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Understanding Architecture Case Studies

Architecture Case Studies

History teaches us many things, and it can carry valuable lessons on how to move forward in life. In architecture , when we are faced with a project, one of the first places we can look is the past – to see what worked, what didn’t, and what we can improve for our own projects.

This process comes in the form of architecture case studies, and every project can benefit from this research.

Here we take you through the purpose, process, and pointers for conducting effective case studies in architecture.

What is an architecture case study

A case study (also known as a precedent study ) is a means of finding relevant information about a project by examining another project with similar attributes. Case studies use real-world context to analyze, form, support, and convey different ideas and approaches in design.

Simply put, architectural case studies are when you use existing buildings as references for new ones.

Architects can conduct case studies at nearly every stage of a project, adapting and relating applicable details to refine and communicate their own projects. Students can use case studies to strengthen their research and make a more compelling case for their concepts .

Regardless of the size or scale of a project, case studies can positively impact a design in a multitude of ways.

Architecture Case Studies

How do you select a case study?

There are more than a hundred million buildings in the world, and your project could have similarities with thousands of other projects. On the other hand, you could also have a hard time finding buildings that match your specific project requirements.

Focusing your search parameters can help you find helpful references quickly and accurately.

The architectural program includes the spatial organization , user activity, and general functions of a building. Case studies with comparable programs can give you an idea of the spaces and circulation required for a similar project. From this, you can form a design brief catering to the unique requirements of the client or study.

Scale can be a strong common denominator among projects as it can be used to compare buildings of the same size, with a similar number of occupants or volume of visitors. Scale also ensures that the study project has an equivalent impact on the city or its surroundings.

Spaces and designs vary greatly between standalone structures and large-scale complexes, so finding case studies that emulate your project’s scale can give you more relevant and applicable information.

Project type is crucial for comparing spaces one to one. Common types include residential, commercial, office, educational, institutional, or industrial buildings. Each type can also have sub-categories such as single-family homes, mass housing, or urban condominiums.

Case studies with the same project type can help you compare occupant behavior, building management, and specific facilities that relate to your design.

Some case studies can lead you to specific architects with specialty portfolios in certain sectors such as museums, theaters, airports, or hospitals. Their expertise results in a body of work ideal for research and comparison, especially with complex public or transportation buildings.

You may also look into a specific architect if their projects embody the style and design sensibilities that you wish to explore. Many renowned architecture firms have set themselves apart with unique design philosophies and new approaches to planning.

Finding core theories to build on can help steer your project in the right direction.

Project Location

If possible, you’ll want to find case studies in the same region or setting as your project. Geographically, buildings can have significantly different approaches to planning and design based on the environment, demographic, and local culture of the area. There are also many building codes and regulations that may vary across cities and states.

Even when case studies are not from the same locality, it’s important to still have a relevant site context for your project. A tropical beach resort, for example, can take inspiration from tropical beaches across the world.

Likewise, a ski lodge project would require a look into different snowy mountains from different countries.

architectural case study

How are they used?

Whether it’s for academic, professional, or even personal use, case studies can offer plenty of insight for your projects and a look into different approaches and methods you may not have otherwise considered. Here are some of the most common uses for architectural case studies.

Case studies are most commonly used for research, to analyze the past, present, and future of the project typology. Through case studies you can see the evolution of a building type, the different ways problems were solved, and the considerations factored into each design.

In practice, this could be as simple as saying, “Let’s see how they did it.” It’s about learning as much as we can from completed projects and the world around us.


When designing from scratch, it’s common to have a few blank moments here and there. Maybe you’re struggling to develop a unified design , or are simply unsure of how to proceed with a project. Senior architects or academic instructors will often suggest seeking inspiration from existing buildings – those that we can explore and experience.

Throughout history , architecture is shown to have evolved over centuries of development, each era taking inspiration from the last while integrating forms and technologies unique to the time. Case studies are very much a part of this process, giving us a glimpse into different styles, building systems, and forms .

A study project could serve as your entire design peg, or it could add ideas far beyond the facade. The important thing about using a case study for inspiration is beginning with a basis, instead of venturing off into the great unknown. After that, it’s all up to the designers to integrate what they see fit.

As Bruce Lee once said, “absorb what is useful, discard what is not, and add what is uniquely your own.”

Design justification

Case studies help architects make well-informed decisions about planning and design, from the simplest to the most complex ideas. A single finished project is often enough to show proof of concept , and showing completed examples can go a long way in getting stakeholders on board with an idea.

When clients or jurors show skepticism or confusion about an idea, case studies can help you navigate through the hesitation to win approval for your project. Similarly, as a student, case studies can bolster your presentation to help defend your design decisions.


Unless your clients are architecture enthusiasts themselves, you’re likely going to know a lot more about buildings than them. Because of this, certain ideas aren’t going to resonate with the audience immediately, and you may need additional examples or references to make a convincing presentation.

Case studies help to make connections to existing projects. Beyond the typical sales talk and flowery words, case studies represent actual projects with quantifiable results.

With a study project, for example, you can say “this retail design strategy has been shown to increase rentable space by 15% in these two projects”, or “this facade system used in X project has reduced the need for artificial cooling by 40%, and we think it would be a great fit for what we’re trying to achieve here”.


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What to look for during your research.

Each case study should have a specific purpose for your project, be it a useful comparison or a key contribution to your ideas. Sometimes a case study could look drastically different from your project, but it can be used to communicate a wide variety of features and facets that aren’t immediately visible to the eye.

Here are a few things to look out for when doing your research.

If you’re looking to build a museum, the first kinds of buildings to look out for are other museums from around the world. A building with the same typology as yours is almost guaranteed to have similar aspects and approaches. You’ll also be able to see how the building works with its surroundings.

In the case of a museum, you’ll see if the study projects stand out monumentally, or blend in seamlessly, and from there you can decide which is more applicable for your design.

Function is another important aspect that will inform your research.

If for example, you’re comparing two museums, but one is a museum of modern art and the other is a museum of military equipment, they’re going to have vastly different spaces and functions. Similarly, schools can take inspiration from thousands of other schools, but an elementary school’s functions are going to vary greatly from a college campus.

Finding case projects that function more or less the same way as yours will give you more relevant information about the design.

There are also study projects that work well together despite having slightly different functions, such as theaters and concert halls, or bus stations and train stations. These projects, though not exactly the same, still share plenty of similarities in spatial and traffic requirements to be used as effective case studies.

If you’re exploring a certain style, you can find projects with a design close to what you’re trying to achieve.

However the forms don’t necessarily need to look the same.

For example, if you’re planning a museum with a continuous experience from one exhibit to another, you might use the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York as a case study – being one of the earliest and best examples of such style with its round, gently ramped design. But your design doesn’t need to resemble the Frank Lloyd Wright landmark.

The main purpose for finding similar styles is to see how it’s been executed with comparable planning considerations, and to see the effect the style has on a particular project type.

architectural case study

Whether your project is relatively small or large, it’s good to consider how projects of the same scale fare when built. Even if a building has nearly identical features and functions as your project, if it operates on a completely different scale the same principles may be far less effective on your site.

Site conditions can hugely influence the architectural design of a project, especially when working with extreme slopes or remote locations. You’ll often want to study projects that are in a similar part of the world geographically, with comparable site conditions and nearly identical settings.

Check if your site is in a rural or urban area , if it has generally flat or rolling terrain, and if the lot is a particular shape or length.


Similar to the site itself, environmental considerations will have a large impact on the way case study buildings are designed.

It’s important to know the climate, weather, and scenery of study projects to fully understand the challenges and opportunities that their designers worked with. Buildings in tropical, humid environments use very different materials and elements than those in arid or icy environments.


Circulation is a crucial aspect of projects as it directly affects how a building is experienced.

With case studies you’ll need to look out for the flow of people, the ingress and egress areas, and how people and vehicles pass through and around the building. Circulation will determine how the design interacts with the users and the general public.


Though often overlooked, accessibility is becoming increasingly more important, especially for large-scale projects in dense cities. This involves how people move from the rest of the city to the site. It includes traffic management, road networks, public transportation, and universal design for the disabled.

If the target users can’t get to your building, the project can’t be used as intended. When doing case studies, it’s important to consider what measures were taken to ensure the sites were made open and accessible.

Landscape architecture encompasses far more than vegetation and trees. Each project has a unique way of approaching its landscape to address specific goals and tendencies on site.

How does the building integrate itself with the site and surroundings? How are softscapes and hardscapes introduced to create a desirable atmosphere, direct movement, facilitate activity, and promote social interaction?

Government buildings, for example, are often accompanied by wide lawns and open fields. This conveys a sense of openness, transparency, and public presence. It also frames the buildings as significant, monumental structures standing strong in an open area. These are the subtle aspects that can shape your building’s overall perception.


Construction methods and structural systems are vital for making our buildings stand safe and sound. Some systems are more applicable in tall buildings, while others are more suited for low-rise structures, but it can be interesting to see the different techniques used throughout your case studies.

You can explore systems like cantilevered beams, diagrid steel, thin shell construction, or perhaps something new entirely.


If you’re thinking of using certain materials like stone or wood, and you’re curious to see how it was executed elsewhere, case studies can offer some great examples of materiality and the different ways a single material can be used.

The Innovation Center of UC by Alejandro Aravena is a good illustration of how a particular finish – in this case raw concrete – can be used in an unusual way to the benefit of the overall design.

Building services

Building services are one of the many aspects that make architecture a science. Understanding how a building handles things like energy, ventilation, vertical transportation, and water distribution can help you see beneath the surface to get a better idea of how the building works.

Although there are common practices, buildings can deal with services and utilities very differently. A prime example of this is the Centre Pompidou in Paris, which famously turned the building inside out to expose its services on the facade while opening up the interior space for uninterrupted volumes of light and movement.

This style became known as bowellism , and it was largely popularized by the late Richard Rogers .

Some building types are much more demanding when it comes to building services. Airports, for example, have to deal with the flow of luggage, heightened security, and all the boarding and maintenance requirements of the airplanes themselves.

architectural case study

The final thing to analyze while doing your case studies is the building program. This is how the composition of spaces works in relation to the building requirements. It’s helpful to see what makes the building look good, feel good, and function well.

If your study project is accompanied by a program diagram , it can be an excellent way to see how the architects were thinking.

