Quick Info

  • Central Europe
  • Summer
  • : Panther Program
  • : Architectural Studies, Cultural Studies, History of Art and Architecture, Urban Studies
  • : TBD - TBD
  • : TBD
  • : TBD
  • : 2.75 GPA (2.5 for engineers), Pitt Students: Must have completed 24 credits on a Pitt campus, Clear Judicial Record


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; and the industrial city Brno in the Czech Republic. The time span will encompass the Renaissance, Baroque, modern and contemporary periods.

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.

After the demolition in 1858 of the obsolete fortifications surrounding Vienna, the capital of the Hapsburg Empire was rapidly transformed into one of the most innovative and modern cities in the world. The development of the Ringstrasse into a boulevard of parks, public squares and grand institutional buildings – comparable to the vast and virtually simultaneous interventions that transformed Paris during the Second Empire – made Vienna a model for other European and North American cities.  At the turn of the twentieth century, Vienna was a showcase for sophisticated architecture and urban planning, and one of the major centers for architectural training in Central Europe. The ultimate instance of a city re-conceived and transformed into a work of art based on classical principles is Ljubljana, where the Viennese-trained architect Jože Plečnik developed an array of extraordinary urban interventions that transformed the historic core of the Slovene capital in the period between the two World Wars. 

Following the dismemberment of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the aftermath of the First World War, Vienna again served as a laboratory for rethinking the modern city and became the site of an extensive array of social housing projects during the so-called “Red Vienna” Period (1919-1934). An analysis of these projects in relation to contemporary planning ideas – notably the writings of Otto Wagner and Camillo Sitte – will be an important component of the course and the basis of a substantial piece of independent research and writing. The Viennese model of inter-war urban and housing development – widely studied and the subject, for example, of a report on public housing by the Brookings Institution (1934) – serves as an important counterpoint to the “Ville Radieuse” concept developed by Le Corbusier and variations on the British garden city that came to dominate suburban residential development in the United States.

The dissemination and adaptation of the Viennese model will be considered in relation to projects undertaken in three former provincial capitals – Prague, Ljubljana and Zagreb – where architects trained in Vienna and other European centers applied ideas developed in the capital of the former Austro-Hungarian capital to the periphery of the Empire. A final phase to be considered in the reshaping of Central European cities in the modern period will be the mass-produced social housing projects and expansive city planning exercises undertaken during the Cold War in Prague and Zagreb. 

Prerequisites for this program include any of the following:

HAA 0480 Modern Architecture
HAA 1040 Architecture: Texts + Theory
HAA 1407 Eighteenth-Century Architecture


On-Site Faculty And Staff

Dr. Drew Armstrong: In the early modern era, architecture and landscape design offered rich fields for experimentation with new models of perception. Dr. Armstrong’s work investigates approaches to observation and the experience of art and architecture in the 18th and 19th centuries. He is especially interested in the construction of the ‘self’ and how this concept shapes the relationship of the individual to temporal and spatial phenomena.


You will be housed in either shared hotels for the duration of the program.

Pricing And Dates

Summer 2017

In-State Fee Out-of-State Fee
Arrive in Prague Depart Zagreb

Keep in mind that dates may change.  You shouldn't book airfare until given confirmation from your program manager.


Inclusions & Exclusions


As a part of the program fee, the following have typically been included:

Tuition for six credits
Shared accommodations
International travel health insurance
Daily breakfast
Two group dinners
Course related field trips
Cultural activities
Bus transportation between countries
Local transportation passes

While your program fee will cover most of your expenses, keep in mind that you are also responsible for the following:


Pitt study abroad administrative fee $300
International roundtrip airfare ~$1500
Meals and personal expenses
Passport fees $120
No visa requirement for US citizens

Remember that your lifestyle and spending choices can greatly affect the amount of money you'll need while abroad.  Visit our Budgeting page for more information.

Special Information

  • 2.75 GPA (2.5 for engineers)
  • Pitt Students: Must have completed 24 credits on a Pitt campus
  • Clear Judicial Record

Note: Prerequisites for this program include any of the following:

HAA 0480 Modern Architecture
HAA 1040 Architecture: Texts + Theory
HAA 1407 Eighteenth-Century Architecture

Get Ready! Applications open August 28!  

Program Staff

Tim Crawford

Walk-In Advising Hours: MWF 2-4 PM

Hi Everyone! I’m Tim, a Program Manager here in the Study Abroad Office. I’m proud to be from a small town in Central PA but now love calling Pittsburgh home. My study abroad experience includes a semester in France during my sophomore year, Spring Break in London during Grad School and Summer in Italy as a Program Assistant. My experiences opened my eyes to the rest of the world and I’d love to help you take advantage of the numerous study abroad opportunities here at Pitt. Outside of the office, I’m always looking for the next adventure whether it’s exploring a new city or new neighborhood in PGH. I fully embrace the yinzer way of life and plan my schedule accordingly around every Pens, Bucs and Stillers game. I’d love to talk to you more about any of our study abroad programs and answer any of your questions. Please reach me at TSC29@pitt.edu or 412-648-2156.