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Best thesis award


The jury has decided and nominated Franziska Wollscheid's thesis "Urban Breakout" as the best master's thesis of 2020. In addition, the jury has also nominated the work for the Archiprix 2021. Congratulations! Information and more images at www.archiprix.org.

Jury Explanation

About the decision: In her work, the graduate takes on the challenge of programmatically and structurally transforming a former inner-city prison in Barcelona. Contrary to its former function of detaining and monitoring people detached from society, in her proposal it is intended to serve the unification of people within a vital and livable urban fabric.

Illustrated as an "urban breakout," the project is based on two key aspects. First, the prison is freed from its surrounding walls. The original building figure, which served surveillance purposes, with its radially arranged wings, now encroaches on the urban space, detached from its perimeter. This creates potential for new urban spaces, paths and accesses. Furthermore, the building structure is examined with regard to its capacity for transformation. The graduate defines various structural measures that make it possible to change the building structure so that it can accommodate differentiated uses.

From a spatial and infrastructural analysis of the urban environment, she derives the future use of the building. This is where the second essential aspect of the "Urban Breakout" begins. Contrary to the idea of the panopticon, the graduate transforms the rigid, uniform wings of the building into structures, each with its own legible identity. To do this, she adds to or reduces the existing structure, designs a new interior that incorporates various new program components, and in the process establishes spatial connections with the adjacent outdoor areas. In this way, it develops differentiated urban spaces while still maintaining the legibility of the historic building figure. In addition to housing as an elementary unit of a city, she directs her spatial offer to the community, for which she designs various areas for social and cultural use.

We consider the work to be a very successful example of the transformation of existing building structures in the context of surrounding urban spaces. In addition to its general importance for the current and future development of cities and their architectures, it demonstrates that the examination of built space can inspire the design process in an academic setting. The work can be used to guide future graduates*.

The IfA jury - Nilhan Tezer, Nina Pawlicki, Jörg Stollmann, Hendrik Schultz




Ideenwettbewerb „Landgut 2050“


Congratulations to Karola Schäfermeier and David Dietrich!

With the international ideas competition "Landgut 2050 - vernetzt - mobil - digital", the Foundation for Building Culture Thuringia was looking for visions and strategies for the future of rural life and living, exemplary at three Thuringian locations, which can be representative for numerous communities and cities throughout Europe.

Karola and David were awarded 1. prize in the student category with their project "Zusammen.Wachsen". 

The project shows - exemplarily at the location Stützerbach - how a vision for a location can be developed on the basis of a cooperative model. The use of vacant or underused existing buildings as well as a new building creates a cooperative housing pool, which ensures that the spatial resources of the place can be better used and thus community can be created. In the center of Stützerbach, a new building will be erected, consisting of small private residential units and generous communal areas. Local senior citizens will move into the new housing units, which are smaller than the previously used living space, thus freeing up the existing single-family homes. The cooperative or financing model on which the concept is based enables young families to move into these vacant houses without incurring long-term debt. The project shows a collective, cross-generational living and housing model in rural areas, in which not private property but shared resources are the central element.

More information is available at: www.baukultur-thueringen.de

Clara von Simson-Preis for „Urban Store“


Congratulations to Valeria Shchipitsyna, who was awarded the Clara von Simson-Prize this spring. The Clara von Simson Prize honours the best final theses (diploma, master's) of female graduates of the TU Berlin, primarily from the natural and technical sciences. So far, hardly any architecture graduates have been among the prize winners. Special thanks therefore go to Prof. Jacob van Rijs for his support and supervision!

Here is a short description of the project by Valeria Shchipitsyna: 

"The master thesis "Urban Store" offers a solution for cities like Berlin to create places that encourage the population to engage in intercultural exchange and a sustainable way of life. Currently, more and more areas in Berlin are being built on, predominantly with high-priced housing and commercial office buildings. In the process, public space and places of exchange in the districts are increasingly being lost. At the same time, society is suffocating in the waste of its addiction to consumption.

The master's thesis deals with the current development of consumption and the approaches of Sharing Economy. The solution developed is an "Urban Store". A center that functions like a large library of things and thus offers neighborhood and city residents a place where they can not only borrow things for daily use, but also make their old equipment available to the community. In workshops offered there, the objects are repaired together in a workshop. The "Urban Store" is both a platform for neighbourhood management and associations, and simply a place that can be used by the neighbourhood residents according to their wishes and needs. In addition to researching the Sharing Economy, developing solutions and the actual design, an essential part of the master's thesis is the extensive analysis of the city. It is important that the Urban Store does not occupy scarce space for the construction of housing. By means of an empirical investigation and typification of Berlin's green spaces, areas were identified that should be converted into common areas and thus become available for the construction of "Urban Store" pavilions. The pavilion was developed as a prototype and can thus be built on any of the three developed types of plots, which can be found in every neighbourhood in Berlin. Thanks to a modular system, it can also be adapted to the wishes of the immediate surroundings. The technical construction also made use of cost-effective, modular standard elements, which ensures that the pavilion is affordable. Not only were new detailed technical solutions worked out for the design, but materials and techniques were also used in a completely new context.