For instance, OMA’s big and bold diagrams show how their designs are organized in a simple and logical manner. It’s become a signature and memorable part of their work, and it communicates the program in a way that everyone can understand.

A building’s arrangement of spaces can often make or break a design. It can be simple and easy to navigate, or complex and intriguing to explore. It can also be confusing or at times, troublesome to get around. Spaces can feel spacious, cozy, or cramped, and each space can evoke a different emotion whether deliberate or unintentional.

The building program is a fundamental aspect that must be considered when conducting case studies.

architectural case study

How do you write and present an architectural case study?

Select the most applicable projects.

There are often hundreds of potential case studies out there, and you can certainly learn from as many projects as you want, but sticking with the most relevant projects can keep your study clear and concise. Depending on the focus of your research, limit your case studies to those most suitable for communicating your ideas.

Stay on topic

It can be tempting to write entire reports about certain buildings – especially if you find them particularly interesting, but it’s important to remember you’re only mentioning these projects to help develop yours. Keep your case study on topic and in a consistent direction to keep the audience engaged.

Use graphics to illustrate key concepts throughout your projects . Even before preparing refined, colorful graphics, you can sketch visual representations as an alternative to notes for your own personal reference.

In addition to making diagrams, you can present multiple examples of similar or dissimilar concepts to compare and contrast the core ideas of different designs. Offering more than one example helps people grasp the ideas that make a building unique.

Strategic Visuals

If the visual speaks for itself, your verbal explanation will only need to describe the essence of it all. When presenting, your speaking time is valuable and it’s best to prepare your slides for maximum engagement so that you don’t lose your audience along the way.

If you carefully select and prepare your visuals, you can optimize your presentation for attention, emotion, and specific responses from the target audience.

Create a narrative

Creating a narrative is a way of tying the whole study together . By using a sequence of visuals and verbal cues, you can take the audience through a journey of the story that you’re trying to tell. Instead of showing each case study differently and independently, you can uniformly relate each project back to the common themes, or back to your project’s design.

This helps to make the relevance of each project crystal clear.

What if your project is unique?

If you’re struggling to find relevant case studies for your project, it could be a good sign that you’ve created a typology that hasn’t been done before – a first of its kind. New building types are important for shaping society and expanding the boundaries of architecture.

Innovative buildings can make people’s lives better.

As far as case studies go, you’ll likely need to gather a handful of reference projects that collectively represent the idea for your project. You can also present a progression, explaining how current and past typologies have evolved into your proposed building type. New-era architecture requires creativity, not only in the ideas but also in the research.

Case studies show us – and our clients – the many great success stories and mistakes of the past, to learn from and improve on as we move into the future. They serve an essential role in guiding our decisions as we design the buildings of tomorrow.

From school , to practice , and everything in between, case studies can be made as the foundation on which we build upon.

For a deeper dive into how case and precedent studies can build upon and influence your conceptual design approaches, we cover this and other key determining factors in our resource The Concept Kit below:

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FAQ’s about architecture case studies

Where can i find architecture case studies.

There are many resources where you can find architectural case studies. Here are some examples:

  • ArchDaily : This is one of the largest online architecture publications worldwide. It provides a vast selection of architectural case studies from around the globe.
  • Architectural Review : An international architecture magazine that covers case studies in detail.
  • Dezeen : Another online architecture and design magazine where you can find case studies of innovative projects.
  • Detail Online : This is a great resource for case studies with an emphasis on construction details.
  • Divisare : It offers a comprehensive collection of buildings from across the world and often includes detailed photographs, plans, and explanatory texts.
  • The Building Centre : An online platform with case studies on a variety of topics including sustainable design, technology in architecture, and more.
  • Harvard Graduate School of Design : Their website provides access to various case studies, including those from students and researchers.
  • El Croquis : This is a high-profile architecture and design magazine that offers in-depth case studies of significant projects.
  • : It is an Indian platform where you can find some unique case studies of architecture in India.
  • Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) : They have an extensive database of case studies on tall buildings worldwide.

In addition to these, architecture books, peer-reviewed journals, and university theses are excellent sources for case studies. If you’re a student, your school library may have resources or databases you can use. Remember to make sure the sources you use are reputable and the information is accurate.

What is the difference between case study and literature study in architecture?

A case study and a literature study in architecture serve different purposes and utilize different methods of inquiry.

  • Case Study : A case study in architecture is an in-depth examination of a particular project or building. The goal is to understand its context, concept, design approach, construction techniques, materials used, the functionality of spaces, environmental performance, and other relevant aspects. Architects often use case studies to learn from the successes and failures of other projects. A case study may involve site visits, interviews with the architects or users, analysis of plans and sections, and other hands-on research methods.
  • Literature Study : A literature study, also known as a literature review, involves a comprehensive survey and interpretation of existing literature on a specific topic. This could include books, articles, essays , and other published works. The goal is to understand the current state of knowledge and theories about the topic, identify gaps or controversies, and situate one’s own work within the larger discourse. In architecture, a literature study might focus on a particular style, period, architect, theoretical approach, or design issue. It’s more about collating and synthesizing what has already been written or published, rather than conducting new empirical research.

In short, a case study provides an in-depth understanding of a specific instance or example, while a literature study provides a broad understanding of a specific subject as it has been discussed in various texts. Both methods are useful in their own ways, and they often complement each other in architectural research.


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How to Present Architectural Case Studies like a Pro

case studies architecture design

Design is arbitrary. Design is subjective , and there is just no way of getting around the fact, and architecture in many ways is the art of convincing people that one’s design was the right move and one of the ways you can convince people is through case studies. There is no way to avoid that reality, and case studies are one of the methods to persuade others that your design choices are sound. In many respects, architecture is the art of persuasion. Architectural case studies act as a shield that, when properly presented, can be a very effective way for one to defend your design viewpoints , especially if anyone chooses a project that has already been successful and was completed by a well-known architect. This can help one establish a strong foundation for design strategies because it can be much more difficult to critique something that has already been shown to be effective.

Architectural case studies should be presented in an educational, interesting way, and can build a strong case for your project. While performing a case study, one could learn many different things. Still, when giving a presentation, one must highlight the elements one will use in their design, diagram the visuals, and remember that visual continuity is important.

“Every great design begins with an even better story.”

Which case study to choose?

The first step is to determine the type of structure to be developed. Consider whether your project is within the categories of a residential project , a public building, a private mixed-use project, etc. By doing so, you may focus your search and locate projects with similar outlines. This does not imply that a structure that is unconnected at all will not be useful. A building’s components may be more significant than its function.

How to Present Architectural Case Studies like a Pro - Sheet1

For instance, Correa stayed away from high-rise housing options, emphasizing low-rise ones that, when combined with amenities and common areas, highlighted the human scale and fostered a feeling of community. This is how case studies help us to view the projects with a certain inspiration to be used in our projects.

The next important point is to confirm that the case study and your project have parallel elements. This may be the atmosphere or climate , anything analogous that you can connect to. You can always decide to include some in your project if there aren’t any. Remember that they are there to help you and frequently have more expertise about various structures. Better still, if your brief mentions any interesting buildings, you may always start there.

What points are to be kept in mind?

  • Attractive elements-

One feature of the building may appeal more than any other aspect. To make a building into something much more fascinating , for instance, the usage of a specific sort of beam or steel structure, or even the materials that were utilized for the design, might be crucial. Focus on the space’s fantastic structural features if their intended use is irrelevant, and you can still make use of them.

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  • Balancing form and function-

Extreme aesthetic aspects in some structures may be more challenging to plan and implement. Utilizing your own smaller test models, ascertain how these shapes were developed and then apply them to your system. The purpose of a architectural case studies is to improve any project. Without using the research , it is pointless to do it.

  • Area requirements-

Study the building’s utilization in further detail, including how each room is used. Depending on a project or brief and what precisely one wants to learn from the case study, it can be as detailed as one likes. Try making a physical visit if it’s feasible, and write as many notes as possible on the experience. Consider the interior areas and their functions thoroughly.

How to Present Architectural Case Studies like a Pro - Sheet3

  • Technicalities-

Concentrate on the case study’s technical components if necessary. The HVAC or other concealed systems may be of interest if the concerned project is geared toward domestic areas.

Last but not least, be sure to provide several important case study photographs . Instead of choosing basic front elevations, examine closer and pay attention to details.

What are the best ways to present?

After conducting a tonne of research and compiling this information, one must figure out how to incorporate it into a portfolio.

  • Site analysis-

The most effective way to communicate your results is via a site analysis . This type of page might be a straightforward construction diagram with comments outlining the noteworthy elements you discovered and why they are significant.

How to Present Architectural Case Studies like a Pro - Sheet4

  • Images and graphics –

No matter how big your page size is, don’t overstuff it. Choose four to five main photos that may be expanded on later. When printing them, make sure the quality is good. It should be required to use text.

Always look for quality over quantity.

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  • Models and Iterations-

Put these in if you decide to conduct any experiments using physical or digital models . It demonstrates engagement with the undertaking and effort in making decisions on any building. These might be of great use when creating subsequent sketches.

  •       SWOT Analysis-

Analyzing the strength, weaknesses, and opportunities, threats of the concerned project can be of great help. An opportunities and limitations diagram can be created for architectural case studies and site analyses. Although it’s not necessary, one may undoubtedly construct one if it’s essential.

case studies architecture design

  • Crisp and clear data –

The best way is to use pictures or diagrams to accompany all the data you have acquired, including any historical details. Try to limit the amount of text on the page to what is necessary to convey the main ideas.

In addition to this, bear in mind that using the right color schemes, grids, tags, and human figures, as well as their surroundings, adds valuable information and serves as the cherry on top.



How to Present Architectural Case Studies like a Pro - Sheet1

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Four Case Studies Exemplifying Best Practices in Architectural Co-design and Building with First Nations

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case studies architecture design

Introduction and Acknowledgements                          Overview and Summary of Best Practices Conclusion Case Studies  

Introduction and acknowledgements.

The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) initiated Four Case Studies Exemplifying Best Practices in Architectural Co-design and Building with First Nations  as a resource for designers, clients, funders, and policymakers.

As the leading voice for excellence in the built environment in Canada, the RAIC believes that architecture is a public-spirited profession with an important role in reconciliation – addressing injustices by giving agency back to Indigenous people.

The document builds on the success of the RAIC International Indigenous Architecture and Design Symposium held in on May 27, 2017. At this ground-breaking event, Indigenous speakers from Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the United States presented best practices in co-design with Indigenous communities and clients. Co-design is a collaborative design process between architects and the Indigenous community as client.

