Entry Requirements,Syllabus & Qualification

We must find a way of seeing and knowing the role of architecture, which allows us, consciously and emotionally, to recognize that the material beauty of the buildings and physical material details we build, can convey the qualities of compassion and happiness.
— Christopher Alexander

2019-20 Entry Requirements and Registration Process

The course is open to individuals holding a Bachelor with a minimum of 2-2 (lower second class), or equivalent experience in architecture or indeed any other area of knowledge in Science, Humanities and the Arts. As we work with students from different countries we have found that this requirement is achieved in different ways depending on their education system. Please contact us if you have questions about whether you qualify at hello@buildingbeauty.org.

BB Poster A4 2019-20_LR.jpg

Registration is now open for the 2019-20 session of Building Beauty, which will begin in early November 2019 and run through mid-May 2020. 15 places are available and will be assigned to the best students who meet the entry requirements, demonstrate good learning capability, have completed the registration process, and paid a 10% deposit on fees by September 31, 2019. The deadline for 2019-20 registration has been extended to September 15, 2019. If you have questions, please write to hello@buildingbeauty.org.

To apply:

1. Contact hello@buildingbeauty.org to arrange for an initial interview.

2. Download, complete and submit the Admission Application (here) by September 15, 2019.

3. Offers will be made to successful students by September 31, 2019.


The 2018-19 Building Beauty syllabus contains the details on the current course. There may be changes for the 2019-20 session.


Upon successful completion of the program, students will be awarded the “Building Beauty: Construction & Building Process” ACBB Post-Graduate Diploma (1200 hours in total, equal to 120 UK credits, or 60 ECTS, or 30 USA credits). Legal accreditation is currently being sought from universities in Italy, the United States, the United Kingdom, and India. Please contact us if you have questions about how Building Beauty credits might apply to other programs. hello@buildingbeauty.org

Academic Credits for the Building Beauty Program Now Available via its Partnership with the University of Hartford in the United States

The student’s experience will be in these main axis of activities:


Hands-on construction is the backbone of the Building Beauty. Students engage in direct construction from the first to the last day of the program. In the first semester they study and map historical building techniques, ornament and materials, to then engage in a full-scale in-lab reconstruction of, for example a wall, a vault, an arch, a window frame, or a combination of those. In the second semester, students design and build a project.


Seminars follow a “cenacolo” (“dinner circle”) format: world leading scholars and professionals from a range of different areas of science and arts come and first work with the students in the building site; then they reflect on what building means from their own point of view, and finally sit and share dinner with students, staff and external visitors in one of the marvellous monastery’s indoor halls or outdoor terraces (depending on the weather). The aim is to create a relaxed and informal atmosphere that allows guest staff and students to exchange ideas and feelings in the most appropriate way, and to inform networking at a deeper level.


A series of workshops aimed at raising our awareness of our own individual and collective feelings. Feelings will be explored in relation to space, the body-mind, and the way they interact in the hands-on physical work of making artefacts. This line of activity is meant to provide the knowledge required to observe, understand and act within a complex system where elements have both individual and interrelated value, and where observation, understanding and action are related to our experience of such elements and their interrelation. Feelings are the gateway that connect our deep self to the external world: learning to name and recognize them, trust them, and live with them, is crucial to our ability to work with others and with the structure of the land.


Finally, the summer school will conclude the program. This is a traditional building experience that includes hands-on construction, conversational lessons, and guided tours.

If you would like to get a sense of what it would be like to be a student in this program, see our Student Work page and hear from the students in their own words.