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Contextualizing PREVI – an intercultural knowledge transfer in humanitarian and architectural discourses 

Name of candidate Dipl.-Ing. Daniel Spruth M.A. 



Supervisor Prof. Dr. Ir. Christoph Grafe

Language English

Outlining the significance and scope of the Proyecto Experimental de Vivienda (1968-1975) in an extended cultural-historical reading within architectural history of the 20th century is the central objective of my doctoral thesis. The low-cost housing project in Lima, initiated by the Peruvian government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), represents an extraordinary attempt of a transcontinental collaboration and transfer of knowledge that has not yet been comprehensively investigated within the two disciplinary fields of humanitarian and architectural discourses.

As far as the discourse on development aid is concerned, the first General Assembly 1946 in the beginning of the humanitarian and political work of the United Nations and the Habitat: Conference on Human Settlements 1976 in Vancouver mark important focal points for research. In this period a rapid process of decolonisation and geopolitical reorganization takes place, in which colonial power relations are gradually being replaced by the paradigm of development aid. With regard to activities of key actors of both discourses, guiding ideas and correlations will be investigated to understand development and break lines, conflicts and prospects. Within networks from the discourse in architecture and urbanism, for instance C.I.A.M., TEAM 10 and the International Journal of Ekistics, issues on humanized living conditions in areas of crisis in the Global South were successively pushed forward.

 

versteckt modern? – Steinerne Körper mit stählernen Skeletten

Name of candidate Dipl.-Ing. Cornelia Böttner 



Supervisor Prof. Dr. Ir. Christoph Grafe

Second supervisor Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jasper Cepl

Language German

1950 erbaut Rolf Gutbier in Stuttgart das Geschäftshaus Speiser in Stahl mit einer der ersten Aluminium-Glas- Fassaden in Deutschland. Zeitgleich entstehen in verschiedenen Städten ebenso und zahlreich Gebäude, wie etwa das Postamt I in Hannover, bei denen man sich bewusst für eine Natursteinfassade entscheidet, die mit moderner Interpretation an Architekturtraditionen anknüpft und damit die zerstörte Altstadt zu reparieren sucht, sich zur städtebaulichen Rücksichtnahme verpflichtet. Geprägt von dem Begriff einer steinernen Architektur sowie den konservativen Überzeugungen von Bauherren, Stadträten und ihren Architekten blieb der Stahl meist unsichtbar und wird zum versteckten Helfer moderner Raumideen sowie später einem weitgehend ideologisch motivierten Drang zum Hochhaus innerstädtischer Verwaltungsarchitektur. Trotz filigraner Konstruktionselemente ermöglicht er große Spannweiten. Die damit verbundene Flexibilität im Grundriss und die Verschiebung gewohnter statischer Verhältnisse und Sehgewohnheiten geben dem steinernen Baukörper eine moderne Erscheinung. Weite stützenfreie Räume, Licht und konstruktive Leichtigkeit - das Überwinden der Masse als Traum eines Neubeginns - der Weg in die Zukunft. Mit, so Mies van der Rohe, einem „Maß an Freiheit in der räumlichen Gestaltung, auf das wir nicht mehr verzichten werden. Jetzt erst können wir den Raum frei gliedern“. Nicht in seiner formalen Kraft, sondern in seinen konstruktiven wie technologischen Eigenschaften liegt die Bedeutung des Stahlskelettbaus in den Wiederaufbaujahren begründet. Er ist filigran, flexibel, leichter als eine vergleichbare Konstruktion aus Stahlbeton und er ist durch Vorfertigung und einer wetterunabhängigen Montage schnell. Der Wiederaufbau der zerstörten Städte forderte Effizienz. Seine Triebkraft duldete keinen Aufschub. Vorfertigung und teilweise Typisierung werden zum Schlüssel seines Erfolges.

Betrachtet werden sollen Bauten mit einem Tragwerk aus Stahl und steinerner Hülle, welche nach 1945 bis 1960 entstanden sind. Es wird behauptet, dass diese Gebäude durch ihr konstruktives technologisches Konzept, den geistigen Kern Modernen Bauens in sich tragen - hybride Architekturmodelle zwischen einer traditionellen Material-Ästhetik und moderner Bauindustrie sind. Im Kontext der gestalterischen Ideen ihrer Erbauer sind sie ein Produkt aus der Komplexität konstruktiver, technologischer, gesellschaftlicher und wirtschaftlicher Bedingungen ihrer Zeit, die es gilt im Einzelnen zu entschlüsseln und deren Wirkungen zu beschreiben. <o:p></o:p>

Auch soll der Frage nachgegangen werden, woran sich das Moderne eines Gebäudes bemisst. Etwa an seiner städtebaulichen Gestalt, an seiner äußeren Erscheinung, seiner Materialität? An seiner inneren Struktur? Seiner Konstruktion? Der Technologie, mit der es errichtet wurde? Seiner Funktionalität, seiner Raumorganisation? Oder: Seiner Beziehung zwischen Kern und Hülle? 

