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How Architecture Case Study Can Benefit Students

As an architecture student, how often do you take delight in doing architectural case studies? Does it excite you or make you frazzled? Irrespective of how you feel, a case study in architecture proves to be a privilege to the students in this discipline. You get to study a project of a similar genre, ascertain the design principles of the designer, and understand its scope before conceiving the design. You can also visualize the design more closely and manage the intrinsic affairs independently.

What Is A Case Study In Architecture?

An architecture case study is the in-depth analysis, exploration, and understanding of an existing building. While students consider a case study in architecture as the starting point of any project, it can also serve as a reference to proceed with the intricacies of a project. For example, the following image shows the case study of “The National Gallery Of Modern Art”.

Image source: Pinterest.com

There is no definite format for representing a case study. For instance, the following images show the case study of “The Church of the Light” by Tadao Ando in various styles.

Image source: archinect.com
architecture case study
Image source: Pinterest.com

It is fun as an individual can travel a lot and meet different types of people. At the same time, how an architecture case study benefits us relies on how we perceive and deal with it. 

Philosophy of a Case Study In Architecture 

To make it easy to understand, we have summarized the philosophy below:


You may not always be aware of the scope or objective of an upcoming project. The entire planning process might seem strenuous, and all your questions may remain unanswered. In such cases, an architecture case study can come to the rescue. It exposes an individual to the intricate details of a live project and answers all your questions practically. It helps in broadening your academic boundary, making your literature strong, and analyzing the following:

  • Architectural Style

The regional or communal context and its predominance in the design.

  • Micro-climate and Environment 

The surrounding nature and various important climatic factors like sun path, wind direction, or rainfall can affect the building in a particular site.

architecture case study
Image source: Pinterest.com
  • Requirements Based On User Behaviors

The areas will suffice the purpose and efficiency by keeping gender, age group, well-being, and other factors in mind. For instance, a hospital is different from a commercial shopping center.


An architecture case study allows you to study the design philosophy that an architect used. Then you can analyze what worked and what did not, identify the pros and cons, and grasp what you need. It also helps you determine the following details:

  • Planning and Analysis of Site

The site dimensions, site-to-building ratio, orientation, geology, hydrography, vegetation, etc.

  • Function and Form

Which philosophy to adopt between “function follows form” and “form follows function”? Why does a building stand that way or why does it stick out from the immediate surroundings?

architecture case study
Image source: archdaily.com
  • Construction Materials and Technologies 

The available materials and commonly-used technologies in that region.

  • Structural Details 

The columns, beams, and trusses are used in a building.

  • Connectivity/Linkage 

How to link various activities inside the built space?

  • Vertical and Horizontal Circulation

The placement of elevators, ramps, and staircases, or the area assigned for building lobbies and corridors.

  • Access Locations

The entry and exit points of the building and the site.

  • Services and Utility Systems

Determine why services like water supply systems, electrical layouts, HVAC, or fire alarms are necessary for a building.

  • Barrier-free Consideration 

The design accessibility to children, people who have a disability, aged people, and pregnant women.


At times, you may mimic the case study you are studying instead of getting inspired by it. It happens because your thought process gets trapped in the shackles of your architecture case study. It may seem difficult to think outside the box. So, coax yourself to start afresh and let your imaginations do the rest.


You cannot adopt every element of it as a blueprint for your design. An architecture case study will make you realize that. Every design is distinctly unique and meant to fit in with ever-changing parameters like climate, region, and user requirements. Putting every single design problem in the same mold would lead you nowhere.

Therefore, treat every design problem differently.


It is necessary to have at least a couple of options to study from instead of sticking to one particular architecture case study. It forbids you to imitate an existing design and lets your creativity flow. 

So, initiate your case study with a small-scale project to outline the basics and consider another large-scale project to modify the required parameters you did not include before.


Architecture is a dynamic course where learning delves deeper and much beyond the scope of the textbooks. It is an undertaking to design the future by continuing the legacy of human civilization while minimizing past mistakes. All these reasons make the precedence of architecture case study an inevitable necessity.

Remember: we intend to research, understand the concepts that the architect has applied, and learn how that project worked. Meanwhile, we should also be able to point out the flaws and perfect them while introducing them in our projects.

By Sreyoshi Dhali

While finding her solace in silence and everything mundane, Shreyosi prefers to untangle the chaos inside her head and makes an effort to paint scenarios with words that keep her awake at night.

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