BA Project – Final Week
20th July 13:00–18:00
BA Project Final Critic
Guest critic by Francesca Torzo and Alexander Fthenakis

Via Zoom:
Meeting-ID: 971 3376 3435
Password: 030989

20th July at 18:30
How do past and future meet?
Guest lecture by Francesca Torzo

Via Zoom:
Meeting-ID: 971 3376 3435
Password: 030989

Bachelor / Thesis Project

At the centre of the Bachelor course is a design project run over the course of a semester. The project, framed within a thematic investigation, is carried out in small groups, each contributing to a wider group study of a given situation. A specific neighbourhood or context is chosen in Munich within which students act on a variety of sites.

The focus is in the design of buildings, interiors and urban spaces from strategic thinking to construction detail. The course encourages a growing sensitivity to the character of the city and how the design of a building engages with the wider character of the urban context.

The Professors are supported by Assistant Claudia Duell-Buchecker and a number of part-time Junior assistants who are practicing architects in the city. Alongside the design project a lecture series is run addressing related themes.

SS 2020 – Bachelor / Thesis Project The Architecture of the Block
Test planning in Milbertshofen

The urban perimeter block defines and gives shape to the European city. Consistent edges clarify the threshold between the public and the private domain. The perimeter structure gives definition to the street with facades that conform to some consistent rules and it contains an inner space or courtyard that provides air, sun and recreational space to the inhabitants. The simplicity and directness of this urban figure gives it great versatility in organization and economy of space. Territory is clearly demarcated - everyone understands it – both the passer-by who might judge their journey through the city by the number of blocks they pace past or by the inhabitant who knows that once they cross the threshold of the gate or the porch-door know that they are home.

The length and scale of blocks make them unique and often contributes to giving individual cities their identity over others, think of the 113.3m chamfered blocks of Barcelona or the long 185m blocks in Munich’s Maxvorstadt district for example. The facades conforming to a consistent scale and texture can be diverse in their definition, as a group of houses bunched up together on the one hand or as an immense physical mass employing a repetition of sameness on the other. Variations like internal streets, sequences of courtyards, courts towards the street and lower internal buildings, developed over time, give the block a further complexity but the overriding sense of wholeness, of figure and ground, give the block an enduring and familiar quality.

We are interested in how Theodor Fischer, while Head of the office of urban expansion in Munich in the late 1890’s, author of the Staffelbauplan of Munich (graduated building plan) of 1904 and later as joint founder of the Deutscher Werkbund 1907 and member of the German Garden City Movement reinterpreted the character of the urban block with a more open character defined by large urban villas. These villas of collective occupation conform to the guidelines of the disciplined block but gaps are allowed to form between them, describing the buildings as figures, giving greater opportunities in internal planning and allowing air and views into the heart of the block. Fischer’s ideas gave the block a greater potential for a coherent diversity and allowed the informality of the inner block to become part of the urban encounter.

Fischer demonstrated that the block can accommodate different ideas and typologies, not as an excuse for generating cosmetic differences to make similar buildings look as different as possible but as a way of tuning the urban figure to its place in the city, its outlook to view or response to orientation and climate. Buildings remain integral parts of a greater whole but they display a character of their own which contributes to a continuing narrative of city life and day to day experience. This semester we shall explore the potential in the architecture of the block by carrying out test planning and scenario studies in the neighbourhood of Milbertshofen, in northern Munich - to consider the principles of a tolerant and picturesque urbanism that epitomizes the best aspects of the European city.

Stephen Bates and Bruno Krucker, March 2020
The Architecture of the Block Urban block, Cadix, Antwerp, Sergison Bates architects / Bovenbouw / Bulk Waterside housing, Cadix, Antwerp, Sergison Bates architects Model study, joint work of Büro Krucker / Hild und K / Sergison Bates architects

Munich Schwabing (Photographs: SKB) Figure ground plan of Munich, Milbertshofen area in red

Downloads (BA Project / Thesis)

SS 2020
The Architecture of the Block – Semester theme

SS 2020
Semester brief

Semester introduction

Student material

Plan material Milbertshofen Ost

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Introduction model making

Introduction exercise one

Introduction exercise two

Introduction exercise three

Introduction exercise four

Introduction exercise five

Introduction exercise six

Introduction exercise seven

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Lectures SS 2020

Bruno Krucker: Human Settlement

Stephen Bates: Facing the City (1/2)

Stephen Bates: Facing the City (2/2)

Bruno Krucker: About floor plans

Stephen Bates: The space between (1/2)

Stephen Bates: The space between (2/2)

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Downloads (BA 4th Semester – Modul 16P Städtebau)

Einführung / Introduction

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