The symposium was a project of the RAIC Indigenous Task Force which seeks ways to foster and promote Indigenous design in Canada.  Its members include Indigenous and non-Indigenous architects, designers, academics, intern architects and architectural students.

The four case studies presented here further explore and exemplify best practice themes, specifically in the context of three First Nations and one Inuit community in Canada. 

Ottawa consultant Louise Atkins carried out the research and writing. Special thanks are extended to the Department of Indigenous Services Canada for funding the case studies, and to the 15 individuals interviewed for the projects who generously shared their time, insights and inspiring stories.

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Overview and summary of best practices.

The four case studies set out to explore best practices in architectural co-design in the context of three First Nations and one Inuit community in Canada. One case study was selected from each of four asset classes – schools, community and cultural centres, administration and business centres, and housing. These asset types would be of special interest to First Nation, Inuit, and other Indigenous communities and to the Department of Indigenous Services Canada as they consider the architectural design, building, and funding of new community infrastructure facilities and housing. 

Best practice insights from these studies can inspire communities and help shape government funders’ policies and practices.

Summary of Best Practices

Interviews were conducted with architects and designers, Indigenous chiefs and community leaders, Indigenous government employees, contractors, and construction company officials, academics, and government funders.  Questions posed in interviews built on best practice themes from the RAIC International Indigenous Architecture and Design Symposium as well as value-added considerations such as Indigenous employment. Best practice findings are divided into four groups.

Project Initiation

The impetus for each project was different. Some were replacement assets. The Six Nations of the Grand River were replacing one-room schools dating from the early 20th-century.  When the Splatsin te Secwepemc lost their “Log Cabin” convenience and artisan craft store in a fire, they replaced it with a much larger business hub, artisan marketplace, and offices. The Squamish and Lil’Wat First Nations leveraged the opportunity of the 2010 Olympic Games to create a cultural centre as a showcase to the world in their shared traditional territory of Whistler, BC. In Nunavik, the major stakeholders came together to design, build and monitor a pilot duplex house that could be a prototype for sustainable northern housing that is culturally responsive, better adapted to climate change, and highly energy efficient.  

Co-design Process

Co-design is the collaborative design process between the architects and the Indigenous community as client. In the four case studies, best practices included architects listening carefully to understand the community’s vision, and working closely with the client throughout the design phase. The resulting building designs were anchored in Indigenous peoples’ connection with the natural world and reflected who they are as people – their traditions, culture, values and lifestyles, and their aspirations.

Co-design is not a formula. In each case study, co-design took its own distinct form. In one project, the architect worked with a large steering committee of Indigenous chiefs and stakeholder officials. Another included Elders as well. A third used a design charrette with a cross-section of Indigenous tenants and a fourth added community open houses to the process. Two of buildings were designed by Indigenous architects, and two were by architects and designers with experience working in Indigenous contexts.

For all four projects, Indigenous respondents underlined the importance of architects who listen well to the community vision and engage in ongoing dialogue. Through an iterative process, the architects brought design options and solutions until their clients were satisfied that their vision developed into a tangible design that met functional requirements and reflected their values, culture, traditions, lifestyles, and aspirations.

Designs referenced ancestral building forms and Indigenous peoples’ reverence for and relationship with the natural world. In every case example, the buildings were anchored to their natural surroundings and most integrated traditional materials, particularly wood. Each project maximized energy conservation through mechanical means, insulation, and designs that utilized natural heating, cooling, and air circulation systems.

The buildings were further enhanced through siting, orientation and natural light. In keeping with Haudenosaunee traditions, Emily C. General School is oriented to the cardinal directions, tracking the sun through the days and seasons. Following Squamish and Lil’Wat traditions, entrances to their cultural centre face east. For the Nunavik pilot duplex, reversible front entrances are an architectural innovation that allows optimal positioning of every house for solar gain and bright living spaces.

Architects and designers and their clients carefully shaped the interior spaces, commissioned artists' installations and added historical and contemporary artifacts to convey the cultures and facilitate traditional practices and teaching.

For example, visitors to the Quilakwa Centre and band members alike can sit and enjoy their Tim Hortons coffee among massive log posts and beams carved with images of bald eagles, salmon, fish, and scenes of traditional Splatsin life.

Building Process

Each community took a hands-on approach to the building process. Strong Indigenous community capacity was demonstrated in project oversight and management. Indigenous construction firms and entities employing Indigenous workers in a broad range of skilled trades built major portions of the projects. Leaders stayed involved and committed the necessary resources to ensure project completion. These best practices could be formulated into a guideline enabling First Nation funders to recognize and assess capacity and shift control of capital projects to qualified First Nations.

Steering committees continued to play an important oversight role, guiding development and consulting with architects, designers, and construction managers, right through to project completion. 

These buildings and facilities were built by Indigenous people. Project management and the majority of the construction was done by Indigenous-owned entities employing local Indigenous tradespeople, exemplifying best practices in employment, skills development, pride in the work and a sense of community ownership of the completed buildings. In every case, these buildings are highly-valued by Indigenous community residents and continue to be well-maintained.

First Nation leaders interviewed for the case studies believe that for communities with proven track records in building projects which are on-specification, on-time, and on-budget, the funding agencies should objectively assess and recognize this capacity and pass control to the First Nation for all aspects of their building projects.

Two case study projects involved First Nations who were large or sole funders of their buildings. The Quilakwa Centre was completely self-funded by the Splastsin First Nation through a combination of insurance and trust funds and loan financing. Large cultural complexes are expensive to build, and despite contributions from all levels of government and the private sector, a large funding gap remained for the Squamish Lil’wat and Squamish Cultural Centre. Both First Nations contributed their own band resources and business know-how to get the projects done.

For all four projects, Indigenous leaders were determined to complete their projects to reflect community identity and become a base for cultural reclamation and growth.

Indigenous respondents all felt that the impact of their co-designed buildings was significant, with positive, far-reaching outcomes. They appreciated the role the architectural co-design process played in creating buildings that resonate with the community and will be of lasting value.  Architectural innovations exemplified in these projects have since been applied more broadly to other building projects.

After 20 years in operation, the IL Thomas and Emily C. General Elementary Schools at Six Nations of the Grand River continue to serve as positive teaching environments and community spaces and are well-maintained. The children are aware and proud that their grandparents, aunts, and uncles built the schools, and vandalism does not occur. The co-design process with the Indigenous architect and project manager, Brian Porter, MRAIC, enabled steering committee members to develop fluency in design and construction processes – knowledge they have applied through a dozen subsequent building projects. Six Nations members continue their tradition as skilled builders and tradespeople. They are respected and employed in their home community, other First Nations and in major North American cities. Read case study

Cultural Centre

For the Squamish Lil’Wat Cultural Centre in Whistler BC, the two First Nations sought out and hired an Indigenous architect, Alfred Waugh, MRAIC. Their goal was to give this large and complex project to an Indigenous architect to develop, innovate and become a role model for Indigenous youth. Today the Squamish Lil’Wat Cultural Centre is a spectacular showcase for the two cultures, welcoming visitors from around the world and inspiring understanding and respect among people. It is also preserving and transmitting architecture, traditional knowledge, culture and spiritual teachings through the generations. Indigenous Youth Ambassadors employed at the centre are enjoying good careers in the tourism and hospitality industries. There are broader outcomes as well. Following construction of the cultural centre, the Squamish established a large Indigenous trades school. The cultural centre has deepened the bonds between the Squamish and Lil’Wat tribes, who are undertaking new joint projects. Architect Alfred Waugh has adapted innovations exemplified in this project to some of his subsequent major design projects. Read case study

Administrative and Business Centre

The Quilakwa Centre , located on Highway 97A in the BC interior attracts many travellers and tourists. With a Tim Hortons restaurant, convenience and craft store, and gas bar, the Splatsin Development Corporation has doubled the number of retail employees and payroll. Due to greatly increased sales of artisan crafts in the new space, traditional basket making and beading are flourishing, and new art forms are emerging. Visitors are enjoying this unique building and showcase for Splatsin culture, history, arts and business acumen. As a favourite local gathering place for people from the reserve and from nearby Enderby, it is strengthening connections between the two communities. Read case study

In Nunavik, traditional ways of life are important to identity and wellbeing. Tenants in the  Nunavik pilot duplex houses  expressed great satisfaction with their physical comfort and the capacity of their homes to support cultural practices. Owing to warm and cold porches and the large flexible kitchen and living space, a hunter and his family can store and butcher game, and hold traditional country food feasts on the floor. Another unit, occupied by a mother and her adult daughter, is an ideal environment for them to sew mitts and boots in the bright sunlight of south-facing windows, and to store sealskin pelts on their outdoor balcony. For these pilot homes, architect Alain Fournier, FIRAC, designed reverse entrances – a true innovation which allows optimal positioning of every house for solar gain. As a prototype, this pilot duplex is being monitored for physical and socio-cultural performance, a best practice that will contribute to sustainable northern housing design.  Read case study


These four case studies illustrate that through a collaborative co-design approach, architects were successful in taking the visions, ideas, and preferences of their Indigenous clients, and turning them into designs that resonate with the community and are technically sound. These designs and building projects reflect Indigenous identity and become a base for cultural reclamation and growth.

In this way, architecture has an important role in giving agency back to Indigenous people and promoting their aspirations. 


Case studies:.

Case Study 1: First Nation School Emily C. General Elementary School and IL Thomas Elementary School Six Nations of the Grand River, Ontario Architect:  Brian Porter, MRAIC

Case Study 2: First Nation Cultural Centre Squamish Lil’Wat Cultural Centre Squamish and Lil’Wat First Nations, British Columbia Architect:  Alfred Waugh, MRAIC

Case Study 3: First Nation Administrative and Business Centre Quilakwa Centre Splatsin te Secwepemc First Nation, British Columbia Architect:  Norman Goddard Designer:  Kevin Halchuk

Case Study 4: Inuit Housing Pilot Nunavik Duplex Quaqtaq, Nunavik, Quebec Architect:   Alain Fournier, FIRAC  

Funding for this study was provided by the Department of Indigenous Services Canada.

Information on the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Indigenous Task Force and its membership may be found  here .


What is a case study in architecture?

What is a case study in architecture?

