Looking at important buildings and structures and at models, plans, prints or slides will also help to spark ideas and develop emerging ideas further. Visually stimulating buildings of a wide range of styles from different times and cultures would include civic, religious, industrial and domestic examples. Railway stations, hospitals, religious houses, courthouses, town halls or city halls and commercial banks are often interesting features of towns and cities, as are structures such as bridges, harbours and public sculpture.The range could extend from stone forts, passage graves, dolmens (portal tombs), standing stones, crannógs and the pyramids, through Romanesque churches, mediaeval and Renaissance castles, palaces and churches to the modern era of, for example,

  • Le Corbusier’s church at Ronchamp
  • I. M. Pei’s glass pyramid at the Louvre
  • Antoni Gaudí’s Church of the Sagrada Familia, Barcelona
  • The head office of Met Éireann in Dublin, as well as examples of Georgian architecture and buildings by Gandon. Examples of Scandinavian design and of the eastern design traditions of India and Japan could also be studied.

Vernacular architecture and craftsmanship from different cultures are also sources of design ideas. Children will be interested in both the structural and the decorative aspects of mud houses, houses on stilts, boat houses, cave dwellings and caravans, as well as in our own native cottages and tower-houses.