Städelschule Architecture Class (Frankfurt, Germany)

(Second Year)



Dec '11 - Mar '13

  • 008 2 used from EUR 822.39

    short analysis of Morpho-ecologies intro...

    Morpho-ecologies: Towards Heterogeneous Space in Architectural Design

    It would be of importance to address the role of function and program, and their meaning in this Morpho-Ecological (ME) context, since the last reference that architects bear strongly in their minds pertains to the long-by project of Modernism. Early Modernism and Functionalism drove the word function into high-priority status in the design process with epigrams such as Louis Sullivan’s “form follows function” giving a sense that aesthetics and other architectural tenets stem from function organically. Conversely, now at days the word function is divorced with its classical associations and disciplinary weight. As Jesse Reiser notes: “Only architects think that there exists a tight relationship between how spaces are labeled and what happens inside them” explaining the fact that human activities do not necessarily follow architectural boundaries with exactitude. Additionally, Menges looks for the following “…a simultaneous shift away from programme as design-defining towards design as programme-evolving”, meaning program and function only strive to frame activities and if they ever do so, it would be not a priori, but a posteriori, also, the role of program in design should shift from absolute to loose: “Programme only maintains its hold through rigidly installed provisions (elevator shafts, toilet sinks, and so on) or through enforced policies.” The morpho-Ecology approach relies largely on the notions discussed in Reyner Banham’s ‘Architecture of the well-tempered environment’ to define space in terms of gradients rather than thresholds of binary oppositions (inside-outside, access or denial, freedom or containment). “The challenge is to formulate a synthesized approach based on a synergetic relation between material thresholds and environmental dynamics.” In the broadest way of speaking, walls seem to be the only device to articulate the internal disposition of a building; As Léopold Lambert would argue, a door just delineates architecture’s porosity, “a device that controls the carceral characteristics of a room” , divisions in architecture refer not to environmental divisions but as matter to divide space; having these thresholds to diagram one’s body inability to exert enough energy to move from one space to another , if the architect did not mean for someone to do it. Divisions, thresholds, and partitions are what we were left with after the Evansian analysis on 19th century architecture of the complex matrix of interconnected rooms, and its new social order that brought the corridor, and the post 20th century ‘open plan’ of democratic equality. Speaking of environmental gradients, the ME approach bespeaks of heterogeneous space rather than homogeneous  “The vast majority of the architecture designed and constructed today consists of substantial structures and hard environmental divisions packaged together with standardized buildings systems and statistically established homogeneous interior environments” and “Performance-oriented designs through differentiated material systems are a powerful means of providing desired micro-climates and gradients without having to resort to a plethora of equipment. (p.53)”



  • 007 SAC projects 2012

    Presented here to you are some of the projects of note from the last academic year. As usual from our small Frankfurt-based production house, these projects do not only try to bear contemporary intentions (the academic avant-garde  we always pursue), but also are born and thought within...

  • 006 Sir PETER COOK lecture

    Tagged peter cook

    Great night yesterday at SAC. Our dean Ben Van Berkel gave way to a former dean of the Staedelschule Architecture Class: Sir Peter Cook. Delivering a magistral lecture on his current projects with CRAB ( which stands for Cook Robotham Architectural Bureau) with his signature wit...

  • 005 SAC Switzerland trip

    ZURICH On our trip to Switzerland we had the opportunity to visit ETH's architecture department in Zurich. We had a talk with Fabio Gramazio (Gramazio & Kohler) about some of their completed projects and about their research in digital fabrication (book: digital materiality)...

  • 004 SAC 2nd year students final review

      Specialization: ADVANCED ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN 'The Life of Buildings' Presented here are the AAD's systematic inquiries on formal exploration through surface articulation and formation. The brief for this task was to pay attention to surface conditions, structuring events and spatial...

  • 003 Rundgang SAC Exhibition

    Here at SAC,  the first year students were asked to do an interactive exhibition with dynamic-smart materials. The experiments involved nichrome wire, shape memory alloy metals, Arduino boards, thermochromic ink and environmental conditions such as steam / humidity...

  • 002 Beatriz Colomina and Mark Wigley visit the SAC

    As a second post we have some of the final work we produced from our 3rd episode of the 'Physical Episodes in the Construction of Space' series. We had a small jury comprised by Johan Bettum, Oliver Tessman, Anton Savov and Christian Veddeler from UN Studio.     On the first week of...

  • 001 TLDR

    Hi everyone, this is the first post of "Der Architectural Amanuensis". A blog entitled to document, through personal impressions, the line of research, theory, experiments, and lectures currently happening at the Städelschule Architecture Class. (I will also try to 'abuse' the platform...

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