A case study in architecture is an in-depth analysis of a particular architectural design or project. It can be used to examine the success or failure of a project, and to learn lessons for future projects. Case studies can be written by architects, scholars, or students of architecture.

A case study in architecture is a research project that investigates a particular architectural design or phenomenon. It often involves an in-depth analysis of a single building or site, but can also encompass a whole city or region. Case studies can take many different forms, but all share a common goal of providing insights that can be used to improve future design.

What defines a case study?

A case study can be defined as an intensive study about a person, a group of people or a unit, which is aimed to generalize over several units’1 A case study has also been described as an intensive, systematic investigation of a single individual, group, community or some other unit in which the researcher examines in detail the characteristics of that unit.2

A case study research design usually involves an in-depth, longitudinal investigation of a single instance or event:3

What is a case study in architecture?

-A case study might focus on an individual, a group, a community or an organization. -The case might be a real-world instance or a fictionalized account of events. -The case study might examine the past, present or future.

Case studies are often used in social and life sciences research, but they can be employed in any field of inquiry.4 When choosing a case study design, researchers must first decide which type of case study is most appropriate for their research question(s).

Types of case studies

There are several different types of case studies, each with its own strengths and weaknesses.

What is a case study in architecture?

-Exploratory case studies are conducted in order to gain insights into and an understanding of a phenomenon.5 -Desc

A case study is a detailed report of an individual’s condition, usually over a period of time. Case studies are widely used in psychology to provide insight into unusual conditions. Some famous examples of case studies are John Martin Marlow’s case study on Phineas Gage (the man who had a railway spike through his head) and Sigmund Freud’s case studies, Little Hans and The Rat Man.

How do you analyze an architectural case study

There are various measures that can be taken to enhance a particular space, and it is important to analyze the reason behind the form of the building and how it merges with the surrounding environment. Form and function go hand in hand, and the form of the building should be able to convey the function of the building.

Archdaily is a great source for news, articles, case studies, interviews, and research about architecture. It is one of the most visited websites by architecture students and professors, making it a valuable resource for anyone interested in the field.

What is the main purpose of a case study?

What is a case study in architecture?

A case study is an in-depth study of a particular situation or event. It is often used to generate an understanding of a complex issue in its real-life context. Case studies are an established research design that is used extensively in a wide variety of disciplines, particularly in the social sciences.

A case study is an appropriate research design when you want to gain concrete, contextual, in-depth knowledge about a specific real-world subject. It allows you to explore the key characteristics, meanings, and implications of the case. Case studies are often a good choice in a thesis or dissertation.

What are the 4 most important parts of case study?

A case study is an effective way to show how your product or service has helped a real customer. But, to be truly effective, it should go beyond the basics. Here are four key elements to make your case study more useful and persuasive:

1. Ditch the Norm: You’ve seen that tired, old case study template a million times. Break out of the mold and use a more creative and interesting format.

What is a case study in architecture?

2. Show the Cost of Inertia: A more useful approach is to spell out how much not solving their problem could eventually cost. This will make your case study more persuasive.

3. Prove Your Value: Create a more effective format that really demonstrates how your product or service has helped a customer.

4. Make It Interesting: Use stories, humor, and other elements to make your case study more enjoyable to read.

The typical structure of a business case study includes a before and after snapshot of the customer’s business, complete with quotes, statistics, and images. These case studies are often created by the marketing team and given to the sales team in order to help them close more business deals.

What should a case study include

What is a case study in architecture?

A case study is a detailed description of an individual, organisation or event. In this report, you will be required to select a topic area and write a case study on it. The purpose of the case study is to provide a detailed account of the key issue(s) and finding(s) in the chosen topic area. When writing up your case study, it is important to introduce the topic area and briefly outline the purpose of the case study. The key issue(s) and finding(s) should be summarised without providing too much detail. The theory used in the case study should also be identified. Finally, recommendations should be made based on the findings of the case study.

A case study is a great way to show off your product or service in action. But, to really make it effective, there are a few key steps you need to follow.

1. Introduce the customer.

Set the stage for your case study by introducing the customer. Who are they? What problem were they facing that led them to you?

2. State the problem.

Every product or service is a solution to a problem. So, before you can show off how your product solved the problem, you need to make sure you adequately state the problem itself.

3. Introduce your product.

This is where you begin solving the problem. How did your product or service come into the picture?

4. Show results.

The big reveal. This is where you get to show off how your product or service made a difference. What were the results of using your product or service?

5. Prove it.

What are the four C’s of architectural analysis?

The goal of Enterprise Architecture is to create one unified IT Environment across the firm or all business units. The 4 Cs of Enterprise Architecture are Connection, Collaboration, Communication, and Customers. Simply put, the goal of Enterprise Architecture is to create an integrated IT framework that can be used by all business units within the company. This will allow for better communication and collaboration among employees, as well as improve customer service.

When embarking on a new design project, it is always beneficial to first conduct a case study and literature review of similar projects. This will help to understand what has been done before and what is currently being done in the field. It will also help to identify any gaps in the current knowledge base, which can then be addressed in the new project.

What are the four types of case studies

There are different types of case studies, which can be classified according to their purpose.

Descriptive case studies are meant to describe a phenomenon, typically using rich and detailed data. Explanatory case studies seek to explain why something happened, often using causal analysis. Exploratory case reports are used to explore a new issue or phenomenon, and are often preliminary to more extensive research. Intrinsic case studies focus on a particular case in order to understand its unique aspects. Instrumental case studies are conducted in order to help solve a practical problem. Collective case reports are used to study a group of cases in order to identify common patterns or trends.

There are many famous case studies in psychology that have helped to shape our understanding of the human mind and behavior. One of the most famous is the case of Phineas Gage, a man who survived an accident in which a metal rod was driven through his brain. This case provided insight into the relationship between the brain and behavior. Another famous case is that of Anna O., a patient of Freud’s who was one of the first to be diagnosed with hysteria. Her case helped to establish the link between psychological and physical symptoms. Other famous case studies include those of Cleckley’s psychopaths, Genie (the feral child), and the John/Joan case. These cases have all helped to shed light on different aspects of human psychology and have provided valuable insight into the human condition.

Which study is best for architecture?

There are a few really good architecture courses available for Indian students after 12th. I would suggest checking out the BA in Architecture (Hons) or the BSc in Architectural Design Technology (Hons) at a minimum. Both of these programs will give you a great foundation in all things related to architecture and design. If you’re looking for something a little more specialized, you could also consider the Bachelor of Architectural Studies or the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture programs. Both of these programs are highly respected and will give you a great education in their respective fields.

An intrinsic case study is conducted to learn about a unique phenomenon. The researcher must define the uniqueness of the phenomenon, which distinguishes it from all others.

An instrumental case study is undertaken to understand how a phenomenon works, in order to be able to manipulate or improve it.

A collective case study is conducted when the phenomenon under study is too large or too complex to be studied in detail. The researcher must identify the relevant elements of the phenomenon and focus on these.

What are 3 advantages of case studies

A case study is a research methodology that allows for an in-depth, detailed examination of a single unit, such as an individual, a group, or an organization. Case studies are advantageous because they allow researchers to see the relationships between phenomena, context, and people. Additionally, case studies are flexible, allowing for data to be collected through various means, such as interviews, observations, and documents. This flexibility also allows case studies to be used at various points in a research project, including pilot research.

Meredith’s (1998) discussion of the advantages of case studies is very clear and helpful. The three main advantages she highlights are relevance, understanding, and exploratory depth. These are all important qualities for a good case study.

Final Words

A case study in architecture is a detailed investigation of a specific project or architectural design, with the goal of understanding how the design was developed and how it works.

A case study in architecture is a in-depth analysis of a specific project or architectural design. It usually looks at the reasons behind the design, the challenges faced during its construction, and the overall impact it had on the community. A well-done case study can provide valuable insight for future architects and designers.

case studies architecture design

Jeffery Parker

Jeffery Parker is passionate about architecture and construction. He is a dedicated professional who believes that good design should be both functional and aesthetically pleasing. He has worked on a variety of projects, from residential homes to large commercial buildings. Jeffery has a deep understanding of the building process and the importance of using quality materials.

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These timber case studies demonstrate how the material can be used for inside and out

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Tenacious Timber

case studies architecture design

The latest timber products demonstrate how advanced applications of this age-old material have become in recent years. Reengineered and reimagined, sustainably sourced wood can be harnessed in everything from interior finishes to skyscraper structures. The following selection of durable flooring, sophisticated cladding, and sturdy framing solutions highlights the dynamism of North America’s expanding timber industry. Innovative fasteners and cutting-edge software specifically for timber construction help the AEC design community find new uses for this material. The following timber case studies show how these materials and tools can be masterfully implemented.

Karsh Alumni and Visitors Center

Architect: Centerbrook Architects Location: Durham, North Carolina

Landscape architect: Stephen Stimson Associates Landscape Architects Structural engineer: LHC Structural Engineers MEP/FP engineer: Dewberry Civil engineer: HDR Contractor: LeChase Construction Services Lighting design: Cline Bettridge Bernstein Lighting Design

The Karsh Alumni and Visitors Center welcomes people to the Duke University campus with a series of warmly lit courts and pavilions that combine new construction techniques with historical motifs. The 48,000-square-foot complex includes various social spaces that comfortably host both large and small groups, including a two-story alumni association office, a meeting pavilion, and the newly renovated Forlines House, originally designed by Horace Trumbauer, the architect of much of Duke’s campus.

Adjacent to the neo-Gothic West Campus, the visitors center reflects Duke’s identity as a “university in the forest.” Exposed wood elements featured across the buildings and a main courtyard complement the locally quarried Duke stone and bird-friendly glass paneling that make up the central pavilion. – Keren Dillard

EF Education First

Interior of a timber case study office wrapping two floors

Designer: Gensler Location: Denver

Acoustical consultant: K2 Audio Client and collaborator: EF Architecture & Design Studio General contractor: Rand Construction MEP engineer: Salas O’Brien Structural engineer: KL&A CLT/Timber supplier: Nordic Structures

EF Education First, an international school that specializes in experiential learning, looked to Gensler to create a sustainable office in Denver that would embody the company’s ethos and the spirit of Colorado. The resulting CLT structure echoes the look and feel of the neighboring Rocky Mountains, connecting visitors to the great outdoors through natural colors, textures, and materials.

