251.700 Elementary forms in non-Western building traditions

2021W, VO, 2.0h, 2.0EC

Course evaluation


  • Semester hours: 2.0
  • Credits: 2.0
  • Type: VO Lecture
  • Format: Distance Learning

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of the course, students are able to analyze elementary principles of building in different cultures and to evaluate the possibilities of their development in future architectural planning.

Subject of course

Discussion of the genesis and evolution of basic building forms and types against the background of cultural and social environment. Topics: Frame constructions (Africa, America, Asia, Oceania). Adobe building (North America, West Africa). Stone architecture (Oceania, East Africa). Pithouse and cliff dwelling (North America). Pile buildings and platform houses (Asia, Oceania, Africa, Mesoamerica). Tumuli (North and West Europe, Mediterranean area, North Africa, Middle East, South Asia, North and Central America, Polynesia).

Teaching methods

Elementary building cultures in Asia, Africa, America and Oceania are presented with regard to similarities and differences, whereby the thematic order is implemented on the one hand on a material-technical level (timber constructions, earthen construction, stone construction), on the other hand it is extended to building types, the origin and development of which is considered against the background of specific climatic conditions. Particular importance is attached to the respective social environment and the corresponding technological possibilities.

Mode of examination


Additional information

This semester, the lecture is not held in the lecture room, but digitally recorded and stored in TUWEL for download. The individual lectures will be downloaded weekly on Thursdays, starting October 7, and will be available at TUWEL until the end of the semester.
There are two versions of the lecture at TUWEL:
1) in Powerpoint format with language (.ppsx)
2) in PDF format, whereby the individual text files can also be downloaded as MP3. (This version is recommended only if the device has difficulties playing .ppsx files).



Examination modalities

The exam is written via ZOOM in TUWEL. There are 4 question topics, 3 of which must be selected and answered.  

Exam dates are offered in January and early February, with additional dates in March if there is demand. 


DayTimeDateRoomMode of examinationApplication timeApplication modeExam
Wed10:00 - 11:0002.02.2022 online exam: ZOOM meeting via TUWELwritten26.11.2021 09:00 - 01.02.2022 23:59TISSZOOM BG3-Prüfung 2022-02-02_10:00
Thu10:00 - 11:0003.02.2022 online exam: ZOOM meeting via TUWELwritten06.01.2022 20:00 - 02.02.2022 23:59TISSZOOM BG3-Prüfung 2022-02-03_10:00
Thu17:00 - 18:0017.02.2022 online exam: ZOOM meeting via TUWELwritten24.01.2022 12:00 - 16.02.2022 23:59TISSZOOM BG3-Prüfung 2022-02-17_17:00

Course registration

Begin End Deregistration end
10.09.2021 14:00 25.11.2021 12:00 25.11.2021 23:59


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Book publication (in German):
Erich Lehner, Elementare Architektur: Traditionen des Bauens in außereuropäischen Kulturen, Wien 2014, 2nd edition 2016 (IVA-Verlag), ISBN 978-3-900265-25-0; 3rd edition 2018 (IVA-Verlag), ISBN 978-3-900265-47-2

Book publication (in English):
Erich Lehner, Roots of Architecture: Building Traditions in Non-European Cultures, Vienna 2016 (IVA-ICRA publishing), ISBN 978-3-900265-36-6; 2nd edition 2018, ISBN 978-3-900265-48-9

(These books are available at the Institute 251/1, in bookstores and libraries.)