Skip to Main Content

AREN 3080: Architectural Design Studio: Building Analysis Research

Ask our Engineering, Math & Physics Librarians

Engineering, Science and Design Librarian

Art & Architecture Librarian

Profile Photo
Alex Watkins

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

Edith Farnsworth House

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

Image Credit: Lessismore2020, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Building Purpose: Museum
New York, New York
Date Built:
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

Image Credit: Ajay Suresh, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

Building Purpose: Museum
Location: Bilbao, Spain
Date Built: 1997
Architect: Frank Gehry
Alternate Name: Guggenheim Bilbao (be sure to differentiate from the other Guggenheim museums around the world)
Major Feature: Exterior curves intended to appear random and catch the light. Interior designed around a large, light-filled, flower-shaped atrium

Image Credit: Zarateman, licensed under Creative Commons Zero

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Building Purpose: Museum
Washington, D.C.
Date Built:
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

Image Credit: Difference engine, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0

Seattle Central Library

Building Purpose: Library
Seattle, Washington
Date Built:
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

Image Credit: IIP Photo Archive, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0

Sydney Opera House

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

Image Credit: Thomas Adams, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0

World Trade Center Oculus

World Trade Center Oculus

Building Purpose: Transportation Hub, Retail
Location: New York, New York
Date Built: 2016
Architect: Santiago Calatrava
Alternate Names: The Oculus, World Trade Center, World Trade Center Transportation Hub
Major Feature: White metal-clad steel ribs, symbolic of a hand releasing a dove. Alignment with solar angles on September 11. Central skylight illuminates the floor with a beam of light.

Image Credit: Anthony Quintano, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0


  • Try clicking on "more options" to browse by building type, construction, material, and more

Other Databases

  • Try searching for engineering topics, like "building energy use"


Search the CU Boulder Libraries Catalog:


Browse Books By Call Number

NA Architecture

  • NA190-1555.5 – Architecture organized by country and architects in alphabetical order
    • NA705-737 – American Architecture
      • NA737.G5 – Frank Gehry
    • NA1144-NA1153 – Dutch Architecture
      • NA1153.K64 – Rem Koolhaas
    • NA1550-1559 – Japanese Architecture
      • NA1559.A5 – Tadao Ando
  • NA2542 – Sustainable Architecture, Biophilic Design
  • NA2835-4050 – Details & Parts of Buildings
    • NA3060 - Staircases
  • NA2695-2793 – Architectural Drawings and Designs
  • NA4100-4145 – Buildings organized by material (brick, glass, concrete, etc.)
  • NA4170-8480 – Buildings by use
    • NA4590-5621 – Religious architecture
    • NA6690 – Museum architecture
    • NA6820-6940 – Performance Venues
      • NA6840.A79 – Sydney Opera House
    • NA7100-7884 – Houses
  • NA9000-9428. City Planning

SB450.9-467.8 Landscape Architecture 
Z679 – Library Architecture