High ceilings, natural light, and exposed timber beams create airy interiors. The biophilic color palette of the spaces—including soft tones and warm woods—mimics the surrounding landscape. A minimal reception desk, molded out of rammed earth from local soil, nods to Colorado’s red rock canyons, and a stairway with rows of floor-to-ceiling pine boards conjures the feeling of hiking through a forest. Adjacent lounges and workspaces are flanked by movable timber walls that allow team members to alter spaces depending on their needs. – Ali Oriaku

Hotel Magdalena

Vertical photo of a hotel with timber flooring and walkways

Architect: Lake | Flato Architects Location: Austin, Texas

Client and interior designer: Bunkhouse Group, Tenaya Hills Timber superstructure structural engineer: StructureCraft Base building steel and concrete structural engineer: Architectural Engineers Collaborative MEP engineer: Integral Group Landscape architect: Ten Eyck Landscape Architects General contractor: MYCON General Contractors Dowel-laminated timber panels: StructureCraft Windows and doors: Sierra Pacific Aluminum Clad Wood Windows/Doors, La Cantina Aluminum Doors, EFCO 5600 Slimline Aluminum Storefront

Vertical photo of a hotel with timber flooring and walkways

Hotel Magdalena is the first mass timber boutique hotel in North America. This 100,000-square-foot oasis honors the former site of the Austin Terrace Motel in Austin, Texas. Hotel Magdalena welcomes its visitors with a two-way gridded porte-cochère and hosts a series of vibrant common exterior spaces, outdoor walkways, shaded porches, and lushly planted terraces that recall lake houses and natural artesian springs found in the Texas Hill Country. The exposed wood in every space provides a warm and textured ambiance that ensures the timber structural components are an integral part of the hotel experience. This is also meant to spur daily conversations about sustainable construction and building practices. – Keren Dillard

NW 28th Brewery and Office Space

Interior of a brewery with timber interior

Firm: ZGF Location: Portland, Oregon

Developer: OSB2LAN MGM Fire protection engineer: Wyatt Fire Protection General contractor: Centrex Construction Structural engineer: KPFF Consulting Engineers Timber installer: Carpentry Plus Timber suppliers: DR Johnson Lumber, Nakamoto Forestry

A former warehouse in Northwest Portland, Oregon, has been transformed into the home of Great Notion Brewing, whose state-of-the-art taproom, coffee shop, and office space enliven the industrial neighborhood. Designed by ZGF, the building uses modern timber technology and locally harvested materials to showcase the region’s manufacturing roots.

The repurposed taproom, constructed of cross-laminated timber (CLT) and clad in naturally weathering Cor-ten steel panels, is connected to a spacious lobby made of yakisugi Japanese burnt timber. The raw CLT panels contrast with the black charred wood entry to create a bright, warm, and inviting space where patrons can drink Great Notion’s beers and marvel at the massive metal fermentation tanks that sit behind a nearby glass wall. – Ali Oriaku

A rectilinear cabin with cantilevering outer shell

Architect: Perkins&Will Location: Soo Valley, British Columbia

Client: Delta Land Development Electrical engineer: Rainbow Electric Energy consultants: Gencell, VREC Fire protection engineer: Viking Fire Protection General contractor: Durfeld Builders Glazing: Blackcomb Glass HVAC: Custom Air Structural engineer: StructureCraft Timber supplier: Structurelam Welder: OpenWide Welding Windows: Optiwin

Overlooking the Soo Valley in British Columbia’s Coast Mountains, SoLo, designed by Perkins&Will, is a Passive House–certified home made almost entirely of Douglas fir. Perkins&Will transformed the remote site into a luxury off-grid retreat that produces more energy than it consumes, with combustion and fossil fuels removed from its daily operations.

The project’s strategically limited material palette reduces the home’s embodied carbon footprint. The modular, prefabricated timber panels were trucked to the site and lifted into place by crane, reducing waste and construction time. Because of the valley’s harsh climate, the enclosure is composed of two layers of timber, with a heavy outer frame serving as a weather shield, and an insulated inner layer designed to contain heat. A glass curtain wall found at the rear of the home lets guests take in a view of the valley. – Ali Oriaku

Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design

Interior of an office floor with concrete slab and wood beams

Design architect: The Miller Hull Partnership Collaborating architect and prime architect: Lord Aeck Sargent Location: Atlanta

Timber installer/framer: Universal Timber Structures Timber supplier: Unadilla Laminated Products Salvaged lumber finishes supplier: Raydeo Enterprises General contractor: Skanska Landscape architect: Andropogon Design engineer: PAE Electrical engineer: Newcomb & Boyd Civil engineer: Long Engineering Structural engineer: Uzun + Case Graywater systems water consultant: Biohabitats

The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design is the first mass timber building on the Georgia Institute of Technology’s campus, and its 46,848 square feet of programmed space makes it the largest higher education building to achieve Living Building certification. It uses FSC-certified, responsibly harvested timber for its decking, benches, tables, and counters. According to the architects, that has saved 33 percent more carbon from being released than if the wood had come from a non–sustainably sourced supplier. The architects also said that the wood in the project has sequestered more than 100,00 kilograms of carbon dioxide. The Kendeda Building embodies a bold, values-driven vision that promotes sustainable construction and design methods. – Keren Dillard

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HKS and Perkins&Will are revolutionizing pediatric care with Dallas’s revamped Children’s Health

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Gensler and HOK unveil new Chicago White Sox stadium in the South Loop and repurposed Guaranteed Rate Field in Bridgeport

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For Jackson Hole Airport’s latest renovation CLB Architects combines home and travel hub

Architecture Student Chronicles

How to conduct a Case Study?

When students begin studying  Architecture at a University, the first thing that they are supposed to become excellent at, is doing a documentation or a case study . It could be a case study of a small village, town, a villa, a bus-stop, or a high-rise commercial or residential building. A case study is an in-depth investigation of a single individual, group, incident, or community. Other ways include experiments, surveys , or analysis of archival information

What is the purpose of conducting a Case Study?

As the term Case Study suggests, it is the study of a particular case that is similar to your topic of design project. Doing a case study will help you understand the various aspects that you have to consider while designing.

Literature Case study

Before you start with your live case studies, first of all do a complete literature case study. Literature case study consists of reading everything you can find on the subject. You can refer books in a library, use Google to look up research papers, check out Standard Code books and statutory laws or from technical journals.

A literature case study would give you a vague idea about your topic. There will be various questions arising in your mind after you are done with your literature case study. To find the answers to those questions, you will have to go for minimum two live case studies….

Always possibly go for more than two different case studies, because a comparative case study of two or more different cases is very important and helpful.

  • While you are doing your first case study, say a Villa, go for a smaller Villa first so that you can figure out the basic minimum requirements.
  • In your second case study, go for an extremely lavish Villa so that you are aware of the maximum requirements you could give.

(Being able to provide maximum or minimum requirements in your design is very important)

If there are some requirements that you haven’t come across while doing your case studies but you went through it while you were doing a literature case study, then try implementing those requirements  in your design.

Eleven most important things to analyze in any Case Study

  • Environment and micro-climate Analyzing the surrounding environment and the micro-climate of that place will help understand the reason of the orientation of the structure, the kind of roof chosen and the materials used in its construction.
  • User behavior and requirements Studying the functioning of a particular place, say a Hospital, is very important; without which you will not be able to figure out the requirements and the area that should be allotted for each of the requirements.Talking to people working at that place (Hospital), will help you figure out if the requirements that are provided are adequate and he area that is allotted is sufficient for its efficient working.
  • Utility and space enhancement Study of Utilitarian facilities of a particular case is also important. Various measures taken to enhance a particular space should be analyzed.
  • Form and Function Analyzing the reason behind the form of that particular building…and how it merges with the surrounding environment. Form and Function go hand in hand. The form of the building should be able to convey the function of the building. A lot of Architects say “Form follows Function”.As an example, an institutional building should not end up looking like a museum or a disco.Some other Architects might disagree with that philosophy. They’d say that the function of a structure keeps changing but changing the form of the building everytime its function changes is not possible. They say, Adopt a “Universal Design Scheme”.
  • Horizontal and vertical circulation Horizontal circulation consists of elements such as the corridors and lobbies. Vertical circulation includes elevators, staircases, ramps etc. The efficiency of the placement of these services should be analyzed.
  • Site Planning and Landscape detailing Refer to the Article on the blog “ A Guide to Site Planning “, which deals with different aspects considered in site planning in greater detail.
  • Structural details such as Column and Beam Design, Steel  and Composite structures Understanding and analyzing the structural details is also important. For example, large span structures such as Auditoriums use trusses or heavy I-section steel beams and sometimes shell-roofing that involve construction of Ring beams whereas in small span structures, RCC construction is used.
  • Building Services such as Fire Alarm system, HVAC, Water supply systems The working of Fire Alarm system, HVAC and Water supply systems should be examined and their space requirements are to be analyzed.
  • Design detailing considering the Barrier-free environment Implementation of the Barrier-free architecture for comfortable access to disabled people. Most public buildings have mandatory accessibility systems for the disabled. Check out Guidelines to the Disability Standards for Access to Premises 200X. (Australian law)
  • Socio-economic profile of user group It might also be important to find out the socio-economic profile of the people using the services so as to determine their requirements and available resources.
  • Parking details and standards Measure the allotted parking area on site, say for ten cars, then calculate the average area for each car and compare it with the areas specified in TSS (Time Savers Standards).

Conducting a case study is hard work. Sometimes, it is so small, it could be done in days, but on other occasions, it takes weeks to document and compile all the data. It involves going on-site, meeting and taking to people, lots of traveling, plenty of photography, and some fun. It is the most important of assignments you might get as an architectural students.

This is where you learn from reality, actual stuff, as opposed to only theoretical knowledge. When I was learning law I took every chance I could get to learn from people actually doing the work I was aiming for, yes I did “donate” many hours to Winters & Yonker, P.A. , but in the end is was worth every minute. Looking at places first hand  and documenting information would give you many insights and ideas and let you peek into the minds of professional architects and designers who have used years of experience and improvisation to design and create incredible structures.

Case studies of some of the famous Structures mentioned below:

 SPA – Delhi

VNIT – Nagpur

Thiagaraj Convention Center

TKM College of Engineering (Chennai)

42 thoughts on “How to conduct a Case Study?”

We want to design an oldage home how u can help

You live in Delhi and I am in Hyderabad, so I might not be of much help, unless you want my father (Architect Javed – ) to design it for you.

