Prague + Vienna IFTA

HAA 1907 – Architecture and the City in Central Europe

University of Pittsburgh

Center for Russian and Eastern European Studies

Department of History of Art & Architecture | Architectural Studies Program

Summer 2016 | Saturday, May 7 - Thursday, May 26


This course will examine the relationship between architecture and identity – how architecture was used to shape national identities at various periods in response to changing social, economic, and political conditions; how architects shaped their identities through travel, education; how the use of technology, new materials, ornament, and manipulations of building typologies are used to shape institutional, corporate, and individual identities.

The context for these examinations will be five cities formerly part of the Habsburg / Austro-Hungarian Empire – the Czech capital, Prague; the former imperial capital, Vienna; the former provincial (now national) capitals Zagreb and Ljubljana; the industrial city Brno in the Czech Republic. The time span will encompass the Renaissance, Baroque, modern and contemporary periods.

Major architectural themes that will be emphasized in this course include: (1) the development of different building types to serve modern needs (museums, hospitals, apartment housing, villa or pavilion type housing); (2) tectonics and the expression of construction; (3) debates about the function and meaning of ornament.

The written and built works of the following major central European architects will be examined in detail: Josef Frank, Jozef Hoffmann, Adolf Loos, Josef Marie Olbrich, Jože Plečnik, Gottfried Semper, Otto Wagner, Hans Hollein, Zaha Hadid, and Wolf Prix (Coop Himmelb(l)au) as well as one house in Vienna designed by the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Classes will be held primarily on-site in Prague, Vienna, Brno, Zagreb, and Ljubljana.  Students will be required to participate in discussions, apply theoretical ideas from major nineteenth- and twentieth-century authors to the observation of buildings, and document sites through note-taking, drawing, measuring, and photography.

Download the syllabus for more information.



Prague | Ramada Prague City Centre Hotel | May 8 - 12

Vienna | Hotel Ekazent Schonbrunn | May 12 - 18

Ljubljana | Hotel Park | May 18 - 20

Zagreb | Palace Hotel Zagreb | May 20 - 26



Sunday, May 8: students arrive in Prague

Monday, May 9 - Wednesday, May 11: site visits in Prague

Thursday, May 12: travel to Brno, Vienna

Friday, May 13 - Tuesday, May 17: site visits in Vienna

Wednesday, May 18: travel to Graz, Ljubljana

Thursday May 19 - Friday, May 20: site visits in Ljubljana

Saturday, May 21 - Wednesday, May 25: site visits in Zagreb

WEBSITES – Prague (Czech Republic)                                          

Prague Castle

St. Vitus Cathedral

National Gallery in Prague

City of Prague Museum

Jewish Museum in Prague

Museum of Architecture and Civil Engineering

Villa Müller

Lobkowicz Palace


WEBSITES – Vienna (Austria)


AZ Architekturzentrum                

Belvedere Palace                               


Jewish Museum                                  

Kunsthistorisches Museum         

Liechtenstein Museum                  


MQ MuseumsQuartier                     




Wien Museum                                       

Wittgenstein House                         

WEBSITES – Zagreb (Croatia)

City Museum                                          

Meštrović Atelier                               

Modern Gallery                                   

Museum of Contemporary Art  

Strossmayer Gallery                         

WEBSITES – Brno (Czech Republic)

Tugendhat Villa                                  

WEBSITES – Ljubljana (Slovenia)

Museum of Architecture            

National / University Library    

University of Ljubljana                                  

Field Trips


Vienna IFTA

Vienna IFTA