Architectural Institute In Prague (ARCHIP) is the first private international school of architecture in the Czech Republic.
The school offers instruction only in the English language and is truly international, with an emphasis on international students and faculty. ARCHIP was established in 2010 and benefits from being situated in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. The premises of ARCHIP are in the Kartografie Praha building in Prague 7 Františka Křížka, a former printing workshop that has kept its industrial character after renovation.
The plan to start a new school of architecture in Prague was born in 2005 in a group of people around the architect Martin Roubík (1949–2008).Roubik along with his wife, Regina Loukotová (the rector of the school), had been thinking about a private architecture school for nearly 10 years. Roubík had returned to Prague from Oslo, where he had been teaching and working, and both felt something was missing in the schooling offered for architects here."There are seven different places in the Czech Republic where you can study architecture," she says. "The other schools also offer programs in English, but not the whole package - a bachelor's degree in English."A lack of emphasis in certain areas also worried Loukotová, and these are the subjects ARCHIP will highlight.
Pištěk, the current vice-rector of the institute and a former student of Roubík's, is a freelance architect. All four of the core people working to open the school still have their day jobs and are still young enough to remember their school days. Pištěk agrees that architecture education in Prague is lacking."ARCHIP wants different fields to collaborate together at the beginning of the planning process and this includes collaborating when you are a student," he said. "I missed this a lot when I was in school."
The school received its final approval to operate from the Education Ministry in May 2010. It has about 45 professors, about one-third of whom are Czech, and the rest are from abroad. Class sizes are currently between 20 and 30 students, and will expand up to 60 students as the school grows, compared with the roughly 300 at the Czech Technical University. With an international character of both students and staff and a program in English, the school certainly offers something different. But ARCHIP's bottom line will be teaching the fundamentals of architecture.
The college situated in the heart of Europe offers instruction only in the English language and is truly international, with an emphasis on international students and faculty. The size and focus of the school suitably complements existing institutions providing architectural education in the Czech Republic, which makes for a broader choice of options for students interested in studying architecture. The programme of the school is based in studio instruction; other professional courses should relate to it and complement it. Lectures in theory combine with practice-oriented seminars, excursions and workshops – practical instruction is assigned a great weight in the study programme. ARCHIP puts students in contact with the practice and helps them understand architecture in its context. The instruction takes place in Prague and in other parts of the Czech Republic. The size of the school (60 students per year) allows a close contact between the faculty and the students during instruction, tutoring and the final evaluation of student works – it is essential for the atmosphere of open communication and creative collaboration at the school. ARCHIP is a platform for architecture in general, with its own information, promotion and publication activities. It has its own exhibition space and a professional reference library with a reading room with magazines; it also would like to organise lifelong learning courses and hosts lectures of leading local and international architects. Excursions to visit outstanding local and international architecture is organised throughout the year.
The candidate's abilities, skills and knowledge for study at the school of architecture will be tested in the admission examination. The student must have completed the secondary school education certificated by school leaving examination. The candidate will complete an online application form on the school’s website, and subsequently send a digital portfolio of his/her work, including a short motivation letter. The admissions committee will examine the submissions and assess the candidate’s aptitude for study, in particular their composition, creative and artistic talent and the candidate’s interest in the discipline of architecture. The size of the school shall be about 60 students per year.
The method of student’s knowledge and skills assessment in different subjects is laid down in the Study Plan. Each course is concluded with the evaluation of a semester work, an examination or a combination of the two. The conditions of evaluation are defined in Rules of Study and Examination and are specified by the tutor. For quantified control of the study process, a unified credit system is used – the student will get a certain number of credit points for every course that is successfully completed, which corresponds to the average study load of the course. Before the start of an academic year, the number of credits from the previous year will be checked – to establish that the minimum required number of credits was given, which is a requirement for the continuation of study. The total credit requirement for completing the study is defined, as is the maximum allowed length of study. The credit system and the classification scale is compatible with the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), allowing for student mobility within European education programmes.
ARCHIP has a basic architecture reference library with a reading room furnished with specialised magazines.In addition students can also use other libraries in Prague:National Technical Library
ARCHIP grants scholarships to the best applicants. Scholarships are granted for one academic year but can be extended, raised, reduced or suspended - according to results in study. Scholarships are granted on the basis of the evaluation and recommendation of the professional committee. Application for the scholarship is a part of the application form.