If you want more info on Old age homes, see

The hardest part is looking for related literature especially when your research topic is new. It may be that difficult but it is surely unique when done and published.

I’m an attorney and when studying law we spent the bulk of the time reading what is called caselaw which is existing decisions that forms our law. We are to find cases that support our clients’ fact scenario so that the decision is our clients’ favour.

The parallel with architecture is uncanny as architects use existing structures and environments to form the basis for a new project. As the saying goes, “no need to reinvent the wheel” but it’s good to evolve from existing structures. Likewise, the law evolves.

Case Study is itself a very necessary work to be done before appearing to anything to be done. It’s just a sample report before appearing for any cases to get it solved properly.

A good blog to read on and to be shared amongst all…..

For me, Case Study is really important on anything you are planning in order to have a well planned and a successful outcome. Doing a Case Study on anything gives you an idea for the pro’s and con’s of that. I’m glad there’s such an article like this!

Case studies are a great way to plan lots of things, not just architectural projects. It’s almost like doing the work without actually doing the work, so you can identify sticking points, potential problems and lots more.

thank you that really helped….!! im a first year b.arch student….

Hello Nanda, We are glad our site has been of help to you. Do keep visiting. We wish you all the best for your future!

will do 🙂 thanku 🙂

it’s really helpful!! thx a lot!

i am beginning my thesis in B. arch. n so m requiring a hypothetical site of about 3 acres here in india with the climate warm and humid. topic is performing arts centre in kerala. how do i find and fix a hypothetical site?

Hello Resbi, The best way to find an appropriate site for your project could be done by using Google Earth.

i would like to know the steps and what case studies to do about for a multispeciality hospital

As im in 2nd year of b.arch

I have not much studed about much detailed

Like casestudy,site analysis’

It will help me

Thanks u again

U can see our 1st year architecture 1st month exibition video on youtube

hi !!!I’m a 1st year b.arch and v hav 2 do a case study on an architect’s firm . cud u tell me wat all i shud include in my case study???v hav to do a case study on a bungalow also…

Hello Joan,

The following links will be of help to you.

Guide for conducting a casestudy for a villa

Also check out: Cafeteria Design

i am a first year b.arch student..i have got a case study to do..can u please guide me by teling how many sheets should i present..please guide soon as posible..ur site helpd me to knw how to do case study but i also want to know how many sheets should it include..please guide me..

tanx for this good work.pls do continue.

Number of sheets doesn’t matter until you pin down your inferences correctly …… for a first year student i guess a max of 1 or 2 A1 sheets or a ppt of less than 20 slides should be enough in terms of quantity …. make sure you put the point across 🙂 🙂

This was really helpful. Thank you very much. Just about to go for a case study on 2 schools.

What r all things I should see for bedroom attached bathroom casestudy.

Thank you for some other wonderful article. The place else could anyone get that type of information in such an ideal manner of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I am on the search for such information.

this really helped alot Thankyou

love your articles ,wld love to b part of this, was just surfing the net and found this…….good work to u guys

Hey, this really helped I’m goin for a case study on resorts tmrw Would appreciate any pointers to observe there thanq ????

hello,i am second year b.arch student,i have to do case study on luxury primary school . cud you please tell me what all should i include in my case study ???and also case study for the kids school…………

For a project like that, you should visit a minimum of two schools. One would be a high profile school and the other one could be a private low budget school or a government school. After you casestudies you will be able to draw comparisons between the two and that should help you come up with your list of requirements. let me know if you have any other questions.

I am doing by 3rd year b arch n this time our project is based on housing for artist Wht all shld I keep in mind while designing for artist n der family member who are non artist

Hello Monisha, I recommend you to read this article:

Nice bolg. Thank you. I am barch student. I would like to know how to do comparison study of any two building. Now I have done with case study of a gallery (ngma Bangalore). I have done sub case study as well as literature study. But I want to know how exactly should I do comparitive study. More than write up comparison, How well can I present it

I am doing thesis on Orphan children and oldage home combining both generations together so as to create marvelous socially conceptual design. Help me with bestest case study from which I can learn alot to create spaces for both.

I am final year in srm rampuram school od architecture and doing thesis on township. So could anyone help with sum reference for case study and literature study as soon as possible

Hello Revathy,

When you say township… what kind of township. Give us some description of your thesis project so that we could give suggestions as to how you could proceed.

thanks a lot it is great information has answered some of my questions

hello.i have taken up the topic EMBASSY(any country) Design for my final year thesis. i was wondering if you could help me out with the plans for casestudies,since i hear it will be quite a problem with all the security.

It is not an excellent topic for design. You should have chosen something that would let you explore your ideas. Embassy building would look like a commercial block…nothing interesting… this is not something people havent seen. I do not think you will get permission for a livecasestudy of any embassy. No one would let you in. So if you still have time, i would suggest you choose a more design oriented topic.

hey i am doing thesis on low cost building materials and technology.i wanna do commercial project on this topic. can you suggest me project name or case study on this topic.

I have taken service apartment complex for tourist as my final year thesis. Help me to find the best case study for thesis.

Hello. Im studying b.arch 4th year. Im supposed to do a thesis case study, on Automobile industry i.e a car manufacturing plant. Can you please help me regarding this, as what all i should include and what steps i need to follow to complete my case study. Please reply me asap. Thank you.

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When searching for a precedent or a case study, you will encounter three main types of books: monographs , topical collections , and critical review . Let's go through each type.


A monograph is a book focused on a single designer or project. Often, firms will produce monographs to highlight their own body of work, theory of design, or a particular project. Monographs are useful for learning about a designer’s thoughts and methods and learning more about the process behind projects. However, because monographs are often produced by the designers themselves, they usually will not include substantial critiques of the project or design process.

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A thematic or topical collection is a book that presents a number of projects on a particular topic or theme. These books can be useful to help you find precedents and case studies that are relevant to your interests. These books might not provide a lot of information about each project, so you may need to use them as a jumping-off point for further research.

case studies architecture design

A critical review provides a critical assessment of a designer’s work or design movement by a scholar.  It can be used to gain a deeper understanding of the designer’s process, the context in which they practiced, and the impact of their work.

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One of the best places to start when searching for case studies is the Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals . This robust index offers a comprehensive listing of journal articles published worldwide on architecture and design, archeology, city planning, interior design, landscape architecture, and historic preservation. Coverage is from the 1930s (with selective coverage dating back to the 1740s) to the present. The Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals is updated weekly. The Avery Index has many unique features: to learn how to effectively use these features we have created an Introduction the Avery Index Guide . By searching the Avery Index you will be able to find print versions of articles in the library and request unavailable articles through Interlibrary Loan (ILL) .

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  • Arch Daily Provides architects with research tools and up-to-date examples of projects and architectural products. Search their Project page for case study examples.
  • Landscape Performance Series The Landscape Performance Series is the online set of resources to help designers, agencies, and advocates evaluate performance, show value and make the case for sustainable landscape solutions. Landscape Performance Series provides information on Case Study Briefs.
  • Rudy Bruner Award winners These award winners reflect the diversity of urban excellence. Each round of medalists yields fresh ideas and perspectives that challenge assumptions and increase understanding of how to make great urban places. Explore the past winners case studies by following the link above.
  • Landscape Architecture Foundation The Landscape Architecture Foundation has been identifying priorities and strengthening the discipline to meet weighty environmental, social, and economic challenges. They believe in the power of design to create a healthier, more equitable, and sustainable world. Follow this link to a PDF of their A Case Study Method for Landscape Architecture.
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Discover the Power of Design Thinking

case studies architecture design

“Good design changes lives.” That’s a motto repeated often in the College of Design — and it’s certainly true for the students who come to learn in its classrooms and studios.

Students in the college can pick from one of five undergraduate pathways : architecture, design studies, graphic and experience design, industrial design, or media arts, design and technology. Each program prepares students for rewarding careers that enable them to bring the benefits of good design to the world, and most of these pathways offer graduate degrees.

But no matter which path you choose, the College of Design will immerse you in a community of creative thinkers who aren’t afraid to advance bold ideas, and help you connect your interests with the power of design thinking to shape the world for the better.

Find Your Focus in Design

From an early age, Cora Jones, a sophomore majoring in media arts, design and technology, knew she didn’t want to hold herself back from exploring the full possibilities of design. Traditional forms of art like drawing and painting grabbed her interests as a child, and those interests soon grew to include other artforms and experiences, like theater and digital art. It was this open-minded embrace of the creative process that drew her to the College of Design.

“I never saw myself doing anything outside of creating and designing and making things,” said Jones. “But when it came time to pick a college, I didn’t want to limit myself to just one form or medium. I wanted to be somewhere where I could diversify my skills, instead of just honing in on one specific area.”

College of Design student Cora Jones poses in front of a large geometric sculpture on campus.

Like Jones, Anna Bode, a senior majoring in design studies, grew up enjoying the creative process. Although she began her undergraduate studies majoring in marine biology at UNC-Wilmington, a “moment of realization” in her first semester convinced Bode that her true calling lay in design. She then started to look for a school that could match her motivations.

“The College of Design appealed to me because of the interdisciplinary aspect of it,” said Bode. “I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to study, but I knew I wanted it to be related to design. Knowing that the college offered so many options, I felt I had the flexibility to assess the situation and choose where I wanted to focus once I got here.”

Design studies major Anna Bode smiles for the camera, as colored light shines through panels of a translucent material behind her.

Bode and Jones found themselves in the right place, because the College of Design’s First Year Experience gives all incoming students a broad exposure to the field of design . The introductory, interdisciplinary program combines hands-on studio courses with courses focused on the principles and processes behind design thinking — an iterative, solution-driven and people-centered model of thinking that can be applied across many fields to address complex challenges.

“One of the best things about the First Year Experience is getting all the different perspectives from people and the variety of experiences they were bringing into it,” said Bode. “It provides a great foundation for everyone coming in.”

“You’re studying next to future industrial designers, architects and graphic designers,” said Jones. “It’s a great way to get you thinking, ‘Sure, I may someday want to make furniture or be an architect or an animator — but before all that, let’s take a step back and figure out how to be a designer, period.’”

case studies architecture design

For first-year students, the fall semester features lecture and studio courses that intermix students who will go on to pursue different majors in the college. By the spring semester, students pick a focus and transition to discipline-based courses that impart the fundamental skills they’ll need for their majors.

