Critical Essay 2 is the second of two written assignments, aimed to help you develop your analytical capacities and communication skills in writing.  The purpose of this assignment is to help you to expand your critical knowledge of the field of architectural history/theory by looking at a constructed building or monument of your own choosing.  By studying a built work of architecture with a critical eye, you will not only encounter subtle details that otherwise may have gone unnoticed, you also will gain a deeper understanding of the form and content of the subject.



You will write a 2-3 page analytical essay (approx. 750 words) dealing with an impactful work of architecture from the 19th or 20th century. The essay (illustrated as necessary) will include a concise description of the building or monument selected, an analysis of its content, and a discussion of its theoretical implications. In addition to basic historical background, your paper may include several of the following:

  1. Describe the building.
  2. Analyze what you see.
  3. Describe the materials and methods of production.
  4. Explain why you said what you did in the analysis.
  1. What is your justification for your interpretation.
  2. Why is what you commented on important.
  1. Speculate on the relationship between practice and theory:
  2. What does it say about that time period it was written, the architect, the reading/viewing audience, etc.
  3. Does the building reflect a current point of view in architecture, or does it change people’s perceptions.


Upload your finished essay as a Word document in the course Bb site under the assignment link. Click on the tab and proceed from there. The standards for the essay are: 2-3 pages, double-spaced, one-inch margins, 12 point font Times New Roman or Garamond. Images, footnotes/end-notes and a complete bibliography are required (refer to the Chicago Manual for guidelines). Write your name, course number and professor’s name in the upper right margin.

Do not rely on untrustworthy online databases for reference (Wikipedia for instance). To avoid any kind of plagiarism, please be cautious of your references and the way you borrow from other authors.


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