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.

WS 20/21 – Bachelor / Thesis Project Collective Domestic
Re-purposing buildings in Munich

Proposed solutions to the housing crisis in the European city are often reduced to the single ambition of building more homes year-on-year, while the more profound question of what type of housing should be built goes unanswered. With more people living alone than within a family unit, the cost of living and property rising, there is both a need and a demand for a wider range of options, including the opportunity to live within small collectives where resources can be shared, individual privacy retained and small communities established. Inter-generational housing, housing that can adapt to changing need, housing that could accommodate those who wish to live on their own, those who wish to live in groups, those who are part of families - even extended families as is favoured by some communities, those who need assistance in living but at the same time wish for independence, all represent the broadening of housing models and bring with them the need to find appropriate and sustainable architectural solutions.

The idea of co-living emerged from counter culture movements of the 1960s and 70’s and has since evolved and found structure through housing co-operatives and co-housing models. The housing co-operative is a group of people who manage and control the housing in which they live. Each person is a member of the housing co-operative and has an equal say in decision-making. No member individually owns or makes profit at the expense of another. All members are expected to take an active role in providing and managing the accommodation. Collective housing is based around an intentional community based on a framework of shared ideals with residents agreeing to live according to a shared set of rules and a share in responsibility. Members of shared households benefit from mutual support and shared resources, such as childcare and cost efficiencies, but they must in turn invest in the smooth running of the micro community.

Alongside these possibilities for alternative living models is the need to address Climate Emergency in which buildings and construction play a major part, accounting for nearly 40% of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. The linear model of an economy based on consumption relying on an inexhaustible provision of raw material is no longer sustainable and it is imperative to shift our thinking towards the circle economy - to design with an economy of means, utilising Re-use, Re-cycling, Re-ducing waste and Re-ducing extraction.

This semester we shall address these two key themes to develop a micro community consisting of different living types within re-purposed buildings in Munich. The typology of these buildings will be strong - towers, courtyard buildings, car parks, palaces, bunkers - their structure and presence will be a key protagonist in the underlying character of the project and its accommodation.

Stephen Bates and Bruno Krucker, October 2020
Collective Domestic map of sites

Downloads (BA Project / Thesis)

WS 20/21
Semester brief

Semester introduction

* password required

Introduction exercise one

Introduction exercise three

Introduction exercise five and six

Introduction exercise seven

* password required