 

Max Raphael on Architecture

Name of candidate Ir. Jules Schooman

Supervisor Prof. Dr. Ir. Christoph Grafe

Language English

The German art historian and philosopher Max Raphael (1889-1952) devoted his life to the development of an empirical theory of art. Inspired by Karl Marx’s own incomplete theory of art, Raphael sought to understand works of art on the sole basis of the physical object itself – thereby withstanding the century-old doctrine of art historical styles and epochs, and with the aim to open up art history to the working classes. Despite his lasting influence on art critics such as John Berger, Raphael’s work remains unknown to the English-speaking world, and even in the German-speaking world his status is nowhere near to e.g. his contemporary Walter Benjamin.

Among Raphael’s corpus is a series of (published and unpublished) texts dealing exclusively with the topic of architecture, which gave occasion to this dissertation exposé. The research aims to provide an comprehensive overview and critical analysis of Max Raphael’s writings on architecture, at the centre of which is the 1930 publication Der Dorische Tempel (The Doric Temple).

Set up as a triptych, the research first looks at Raphael’s gradual turn to architecture in the period 1910-1930. This biographical part makes use of an unpublished manuscript of Raphael’s own (auto)biography. The second part offers a close reading of Der Dorische Tempel from a contemporary, transdisciplinary perspective. Raphael’s methodology is scrutinised in this part and his argument is replicated with the most recent data. The third part addresses Raphael’s stay in Paris (1933-1940), his writings on modern architecture and contacts with André Lurçat (1894-1970). The emphasis of the last part lays on architecture history and theory.

These three parts are published as individual articles; for the final dissertation an introductory and concluding chapter are added. These chapters reflect on the relevance of Raphael’s method for today’s relationship between architectural history, theory and practice. For Raphael’s Der Dorische Tempel aimed to actively contribute to the contemporary practice of architects and classicism of the Interbellum period. The increasing autonomy of architecture history and theory today obstruct a more vidid exchange with architecture practice. In what ways can historians and theorists contribute to contemporary practice? Raphael’s work might provide an answer. Additionally, the final chapters assess the value of Raphael’s empirical method against the backdrop of today’s attempts to reconcile the humanities with the exact sciences. 

 

Architekturtheoretische Perspektive auf den Begriff der Star-Architecture

Name of candidate Dipl.-Ing. Thomas Hackenfort

Supervisor Prof. Dr. Ir. Christoph Grafe

Second supervisor Prof. Dr.-Ing. Susanne Hause

Language German

Star architecture – commonly described as the category of architecture that tourists wish to visit all around the world, built a small group of famous architects who care above all for their rigorous self-expression while ignoring the local culture, the demands of clients, the requirements of the community, or any kind of cost-constraints. We have seen, read and heard about it almost everywhere: in newspapers, magazines, travel guides, and in the flesh for many years now, and still, cities from all countries seem to compete for the next big architectural bang, investing enormous amounts of money to overcome their perceived economic or cultural difficulties.

When it comes to the architecture of the stars, it might appear, that we know what we are talking about. Yet – given its primary objective being to look behind what appears to be the obvious, to question even widespread assumptions, to build knowledge about the causes for manifest effects and phenomena – academic research and debate tries to shed light on what must be considered as their related backgrounds, emergence conditions, or crucial factors in its development. 

That said, the issue of star architecture has indeed raised increased scholarly attention particularly since the beginning of the 21st century. A number of publications showing a distinct scientific interest in explaining how the modi operandi of star architecture can be described, analysed and understood, has appeared in the past few years, though mostly in the Anglo-American academic debate. 

In the basic form of a meta study comprising the most decisive, relevant and academic related works about star architecture, this dissertation argues that the term bears an inherent uncertainty principle, allowing for the determination of specific factors while at the same time concealing most others, deeply depending on the chosen research perspective. Permitting to carve out the substance of the discourse from the position of architecturally theory and history, this study equally demonstrates the pitfalls of attempts to define any reliable planning criteria for future projects of star architecture.

 

 

zuletzt bearbeitet am: 17.10.2019