In which style shall we build?

In Frankfurt Five Architects and Two Politicians are Talking about Building Materials

Organized by Steffen Lehmann, Matthias Irmscher and Michael Braum, a series of statements, lectures and discussions take place at the House Close to the Cathedral in Frankfurt. Haus am Dom. With the help of Sto Ag, the conference too includes a rare species, Petra Müller, tough lady, architect with her own office and MdB, Member of Parliament, at the same time.

Interior of Haus T.+ B.Fritz, architect H.R.Hiegel

In which style shall we build? This is one of the most famous and notorious questions at certain points in the discourse of architectural theory for nearly a century now. Master builders in the middle ages were few and progress in style often was little reflected. Really outstanding architects can be counted at two hands for decenniums. Most astonishing, urban, morphological and aesthetics standards though seemed to have been nearly always on a high level. In those days few building materials were being used, harmonic proportions. Even the best master builders and architects either followed simple rules like using the golden section in more or less sophisticated manners or tried to articulate them in the most outstanding ways. Simple reading but extremely difficult to achieve. Current design practice though is evocative of promiscuous use of whatever top sellers of the building material industry think is fashionable or what will be within a hype soon. Fortunately a few trends can be felt, slightly behind the mainstream of our design is a hit, a landmark, Bilbao everywhere. The supremacy of autistic algorithmics may find an end. Within one or two decades maybe. Hans Kollhoff and Dieter Bartetzko tackle the problem from rather different points to start. The writer, Bartetzko, draws romantic lines and emphatic clouds, the architect, Kollhoff, sharpens his words, not hesitating to overstate. Just use a small range of materials, there is no need to use any plastic you can get hold of. Just stone, glass, mortar, tiles. That´s it. Plaster on the insides. Dieter von Lüpke who learned his craft at the ETH Zurich, who worked in responsible situations in treple Munich, Ulm and Mainhattan before he was appointed head of urban planning in Frankfurt, reflects on the basics. Urban morphology in steady continuation. Urbanity needs identification and continuity at the same time Hans Kollhoff likes it, Dieter Bartetzko provokes but it seems, being hilariously wild and innovative in pseudoartistic areas, is rather easy for anybody to do. To follow a classic line and beeing extremely innovative might be the phantastic challenge for future architects.