Heritage & Design

In this minor you will learn to develop concepts for the transformation of buildings, urban areas and public spaces. The basis for these interventions is a historic analysis of the site and knowledge of architectural history. The challenge is to preserve monumental values, existing qualities and the sense of place – while giving way for an intervention that allows for a new function and prepares a site for an up-to-date use. Studies of heritage and other subjects form an important framework.

Minor code: BK-Mi-142-16

Language: English

Participating institutions: Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment

Maximum participants: 40

Education methods: Design studios, lectures, excursions and a seminar

You will immerse yourself in the issue of cultural-historic continuity and urban identity. In this minor the particular focus lies on how we currently handle cultural heritage and necessary urban renewal with reference to changing function requirements. Related to the urban renewal we also focus on the use of public areas as well as the interior spaces of historic buildings in an old city centre. 

To approach these complex tasks, you will be challenged to familiarise yourself with the specific design skills and knowledge of city and architectural development of Dutch cities. In addition, you will delve into analysis methods and various theoretic approaches, as well as in cultural, societal and philosophical aspects. You will have the opportunity to gain knowledge in and to practise with aspects such as historical identity, value proposition and spatial intervention with objects and structures of cultural heritage in a historic environment. History is used as inspiration for the design.

For whom?

  • This minor is intended for all students of TU Delft, Erasmus University and University of Leiden. As both students of architecture and other disciplines participate, the designs will be developed and presented at a conceptual level – for which it is not necessary to have all the knowledge and skills required for a conventional architectural design. We aim to work in transdisciplinary teams – where all team members can bring in their creativity, visions and ambitions on an equal base.
  • External academic: art history, architectural history, archaeology, landscape architecture, planning. Level: end second year Bachelor.
  • Also students in HBO education can enroll for the minor. For them a selection procedure applies.

What will you learn?

You will practise the interaction between history and design. At the end of the minor you will have enhanced/improved your:

  • knowledge  about cultural heritage in the form of urban projects and structures
  • knowledge  about relevant processes in urban history and development
  • knowledge  about approaches and work methods concerning appreciation, repurpose and redevelopment of historically valuable objects within an old town;
  • ability to analyse heritage buildings and ensembles with regards to the urban context and its historic development, the functionality, the materials used and the technical development
  • ability to make architectural and spatial design choices on different scales,  based on an analysis and evaluation of current historic information;
  • ability to put historic research and contextual analysis in functional relation with a design task
  • ability to justify your point of view in discussions about the valuation of heritage on different scales and about the merging of old and new in case of an intervention

Course overview

The programme consists of three lecture series and three studio assignments, they account for a total of 30 EC’s, each part is 5 EC’s.

Quarter 1

  • History of Architecture, City and Landscape - lecture series (BK7551)
  • History of Art - lecture series (BK7554)
  • City and Transformation - studio assignments (BK7555)

Quarter 2

  • Heritage: Theory and Practice - lecture series (BK7552)
  • Landscape and Transition - studio assignments (BK7550)
  • Architecture and Re-use  - studio assignments (BK7553)

For course descriptions, please visit the study guide.

In the studios, you will work on the research in small groups. For the design assignments, we will work in a transdisciplinary manner, using a variety of design skills (architectural design, sketching, mood boards, collage, models, etc.).  
The lecture series are rounded off with an exam. The studio assignments are rounded off with the presentation of the analysis reports and the presentation of design proposals for interventions in an historical building. The minor is successfully completed if you complete all parts with grade 6 or higher.


Dr. Ivan Nevzgodin

Student about this minor:

“It was a very instructive minor, because I’ve been able to develop many skills, which I haven’t developed during my own bachelor program (TPM). Also, by following this minor I’ve seen a completely different side of the field.”

- Anna Little (TPM)