Jones’ love for combining multiple artforms into her creative activities led her toward the media arts, design and technology major — often shortened to MADTech — which produces visual storytellers who are comfortable working across creative mediums. Bode’s interests in history and social issues drew her to design studies, a program that combines research, writing and exhibition to investigate how design influences — and is influenced by — human behaviors and values.

Grow Toward Your Interests

Once sophomore year rolls around, courses become geared even more toward specific design disciplines . Most of the pathways students can follow, however, continue to emphasize interdisciplinary learning. Jones, as a member of the MADTech program’s first cohort, appreciates that students in her major are encouraged to innovate and push beyond disciplinary boundaries as they grow with the program.

“What I particularly love about the MADTech program is the emphasis on experimentation and the fact that we’re not always building something to be functional in a way that, say, an architect designs a building,” said Jones. “Often, we’re working in a digital space and using images to tell stories that resonate with people.”

The job title I might have one day — maybe it doesn’t even exist today.

In one memorable assignment, a Halloween-themed multimedia project called “Motion and the Macabre,” Jones — not typically inclined to weave horror elements into her storytelling — went outside her comfort zone to create a stop-motion video that did just that. The video featured a dancer who, just as she’s starting her routine, removes her gloves to reveal a spooky surprise: the muscles of her hand hiding underneath.

“It was a project that involved a ton of mediums and pushed me to try something different, and I had so much fun with it,” said Jones. “I went to the Makerspace for the first time, which is free to use, and I printed everything I needed to get it done.”

A closeup of a diorama created by MADTech major Cora Jones, which features two Medieval knights crossing swords in a forested landscape.

Inspired by the try-anything philosophy of her major, Jones embraces a variety of design-related experiences at NC State. She works as a design editor for the campus arts and literary magazine Windhover , and she even modeled for the college’s annual Art2Wear show, displaying articles of wearable paper that she created with other students as part of their First Year Experience.

Jones hasn’t decided which MADTech concentration she’ll pursue as a junior — soft construction and fibers, game design and interactive media or animation — and graduation is a few years off, but she feels confident that she’s acquiring the versatile design toolkit to excel wherever her path takes her.

“I feel myself growing toward a role as a creative director of some sort, and definitely working closely with other creative people,” said Jones. “But with how fast things are changing in the design industry, the job title I might have one day — maybe it doesn’t even exist today.”

I know that I want to design historical learning spaces that are accessible to everyone.

Bode, as a senior, is closer to defining her focus in design. Her early courses in design studies opened her mind to the many ways design intersects with human activities, and motivated her to better understand those intersections.

In one project, Bode and her classmates researched accessibility handbooks from real-world companies, then outlined key elements for designers to consider — like the use of ramps and braille signage — in designing environments that are accessible for all users.

“Ever since that project, I’m constantly walking around noticing designs that have those accessibility features built into them,” said Bode. “And I also notice designs that might be lacking them, where someone could come in and make that experience better for people.”

case studies architecture design

As a history minor, Bode tailored her studies to incorporate her historical interests and explore the role of design in shaping societal values. In her senior capstone project, she’s analyzing the shift to modern art that took place from the mid-19th to the mid-20th centuries as she seeks to explain how that shift influenced cultural movements and countermovements.

“At first, I thought my capstone had to fit rigidly into the confines of design,” said Bode. “I didn’t feel like I could blend design and history in the same project. But my professors gave me the opportunity, confidence and assurance to do it.”

College of Design students stand with others, waving rainbow flags as they participate in a Pride event on campus.

Bode pictures herself designing exhibits — possibly in a museum setting — to help people better understand how history has molded human experiences. She plans to apply to NC State’s Master of Arts in Public History program, and she’s confident that the knowledge she’s gained in the College of Design will help her achieve her goals.

“I’ve learned that a lot of bad design has come from designers only thinking about themselves as the user of a product or experience, which can limit that experience for many users,” said Bode. “I know that I want to design historical learning spaces that are accessible for everyone.”

Level Up Through Graduate Studies

The College of Design puts its graduates in positions to succeed, wherever they choose to go; it also provides plenty of opportunities for them to grow within the college, as graduate students .

Tatiana Veloso came to NC State from her home country of Brazil in 2022 to study in the Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) program, drawn by the reputation of its world-class faculty and the opportunity to learn from them. As an undergraduate, she merged her interests in engineering and design to find her focus in architecture and urbanism. For her graduate studies at NC State, she shifted slightly, to landscape architecture, where she feels she’ll have the greatest hand in improving the spaces that shape people’s daily lives.

“What interests me is public space, designing public spaces and thinking about how to advance social equity and environmental justice in the public realm,” said Veloso.

Graduate student Tatiana Veloso smiles for the camera in a studio space on campus, while her laptop display images of a design project.

Now in her final semester, Veloso is preparing for her comprehensive MLA oral exam, her last major milestone before she graduates this spring.

For the exam, students choose topics — their “design imperatives” — that reflect what they believe is their greatest purpose as a designer. Veloso is focusing on the unique challenges confronting community planners in Rio de Janeiro, on the coast of her native Brazil, where 1.5 million people live in impoverished conditions in informal settlements called favelas. In these neighborhoods, the risks from natural hazards, like flooding, have only worsened with a warming climate and with increased development in the surrounding city.

“My topic is looking at how to co-create climate resilience with residents of these settlements in a way that’s equitable and that incorporates community engagement,” said Veloso. “It’s all about preparing these environments for climate change and risk in general, and improving the well-being of these communities.”

Everybody has a different process to design, and the best part is that we all get to learn from each other.

In her studio courses, Veloso is gaining hands-on experience navigating the same kinds of land use problems her design imperative is aimed at solving. She’s also strengthening her ability to collaborate with stakeholders and with other designers.

This semester, Veloso and her classmates are helping to analyze the climate-related vulnerabilities facing a small urban community in southeast North Carolina, as they work with that community to implement resilient landscape solutions, such as cultivating “living shorelines” of vegetation along a riverfront to manage flooding.

“We were just in the Wilmington area to learn more about the community, Belville, that we’re designing solutions for,” said Veloso. “We ate dinner together and then walked around the area to get to know the waterfront and the town center. Those site visits, where I get to know North Carolina and my classmates better at the same time, are among my favorite experiences in the program.”

There are countless ways to amplify your College of Design experience through out-of-class activities, community connections and memory-making moments.

Cora Jones has spent her freshman and sophomore years living in the Arts Village, fully immersing herself in the Wolfpack’s wider art and design community:

“Being around so many creative people all the time, it really feeds my soul.”

Anna Bode took her interests in history and design overseas last spring, studying abroad in Florence, Italy:

“It’s one thing to learn about art and design, to read about it or see it on a screen. But being able to experience it firsthand — in the literal birthplace of the Renaissance — it gives you a whole new understanding and appreciation.”

Tatiana Veloso ’s involvement in the Student American Society of Landscape Architects (SASLA) has given her opportunities to grow as a leader in design:

“SASLA organizes a lunch with visiting lecturers to the college, so students can ask them questions and engage with them in a different format. We also have a professional development team that organizes networking events and provides guidance on professional development.”

Veloso is not yet sure where she’ll be headed after graduation, but she feels her experiences in the College of Design are preparing her to implement professional solutions in real-world communities, and contribute to more equitable and sustainable designs. When Veloso speaks of her experiences in the MLA program, she could easily be speaking for the college as a whole.

“The faculty are doing amazing research on the cutting edge of different areas of design, and many students are involved in that research as well,” said Veloso. “As a cohort, we exchange ideas and help each other work through problems. Everybody has a different process to design, and the best part is that we all get to learn from each other.”

This post was originally published in NC State News.

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Undergraduate Admissions

Start your creative journey

This is our community: a society of artists and makers and dreamers. A place for students to learn, grow, and thrive, and a playground for discovery and innovative exploration. Welcome. We'd love for you to join us. 

We offer the following undergraduate degrees:

Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) : A five-year, NAAB-accredited undergraduate professional architecture degree.

Bachelor of Arts in Architecture (B.A.) : A four-year, pre-professional undergraduate architecture degree.

Our admission process: an overview

A joint admission committee consisting of both the Office of Admission and the School of Architecture evaluates the qualifications of architecture applicants. The undergraduate application to the School of Architecture is a two-part process:

Apply to the university through the Office of Undergraduate Admission using the Common Application. The university's admission office receives and evaluates all materials submitted as part of the Common Application to Carnegie Mellon University and the School of Architecture. University admission requirements can be found on the Office of Admission website .

Continue your application to the School of Architecture by submitting the Architecture Portfolio using SlideRoom .

The School of Architecture admission committee will review your portfolio submission along with the application materials already received and evaluated by the Office of Admission committee.

How to Apply

Before beginning your application, please be sure to visit the Office of Admission website to review the requirements requirements for undergraduate admission to the School of Architecture. The following steps are required for all B.Arch, B.A.,  and  BXA applicants:

Start by beginning the Common Application. Identify Carnegie Mellon University as one of "My Colleges." Once you indicate that you are applying to CMU, you will automatically be directed to additional CMU-specific questions. This is also where you will indicate the School of Architecture as the undergraduate program to which you are applying by selecting: a) College - "College of Fine Arts" and b) Department/School - "School of Architecture."

Log into the School of Architecture SlideRoom portal to work on your portfolio submission. The Architecture Portfolio consists of the completion of two forms and the submission of ten different creative works submitted to the architecture portfolio portal of SlideRoom .

Register to participate in an online formal review of your portfolio submission to SlideRoom. Online formal reviews are not required of Architecture applicants, but they are strongly recommended.

You may track your Carnegie Mellon Application status online through the Office of Undergraduate Admission's Where Am I In the Process website or by contacting their office . 

Completing the Architecture Portfolio

As a School of Architecture applicant, you must submit the Architecture Portfolio to be considered for admission. The Architecture Portfolio requires you to complete two forms and upload ten different creative works to your account in the architecture undergraduate admission portal of SlideRoom. Regular Decision and Transfer applicants must submit their portfolios to SlideRoom by January 9 ( November 1 for Early Decision I ). Only portfolios submitted to SlideRoom will be reviewed; physical portfolios will not be accepted. 

Preparing Your Architecture Portfolio

In your portfolio, we seek evidence of your curiosity, critical thinking, innovation, problem solving, spatial reasoning/visual thinking, ability to synthesize, and desire to make and build things. The quality of the portfolio’s overall composition is as important as the quality of any individual piece. You should carefully curate and arrange your portfolio to tell a compelling story about yourself, your abilities and passions, and your commitment and motivation to study architecture.

