The world’s only holistic course for designing beautiful cities and buildings.

Learn classic planning and traditional architecture

At the Classic Planning Academy, we teach the most successful strategies for designing a beautiful, pleasurable and healthy built environment.  The world’s best cities and towns were designed using similar techniques, honed over thousands of years. In our unique curriculum, we have made this knowledge accessible to a new generation of designers.


Unlike other professional certification courses, our curriculum and methods are holistic: we teach architecture, planning and the building arts together and students learn and apply the science of beauty in their designs. Our curriculum includes study of the traditional architectures of all the world’s cultures.


Learn to design exquisite buildings like the ones you love in old places


Plan healthy, loveable, walkable cities that feel make people feel good


Directly and practically address climate change and urban sprawl


Experience fully hands-on ‘learning by doing’, including the building arts

What you will learn

Beautiful architecture, from the exquisite to the humble

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Learn how to design authentic traditional buildings through studying the fundamentals of classic architecture, including geometry, the classical orders, proportions, elements, materials and processes, composition and architectural orthographics ⁠— and how to apply these through instructor-led drawing and the practical application of learned techniques to real projects.

How to design a good, healthy city and execute 100-year plans

Learn the fundamentals of good urban planning and how to design a city using the same classical methods that the world’s best cities were created with. Practice designing environmentally sustainable and resilient cities that maximise liveability, pleasure, relationships and wellbeing. Apply the science of beauty to cut through jargon and piecemeal problem-solving. 


Participate in a real 100-year planning studio with a Classic Planning Studio client.


Bringing your designs to life with the building arts


Learn about authentic classical and vernacular buildings and traditional artisanal building techniques such as carpentry, plasterwork, stone carving, tiling, decorative finishes, ironwork and glasswork. Understand from master craftspeople how the building arts are essential to realising a good and healthy city and how to integrate them with urban planning.*

*Intermediate program


Suits those who are working full time


Taught by leading industry experts at the top of their craft


Study from anywhere with fully online, fully live classes


Pay in monthly instalments or a discounted annual lump sum

Who are our students?

We accept discerning, intelligent and ambitious students to participate in our courses, which are limited to twenty places per student cohort. If you believe you may fit this description, apply now.


Planners and planning students

Urban planners and planning students disillusioned with jargon and academic theorising who want to go beyond piecemeal problem-solving and learn how to create long-term plans for resilient, healthy and pleasurable cities.


Architects and architecture students

Architects and students who want to enhance employability, learn timeless fundamentals, increase earning potential, tap new markets, and learn rare and in-demand traditional architecture skills.


Employees who want to upskill

We work with employers to certify their staff and train them in high-demand new skills. If you work at an architectural firm, planning studio, municipal office or government department, contact us for information about corporate discounts.

Get certified

Classic Planning Certificates demonstrate an applied comprehension of traditional architecture, classic planning and the building arts. Certification provides participants with a professional designation, digital and hard copy certificates and a word mark to include in professional biographies and résumés.

If you are a practicing professional and would like to become certified, your employer may fund your certificate. Contact us to find out more.


“I had always sensed that there was something ‘up’ with the environments in which most of us work and call home today. With the Classic Planning Institute, I was led on a journey of practical study, quickly learning that the wisdom generated over thousands of years is where the answer lies. To say that I have been forever changed, is an understatement.”

Alison Hogg, UK

“The Classic Planning Academy has showed me a network of great individuals that has treated me with the outmost decorum and personal style. The knowledge that I learned has helped me to see the world differently in terms of goodness and beauty, in a holistic way, with in design, building crafts, and urbanism or settlement planning.”

Flavio Diaz Miron, Mexico

“The introductory courses lead by Dr. Nir Buras are a hidden treasure for anyone with an interest in design. The format provides deep knowledge of architecture, planning and history in a highly accessible way. The passion for teaching that Dr. Buras has for these subjects and his generosity with this time to interact with students creates a learning environment that is exemplary. I highly recommend this classes to people of all ages and professions and especially to architects and urban planners.”

Zachary Kane, US

Programs and curriculum

The Academy offers two programs, a certificate program and professional accreditation.

Certificate program

The Classic Planning Certificate (CPC) program allows professionals and students to gain a working knowledge of traditional architecture to improve their practice or enhance their study. Certificates provide students with a working knowledge of classic urban planning, traditional architecture and the building arts.


Participants will gain a core foundation of skills and knowledge in the university-level Classic Planning Academy curriculum. You will receive a certificate issued by the Classic Planning Institute for completing the each program.

Introductory Certificate ⁠— next intake 2023

The Introductory Certificate includes 125 hours total class time completed over the year:

Architectural Literacy
5 hours one day per week
April to August
Classic Planning
5 hours one day per week
August to September
100-year planning studio
5 hours one day per week
October to November

You may join the introductory program in the April semester (Architectural Literacy) or August semester (Classic Planning) student intakes. If you join in August, you will be expected to do an accelerated intensive course in architectural literacy.


All classes are live on Zoom until further notice. Total fees for the Introductory Certificate are US$5400. Pay in monthly instalments or a discounted annual lump sum. A discounted rate is available for students who are studying full time at university or equivalent.

The Classic Planning Academy offers one scholarship per year to a student who would not otherwise be able to afford to complete a certificate. When awarding scholarships, we take into consideration your financial status. Applicants are required to complete a statement of need. 

Intermediate Certificate ⁠— Next intake 2023

The Intermediate Certificate is for graduates of the Introductory Certificate. It includes three courses: Traditional Architecture History and Studio; Classic Planning: Fundamentals, Application, and Studio; and Introduction to the Building Arts.

Accreditation program

For students who complete our two-year program, the Classic Planning Academy provides an extended Accreditation Program, which is a highly ambitious program undertaken over four years at the candidate’s own pace. Based on study, travel and on-site and professional experience, students earn a professional-level accreditation issued by the Classic Planning Institute with the right to use the relevant post-nominals. To acquire the accreditation, the candidate completes:

  • A one-year building arts practicum with hands-on experience in 40 different trades;

  • One year of Academy-guided, self-funded or philanthropically funded world travel; and

  • A two-year apprenticeship in an architectural or planning studio or office.

The Accreditation Program is the most holistic and comprehensive course of its type in the world. Candidates specialise in architecture, planning or the building arts. Certain university-level prerequisites in science, the arts and technical studies are required for accreditation. Contact us to find out more.

Full program overview

Introductory Certification
Intermediate Certification
Professional Accreditation
Next intake 2023
Starting in 2023. Requires Introductory Certification
Starting in 2024. Requires Fellow Certification

How we compare

For architecture students or students considering practicing architecture, we recommend treating the acquisition of a Classic Planning Certificate as similar to an elective at university, intended to complement and supplement your degree.

Most architecture schools
Classic Planning Academy
Create 100-year city plans

Practice hands-on traditional building arts

Fully learn-by-doing curriculum (low on theory, high on practice)

100% online


Qualify to practice architecture or planning

Federal and state subsidies

Learn classic urban planning

Learn traditional architecture

Learn while studying or working full time