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Urban Design of City Centres – welcome!

FOCUS – Urban design project presenting a design proposal of the development of a fragment of urban space



The project’s subject is the development of an architectural and urban conceptual design proposal of the development of the space of a selected area on the urban and architectural scale. The assumptions concerning the land use programme of the proposal should take into consideration the specific conditions of the selected location.


The goal of the design task is mastering basic skills concerning the design of mixed-use urban complexes that, as a result of the assumed programme of development of various forms of use and the adopted functional and spatial solutions, are meant to:

  • play a significant role in the development of urban services,
  • affect the improvement of the quality of the space of the selected area and its surroundings,
  • obtain a clearly defined identity of the place.

The compositional assumptions of the project are to be coherent with the results of individually performed studies of the development conditions of the selected site. These studies should take into consideration the distinct characteristics of the space, its so-called urban buffer and the consequences of significant compositional and functional linkages between the proposed complex and the surroundings. The territorial and factual scope of the analysis of the context is determined individually (in cooperation with the design group instructor).

The proposed massings of new buildings should form a harmonious whole. They should refer to valuable elements of the existing urban structure. When developing new urban forms, the students should pursue the design of attractive public spaces so that they can become an important element of urban composition both on the scale of the proposed complex and in a broader context.




  • analyse local conditions that are the consequences of a location’s distinct characteristics
  • define a draft land use programme of the space of the proposed city centre (with the placement of selected public and commercial services) and analyse its placement conditions through the lens of the principles of urban design
  • design a layout of buildings and public spaces that form an interesting urban composition;
  • ensure comfortable functional linkages, appropriately to the adopted programme of land use (the proposed layouts are to be functionally and technically correct and be concordant with the precepts of sustainable development);
  • design a legible circulation system that ensures good accessibility to the proposed area of the city centre, provide the safest possible internal connections, good permeability and concordance with the precepts of sustainable mobility.
  • provide a general outline of the architecture of a selected fragment of the proposed centre.



The presentations should be prepared in PowerPoint, on a maximum of 4 slides each (the first two presentations, the third can utilise more). The first two presentations will have a strong emphasis on factual elements and solutions – so don’t go overboard with fancy graphics because it will only be a waste of time – we will not be grading the presentations based on how pretty they are. They have to be well thought out and legible.

The first presentation should feature an analysis of your project’s site from a planner’s/urban designer’s/architect’s point of view, focusing on the following elements:
– the location of the site within the city and its relationships with the city’s key elements (the city centre, major circulation nodes, significant structures/sites)
– the relations between the site and the areas in its immediate vicinity (circulation, access, visual elements, landmarks, barriers, building morphology, density, major functions, greenery, public spaces,etc.)
– functional and formal analysis (urban morphology relative to land use, the forms of use of buildings, building height, topography, composition, public spaces, circulation, etc.)
– analysis of the positive and negative elements of a site (areas in poor technical condition, underdeveloped areas, areas without spatial order, well-structured areas, areas that can serve as attractors/development stimulants, areas with good architecture, also – public spaces etc.)
– brief SWOT analysis
– brief conclusions in the form of a couple of sentences describing the problems the area has that can be addressed through an intervention (e.g. residential areas without clearly demarcated private/public zones, lack of public spaces, lack of basic services, spatial disorder etc.)

The entire presentation should take you no longer than 10-15 minutes to deliver.



  1. Linkages with the city, content-appropriate scale
  2. Synthesis of urban conditions—1:2000 (current land use within the borders of the site and within its urban buffer, physiognomic assessment, assessment of the cultural and natural environment, circulation scheme, assessment of the technical condition of buildings and greenery)
  3. Conceptual urban design proposal—drawn to a scale of 1:1000 or 1:2000 (can include schemes and ideograms, e.g. functional scheme, urban composition scheme, circulation system, greenery, public spaces, etc.)
  4. Conceptual architectural and urban design proposal of a selected fragment of the site, drawn to a scale of 1:500 (site development, general layout of ground floors)
  5. Technical sheet—cross-sections, facades, urban detail, drawn to a scale of 1:500
  6. Perspective views of the selected fragment, visualisations
  7. Conceptual sketches.


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