How can you best present your abilities, interests, and passions through your creative work?

Select projects that demonstrate a range of media, 2- and 3-D relationships, and a variety of subject matter while still emphasizing your strongest work.

Collaborative work that you have created with others is encouraged. You must indicate in the field information in SlideRoom that a work is “Collaborative” and list the names of each individual involved. Most importantly, describe your individual role in completing that work.

Our undergraduate SlideRoom portal accepts image (JPG) and video files. We do not accept PDF files.

A layout spread of multiple images compromises the ability for us to view your work. We prefer one image per slide. If you want to compose multiple images of one work on one slide, then we ask that you compose a layout of no more than 3 images saved as a JPG file.

It is helpful to include a brief detailed description of the context for this work in the "Description" field in SlideRoom.

We discourage applicants from submitting technical drafting.

Submitting Your Architecture Portfolio

Access and log into the School of Architecture SlideRoom portal . Complete the supporting form questions, record a simple introductory video of yourself, and upload images of your creative work using the fields provided in the software to provide detailed information about your work. Once you are satisfied with your portfolio application, submit your portfolio to SlideRoom.

Portfolio Review: Discussing Your Portfolio Submission with Faculty

After you have submitted your application to Carnegie Mellon, you can register for an online formal review of your Architecture Portfolio submission to SlideRoom. An online formal portfolio review is an opportunity for you to learn more about our school, engage with current students, and meet with a member of our faculty for a 15-minute interview in the context of your previously submitted portfolio.

Portfolio review sessions are scheduled on specific dates and are held remotely on Zoom so you must register in advance. Registration is limited will open in mid-October for Early Decision applicants and early December for Regular Decision applicants ; register as soon as you have submitted your architecture application to Carnegie Mellon. Online formal portfolio reviews are not required of Architecture applicants, but they are strongly recommended.

Sunday, November 5, 2023 at 9:00am-12:00pm EST - Early Decision I Portfolio Review (registration CLOSED) Sunday, January 21, 2024 from 9:00am-12:00pm EST - Regular Decision Portfolio Review   Sunday, January 28, 2024 at 9:00am-12:00pm EST - Regular Decision Portfolio Review Sunday, January 28, 2024 at 1:00pm-4:00pm EST - Regular Decision Portfolio Review

Note that the School of Architecture portfolio review is a formal interview in the context of your final portfolio submission to SlideRoom. It is not a review of your work to inform your final portfolio submission. This means that your creative work will need to be submitted by the portfolio deadline in advance of your scheduled review session.

Important Dates & Deadlines

August 1, 2023 –   Common Application available. Select the School of Architecture as the program(s) to which you intend to apply. Indicate whether you will be applying for Early Decision, Regular Decision, or Transfer.

August 15, 2023 – Carnegie Mellon Supplement available. Continue your application by reviewing and submitting the additional application materials required for your application to the School of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon University.

September 1, 2023 – School of Architecture SlideRoom portfolio submission website is available. Select the School of Architecture portal in SlideRoom to upload your creative work for the Architecture Portfolio.

Early Decision I

November 1, 2023  – Common Application deadline for Early Decision I

November 1, 2023   (11:59pm ET)  – Architecture Portfolio submission deadline to SlideRoom

November 5, 2023 – Early Decision I Formal Online Reviews of the Architecture Portfolio submission

December 15, 2023 (no later than) – Early Decision I admission decisions revealed online

February 15, 2024 – Early Decision I Fall 2024 enrollment deposit deadline

Regular Decision or Transfer

January 3, 2024 – Common Application deadline for Regular Decision or Transfer

January 9, 2024 (11:59pm ET)  – Architecture Portfolio submission deadline to SlideRoom

January 21, 2024 – Formal Online Reviews of the Architecture Portfolio submission

January 28, 2024 – Formal Online Reviews of the Architecture Portfolio submission

February 15, 2024 – Financial Aid FAFSA Application Deadline

April 1, 2024 (no later than) – Admission decisions revealed online

April 2024 – Admitted Student Visitation Month

May 1, 2024 – Fall 2024 enrollment deposit deadline

BXA Intercollege Degrees

BXA Intercollege Degrees are four-year interdisciplinary degree programs between a concentration within the College of Fine Arts and another college at CMU. ( BXA degrees are not accredited professional degrees; therefore, they do not meet the educational requirement for professional architecture licensure. ) More information about the following programs is available on the BXA Intercollege Degree Programs website .

Bachelor of Humanities and Arts (BHA)

Bachelor of Science and the Arts (BSA)

Bachelor of Computer Science and the Arts (BCSA)

Bachelor of Engineering Science and the Arts (BESA)

Admission evaluation by the School of Architecture is a requirement for students applying for a BXA Intercollege Degree Program blending architecture and one of the disciplines outlined above. To be offered admission to one of the BXA Intercollege Degree Programs with an interest in architecture, you must complete complete the admission requirements and be offered admission to both the School of Architecture and  the other college represented by the "X": Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences (H), the Mellon College of Science (S), Computer Science (CS), or the College of Engineering (ES). Therefore, BXA applicants with an interest in Architecture MUST submit the architecture portfolio to Carnegie Mellon University as part of their application to be evaluated by the School of Architecture for admission consideration.

Undergraduate students who transfer into the School of Architecture are classified as first-year students and will begin in the fall semester of the first year of the undergraduate program. At the end of the second year, they will choose to pursue either of the following degrees:

Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) : five-year, NAAB-accredited undergraduate professional architecture degree.

Bachelor of Arts in Architecture (B.A.) : four-year, pre-professional undergraduate architecture degree.

The curricula of these two degree programs parallel in the first two years with students taking classes predominately in architecture and selecting their degree program in the second year. Our B.Arch curriculum is unique to our school’s NAAB-accredited degree program and consists of a specific sequence of co-requisite and pre-requisite coursework. It doesn't readily correlate with curricula from other NAAB-accredited architecture programs. As a result, the B.Arch is a set five-year program ; there is no way to accelerate the program.

Previous college coursework for transfer credit is not evaluated as part of the admission process. Coursework for transfer credit is evaluated with the undergraduate Senior Academic Advisor once a student is enrolled and begins academic coursework in our program.

Transfer Application Requirements

Transfer applicants to the School of Architecture are required to meet first-year undergraduate application deadlines for admission consideration. The School of Architecture requires Transfer applicants to:

Complete the Common Application for Transfer through the university's Office of Admission by January 3, 2024 ;

Submit their School of Architecture transfer applicant portfolio to SlideRoom by January 9, 2024 ; and

Conduct a Transfer Interview with the School of Architecture undergraduate admission committee in mid-February .

Transfer applicants will be contacted by the School of Architecture’s Director of Recruitment & Enrollment, Alexis McCune Secosky, in early February to schedule their Transfer Interview. Interviews are conducted in a remote format via Zoom.

Transfer applicants have the option to participate in an Architecture Portfolio Review. Those who are able to register for a review will receive their Transfer Interview at the time of their scheduled session. Transfer applicants who do not register for a review will be contacted in early February to schedule their interview.

Applicants can track their Carnegie Mellon application status online through the Office of Undergraduate Admission's Where Am I In the Process website or by contacting the Office of Undergraduate Admission .

For questions about the School of Architecture, the Architecture Portfolio submission, the Architecture Portfolio Reviews, or Transfer Admission please contact the school's Director of Recruitment & Enrollment, Alexis McCune Secosky, at [email protected] .

Statement of Assurance: Policy Statement

Carnegie Mellon University does not discriminate in admission, employment or administration of its programs or activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, handicap or disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, ancestry, belief, veteran status or genetic information. Furthermore, Carnegie Mellon University does not discriminate and is required not to discriminate in violation of federal, state or local laws or executive orders.

Inquiries concerning the application of and compliance with this statement should be directed to the university ombudsman, Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, telephone 412-268-1018.

Obtain general information about Carnegie Mellon University by calling 412-268-2000.

The Carnegie Mellon University Statement of Assurance  is available on the CMU website. 

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Case Study Residence / Arkifex Studios

Case Study Residence  / Arkifex Studios - Exterior Photography, Facade

  • Curated by Paula Pintos
  • Architects: Arkifex Studios
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  6200 ft²
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2017
  • Photographs Photographs: Aaron Kimberlin
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project Manufacturers:   Lutron , Miele , AutoCAD , Bulthaup , Dorken Delta , HE Williams , Lumen Pulse , Manko Window Systems , Mitsubishi Electric , Trimble Navigation , Unreal Engine
  • Lead Architects: Michael Hampton
  • Landscape : Grant Williams
  • Design Team:  Arkifex Studios
  • Clients:  Anonymous Architects
  • Engineering Mep:  Interpres Building Solutions/ Structural: J&M Engineering
  • City:  Springfield
  • Country:  United States
  • Did you collaborate on this project?

Case Study Residence  / Arkifex Studios - Exterior Photography, Windows, Facade, Forest

Text description provided by the architects. A case study on Ozark Modernism. The Case Study Residence harkens back to the post-WWII Case Study Houses project sponsored by Arts and Architecture magazine. Just as the original project was experimentation in modern American residential architecture, the Case Study Residence seeks to define and embody “Ozark Modernism” is an example of single-family residential architecture. For the firm, Case Study Residence is an opportunity to test a hypothesis, develop a specific regional vocabulary within our practice, and to reaffirm our mission statement.

Case Study Residence  / Arkifex Studios - Exterior Photography, Brick, Windows, Facade, Concrete

Principal features of the project include: • biophilic design • context sensitive design • an underlying geometric formal logic

Case Study Residence  / Arkifex Studios - Interior Photography

• Miesian horizontal symmetry • an emphasis on the haptic modality and visceral experience • a simplified and naturalistic materiality

Case Study Residence  / Arkifex Studios - Interior Photography, Kitchen, Countertop, Sink, Windows, Chair, Beam

• passive solar considerations to siting • minimal removal of trees on site • Use of reclaimed walnut, sustainably harvested siding, and locally quarried stone • consideration of archaeoastronomy in the design

Case Study Residence  / Arkifex Studios - Exterior Photography, Facade, Windows

Project gallery

Case Study Residence  / Arkifex Studios - Exterior Photography, Facade

  • Sustainability


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