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AREN 3080 Architectural Design Studio: Building Analysis Research

Start your Research with Research

If you are not sure what building to research, you may want to start by browsing books, magazines, blogs, or other resources. If there is an architectural style, feature, or specific architect you are interested in, you can search for information on that style, feature, or architect to get ideas of buildings to research. The search tools you will learn about today are ones you can use to explore and select a building.


Once you've selected your building, you might still need to do a bit of research on basic building facts to inform your search strategy. A quick Google search, to visit the building's website or to Wikipedia, can help you get started. Here are some sample buildings, with the kind of building facts you might need for your research. You can use these example buildings during today's class activity.

Example Buildings

Bahrain World Trade Center


Building Purpose: Commercial
Location: Manama, Bahrain
Date Built:
2008
Architect: 
Atkins architectural firm 
Alternate Name: 
Bahrain WTC or BWTC
Major Feature: T
wo towers linked via three skybridges, each holding a wind turbine

Edith Farnsworth House


Building Purpose: Residence
Location: 
Plano, Illinois
Date Built: 
1945-1951
Architect: 
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Alternate Name: 
Farnsworth House
Major Feature: 
example of International Style, steel and glass materials

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum


Building Purpose: Museum
Location: 
New York, New York
Date Built:
1959
Architect: 
Frank Lloyd Wright
Alternate Name: 
Guggenheim Museum (be sure to differentiate from the other Guggenheim museums around the world)
Major Feature: 
cylindrical or cone shaped building, spiral ramp gallery

National Museum of African American History and Culture


Building Purpose: Museum
Location: 
Washington, D.C.
Date Built:
2016
Architect: 
Freelon Group / Adjaye Associates / Davis Brody Bond
Alternate Name: 
NMAAHC, this museum is part of the Smithsonian Institution
Major Feature: 
inverted step pyramid surrounded by a bronze architectural scrim, reflects a Yoruba crown

Seattle Central Library


Building Purpose: Library
Location: 
Seattle, Washington
Date Built:
2004
Architect: 
Rem Koolhaas and Joshua Prince-Ramus of OMA/LMN 
Alternate Name:
Seattle Public Library (be sure to differentiate between other Seattle Public Library Branches)
Major Feature: 
several discrete "floating platforms," seemingly a large steel net wrapped around glass skin

Sydney Opera House


Building Purpose: Performing Arts Venue
Location: 
Sydney Australia
Date Built:
1973
Architect: 
Jørn Utzon
Major Feature: 
concrete "shells", example of Expressionist Style
 

Exploring Search Tools

In your group, explore your assigned search tool. Search the example buildings, or suggestions specific to your search tool. Answer these questions with your group:

  • Which example buildings can you find in this database, and why?
  • What can you find out about the example buildings in this search tool / source type?
  • What search strategies would you recommend for this search tool? 
  • What would you suggest using this search tool or source type for?

Choose a group member to teach the rest of the class your search tool, and be prepared to present.

  • Try clicking on "more options" to browse by building type, construction, material, and more
  • Try searching for engineering topics, like "building energy use"

Dive into Research

Ask A Gemmill Librarian

Engineering, Science and Design Librarian

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Emily Dommermuth
she/her

Art & Architecture Librarian

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Alex Watkins
Contact:
alex.watkins@colorado.edu