AAR4605 - Urban Design and Architecture 2


Lessons are not given in the academic year 2024/2025

Course content

The city and urban landscape are the subject of the studio. Based on the context of a chosen site, we develop concepts, spatial structures, and design rules, and creatively integrate them into robust urban design and architectural projects.

The leitmotif of the studio is to design the urban space as liveable, beautiful, and open. In an interdisciplinary dialogue with urban actors, we aim to reconcile the dynamic forces of urban transformation with architecture and planning into an adaptable urban design. In this manner, high-quality urban spaces can be created that are responsive, yet specific to their context, contributing to a sustainable balance of our urban environment.

The studio topics are based on contemporary urban themes such as the design and densification of urban quarters, revitalization of post-industrial sites, and the gentle transformation of our city and cultural landscape.

The option studio is taught together with AAR4919 Urban Lab 2, which must be taken in the same semester.

Learning outcome

COMPETENCE: The students gain an advanced understanding on the inner logic of urban design and practical experience. This will enable them to tackle pressing urban challenges, and to synthesize their knowledge into a design project at the interface between planning, architecture and landscape architecture. The students are assigned to develop complex urban design and architectural projects, by critically reflecting and integrating relevant design criteria such as heritage, mobility, open space, urban structure, morphology, density, scale, building typology, materiality, and phased development.

KNOWLEDGE: The students will gain knowledge on contemporary urban transformation processes and context-based design methods. The learning objective is to analyze, comprehend, and design intricate urban environments. The insights gained are expressed through concept development, visionary and strategic thinking, and the design of urban and architectural spaces. The studio and integrated Urban Lab course (AAR4919) seek to provide a comprehensive package linking urban design, theory, research and practice.

SKILLS: The candidates will learn and apply urban design tools such as sketching, site analysis and mapping, model building, scenario and form development, master planning, and space programming. The course will improve the students visualization and presentation techniques, as well as their professional communication with urban authorities and experts.

Learning methods and activities

The studio is structured in six parallel and interrelated phases:

1 ANALYSIS AND VISION: We will explore our site with field studies and mappings, and produce an analysis of its atmospheres, spatial structures, and activities. Based on this inventory, the students will propose visions and ideas for their design projects.

2 CONCEPTS AND STRATEGIES: The visions will then be further developed into urban design concepts and strategies.

3 URBAN DESIGN AND PLANNING: Based on these, urban design proposals are created in the form of master plans and physical models in a scale of 1:1000 to 1:500.

4 ARCHITECTURE AND OPEN SPACES: To test and show the main qualities of the urban design projects, characteristic areas are elaborated on an architectural and landscape architectural scale of 1:200 to 1:100

5 DESIGN RULES: For the open spaces, buildings and their use, design rules and flexible development scenarios are created.

6 POSTERS AND DOCUMENTATION: For the final presentation and exhibition, all drawings and visualizations will be refined, exhibited on posters, and documented in a studio publication.

A lecture series provides a broader perspective on urban design and its relation to architecture and planning. It includes presentations on the studio themes and inputs from local partners and experts. Master plan and typology studies conducted in the integrated Urban Lab (AAR4919) serve as reference examples for the studio project.

Optional excursions can be arranged as part of the teaching of the course. The course leader will inform the students, if there is be an optional excursion at the start of the semester.


Students who participate in optional excursions must expect to pay a small share of the expenses. For students who do not participate in optional excursions, an alternative will be offered.

Further on evaluation

Grades are based on assessment of a portfolio and oral presentation. The portfolio should contain digital posters with professionally executed architectural drawings, illustrations, descriptive text, and model photographs that document the final project work in the course. All digital material should be delivered for censorship within the stated deadline. For the oral presentation exam, the student must give an oral presentation of the project work for censorship. All compulsory exercises must be submitted and approved to be able to submit the final exam.

Postponed exams are offered in the following semester, so that students who have a documented a valid absence or failed the previous ordinary exam, can complete normal study progression.


The final project work forms the basis for the grading.

NO: All other submissions are compulsory and are apparised approved / not approved.

At the regular exam, students are offered the opportunity to present the final project work orally to the examiner. The oral presentation itself is not part of the assessment.

Resit exams are normally added to the next exam period.

Specific conditions

Limited admission to classes. For more information:

Admission to a programme of study is required:
Architecture (MAAR)
Architecture (MAAR2)

Required previous knowledge

Completed three years bachelor studies in architecture or equivalent. Basic knowledge in architecture and urban design.

Course materials

Brief, assignments, instructions, lectures, reference projects, reading lists etc.

Working formats: sketches, collages, maps, plans, drawings, sections, elevations, perspectives, physical and digital models.

Main working scales: 1:1000 to 1:100.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
AAR4605 15.0

Version: 2
Credits:  15.0 SP
Study level: Second degree level



Language of instruction: English, Norwegian

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Urban Design and Planning
  • Architecture
Contact information

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Architecture and Planning


  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

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