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260.674 Seminar Camillo Sitte and the Fundamentals of Urban Design
This course is in all assigned curricula part of the STEOP.
This course is in at least 1 assigned curriculum part of the STEOP.

2023W, SE, 3.5h, 5.0EC


  • Semester hours: 3.5
  • Credits: 5.0
  • Type: SE Seminar
  • Format: Hybrid

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of the course, students are able to formulate a research question and discuss it in the form of an independently written (scientifically) sound text.


Weekly Feedback: Thursday afternoon Seminarraum AE U1 - 2 - exact schedule to follow. Please see further informations on group excursions and archive visits!

Subject of course

The Viennese architect Camillo Sitte (1843-1903) is best known for his work "Der Städte-Bau nach seinen künstlerischen Grundsätzen" (Urban Planning according to its Artistic Principles, published in 1889), in which he criticised in vigorous language contemporary urban planning of the late 19th century. His own architectural work stands far behind this pamphlet, which is a standard work of urban planning theory. Since its first edition, the work has been reprinted several times and translated into numerous different languages (en, fr, it, es, gr, ru, jap, ...).

As an architect, Camillo Sitte left behind a manageable oeuvre which was developed against a background of traditional historicism. One of the few buildings realised in Vienna is the Mechitarist Church (Neustiftgasse) - a classical “Gesamtkunstwerk” of the second half of the 19th century. In order to get closer to the architectural and artistic work of Sitte, a guided tour will take place in this extraordinary sacred space.

In the seminar, the question of why this book in particular had so much influence will be explored by reading "Städte-Bau" together. Who was Camillo Sitte and what is his background? To whom was the work addressed when it appeared and whom did it influence? Which questions and themes still preoccupy us today?

In what framework is the architect Camillo Sitte embedded, how should his work be viewed today?

Teaching methods

  • Critical examination of the theoretical foundations of urban development; guest lecturers will examine individual aspects in greater detail; 
  • Development of one's own critical position based on the current state of research; 
  • Application of the basics of scientific work (methodology, scientific writing, citing, publishing, ...); 
  • Introduction to analogue and digital research methods in libraries, archives or use of databases.


Mode of examination


Additional information

scheduled Field Trips:

Guided tour of the archive of the TU Vienna
Camillo Sitte estate, Sitte as a student at the Vienna University of Technology
Meeting point: Main Building TU Vienna, Archive entrance, staircase 3, first floor

Guided tour of the archives and the Mechitarist Church
Meeting point: main entrance church, Neustiftgasse 4

Guided tour National Library 12th October 2023
Modern Library, State Hall (fee required, registration necessary)
Meeting place: ÖNB, Heldenplatz foyer Neue Burg, 13:45 (please be in time!) entry fee for each €15 in cash

Library AzW
Meeting point: Library entrance (Oktogon) Azw/MQ

Library University of Applied Arts
Vordere Zollamtsstraße 7, 1030 Vienna
Meeting point: Foyer

Library of the Academy of Fine Arts (currently questionable due to the relocation of the library)
Meeting place: Foyer

Please consider the plagiarism guidelines of TU Wien when writing your seminar paper: Directive concerning the handling of plagiarism (PDF)



Course dates

Thu14:00 - 18:0005.10.2023 - 25.01.2024Seminarraum AE U1 - 2 Korrektur
Thu19:00 - 21:0023.11.2023HS 18 Czuber - MB Präsentation "Über die Schönheit der Stadt"
Seminar Camillo Sitte and the Fundamentals of Urban Design - Single appointments
Thu05.10.202314:00 - 18:00Seminarraum AE U1 - 2 Korrektur
Thu12.10.202314:00 - 18:00Seminarraum AE U1 - 2 Korrektur
Thu19.10.202314:00 - 18:00Seminarraum AE U1 - 2 Korrektur
Thu09.11.202314:00 - 18:00Seminarraum AE U1 - 2 Korrektur
Thu16.11.202314:00 - 18:00Seminarraum AE U1 - 2 Korrektur
Thu23.11.202314:00 - 18:00Seminarraum AE U1 - 2 Korrektur
Thu23.11.202319:00 - 21:00HS 18 Czuber - MB Präsentation "Über die Schönheit der Stadt"
Thu30.11.202314:00 - 18:00Seminarraum AE U1 - 2 Korrektur
Thu07.12.202314:00 - 18:00Seminarraum AE U1 - 2 Korrektur
Thu14.12.202314:00 - 18:00Seminarraum AE U1 - 2 Korrektur
Thu21.12.202314:00 - 18:00Seminarraum AE U1 - 2 Korrektur
Thu11.01.202414:00 - 18:00Seminarraum AE U1 - 2 Korrektur
Thu18.01.202414:00 - 18:00Seminarraum AE U1 - 2 Korrektur
Thu25.01.202414:00 - 18:00Seminarraum AE U1 - 2 Korrektur

Examination modalities

Composing a written analysis (=seminar paper): Each participant has to submit a written, methodically impeccable, scientific paper of approx. 20 pages of continuous text. Language of the written work (preferably) German.

The assessment criteria also include active participation in the group meetings, short presentations and text discussions. In particular, however, active participation in the tours offered to libraries and archives: Archive of the TU Wien; ONB; AzW Library; MAK Library; Church and Archive of the Mechitarists Vienna. The corresponding dates will be announced at the beginning of the course


TitleApplication beginApplication end
Wahlseminare18.09.2023 09:0021.09.2023 23:59


Study CodeObligationSemesterPrecon.Info
033 243 Architecture Not specified6. SemesterSTEOP
Course requires the completion of the introductory and orientation phase


No lecture notes are available.

Previous knowledge

ideally recommended are:
- reading "Urban Planning according to its Artistic Principles" by Camillo Sitte.
- high interest in the historical background of the "long 19th century
- adequate knowledge of written and spoken German, high interest for the specific literature
- interest in architecture and architect biographies of historicism