustness is also of importance: what is really sustainable architecture?

Drawings and models

The thesis work is mainly expressed, both in process and as result, in precise  drawings and physical models, which are the primary means of investigation and communication of architects. The final presentation of the project reaches from overall idea into detail in order to explain what the architecture consist of, its construction in a wide sense,to get close to built reality. This makes it a research by design project.

Site and program

As an option, site and the program will beproposedby the examiner and supervisor, in order to reach further in terms of architectural quality and feasibility. The program consists of dwellings and/or offices space mixed with other functions on the ground floor suited for the urban location.

General requirements

As mentioned, the thesis work results in an elaborate project, and as any architectural project it is handling a wide range of issues. It is however necessary to find a main question to investigate. This question is chosen by the student within the context above. It is also important to describe the key decisions in the individual process. Finally the thesis work must relate to some of the architectural traditions or attitudes available: what is the contribution of your project?


We start the work by describing the projects, their main questions and references for each other to gain mutual support in the group. At the mid term seminar the projects will be presented in drawings and study models in different scales where the overall idea and form is apparent. At this point the materials and details will already be roughly described to enable sufficient time for the development of the projects also in detail.Architectural quality is always a matter of careful design in a range of scales: of building volume, interior space and details.

Recommended literature

Deplazes, A. (2013) Constructing architecture, Birkhäuser Verlag Sergison, J; Bates, S (2016) Sergison Bates Architects: Papers 3, Quart Verlag
Leupen, B. (2006) Frame and generic space. 010 Publishers, Rotterdam.

Mikael Ekegren is supervisor/examiner.
Björn Gross is supervisor/examiner.

Illustration: Construction is the art of making a meaningful whole out of many parts... I believe the real core of architectural work lies in the act of construction. (Peter Zumthor)

Published: Fri 12 Jan 2018. Modified: Mon 15 Jan 2018