The lectures deal with the historical evolution of public buildings and public spaces. Two aspects are important: function and architectural space. The history of function is one of diversification and specialisation. History has shown that programmatic ideas and spatial ideas correspond within their own time but that form does not always follow function. In many cases, typical spatial forms are capable of coping with a diversity of functional requirements. Function can be implicit as well as explicit; how could we otherwise reuse older buildings.
Public buildings and public spaces are as much a result of conflicting architectural ideas proposed by different periods of history as they are the result of a specific programmatic idea of their own time. Ideal buildings and ideal spaces are the exception; in most cases, architects are concerned with the reconciliation of conflicting spatial ideals and conflicting programmatic ideas. The lecture course supports the idea that the intuitive design process is part of a greater architectural history. The lectures deal with the present, and with the past in relation to the present.