Urban Store is intended to inspire building for the city and its inhabitants and to show that architecture not only needs innovative, social and technical solutions, but also has a beneficial task towards the population".

WUS-Förderpreis 2019: Urban Agriculture and Migration

Stolze Gewinner*innen: Svenja Binz, Phil-Torben von Lueder und Julia Brennauer

The World University Service (WUS) has honored two theses on topics of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The award was shared this year and went to Svenja Binz, Julia Mira Brennauer and Phil-Torben von Lueder (TU Berlin) and to Jennifer-Louise Robinson (University of Osnabrück).

"In our master thesis "Urban agriculture in camp communities: new perspectives" we dealt with the structures of Palestinian refugee camps that have grown over decades. With the help of an analysis of local dependency relationships and material flows, we investigated the question of the extent to which urban agriculture can be used as a tool for adapting to climate change and the challenges this poses for working in fragile contexts. The master's thesis is to be understood as a basis for discussion of how climate change adaptation can work in the precarious conditions of Palestinian refugee camps in the context of development cooperation. It is particularly exciting to discuss climate protection issues in rooms that are characterized by refugee experiences. "

The work was supervised by Philipp Misselwitz (Habitat Unit), Emily Kelling and Martina Löw (Department of Planning and Architectural Sociology).


The most important price for innovations in Switzerland's energy sector goes to TU research team


Scientists from the TU Berlin, together with the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) and the Berlin Watergy GmbH, were awarded the Swiss “Watt d'Or 2020” prize in the energy technology category for exceptional performance in the energy sector. As part of the "H-DisNet" project funded by the EU and Switzerland, Prof. Dr. Felix Ziegler, Head of the Department of Mechanical and Energy Plant Technology, and his colleague Reiner Buchholz, and Prof. Claus Steffan, Head of the Department of Building Technology and Design, and his staff Dr. Martin Buchholz and Mathieu Provost from TU Berlin developed an innovative thermo-chemical network. This can store energy as a chemical potential in a saline solution for as long and without losses. Further information is available here (in german).

Best thesis 2019

Faculty VI annually awards the prize for the best thesis. Below you will find this year's submissions for the Master Typology courses (M-ARCH-T) and Master Architecture. The Faculty Council decides on the best work in December, which will be announced here shortly afterwards.

"Hortopie Jacobi" wins in the "Master Architecture" category


Congratulations to Team Dis + Ko for the award “Best Thesis” in the category “Master Architecture”!

The jury's description is:
We propose the master thesis "Hortopie Jacobi" as the best thesis. In the context of housing shortages and the challenges of climate change, the students deal with the conversion of an inner-city cemetery in Berlin. The cemetery on Hermannstrasse, which is closed in 2019, forms the starting point for the development of usage scenarios that take into account the idea of ​​a post-fossil society. Current discourses on ownership, forms of living together, and ecological aspects of sustainability are reflected on by the graduates and binding planning principles are drawn up. This process was carried out collectively and interdisciplinarily. The graduates implement the various program components of the overall planning into independent architectural designs. The urban development framework and usage scenarios previously developed not only serve as a starting point for individual design planning, but also as a thesis that is checked and refined in relation to the processing of the designs. This form of cooperation and the quality of the individual contributions lead to a future-oriented master's thesis, which will not only encourage students to face the future challenges in the areas of urban planning and architecture with commitment and confidence.

The IfA-Jury: Nilhan Tezer, Nina Pawlicki, Jörg Stollmann, Hendrik Schultz

Authors: Binta von Rönn, Flavia-Ioana Biianu, Julian Mönig, Lisa-Marie Kolbinger, Lisa Reis, Nina Wester, Samuel Reichl, Sina Jansen

"Villa Illudere - Portrait of an imposter" wins in the "M-ARCH-T" category


Congratulations to Frederik Springer for the award “Best Thesis” in the “M-ARCH-T” category!

The jury's description is:
The thesis is based on the hypothesis that, despite all professionalism, the successful work of architects always requires a certain amount of projection, speculation and persuasiveness, which is provocatively exaggerated as high-stakes. In addition to the architectural design, the work uses the media of the literary novel, the performance and the exhibition. In terms of content, the work offers a discourse on the relationship between truth and lies in architecture and an exciting political aspect: the design, which proposes large-scale housing construction on the site of a playground in the affluent Berlin district of Zehlendorf, which integrates affordable living and non-profit neighborhood functions into the " Robe ”of a villa architecture. The work moves at the interface between art, theater, literature and architecture. The graduate succeeds in integrating philosophical and literary references into his work in a playful and discursive manner. Based on a critical look at architectural professional practice, she develops a promising field of action for politically motivated design and its publicity-relevant involvement in current urban policy debates.

Preis für vorbildliche Lehre

Die Gesellschaft von Freunden der TU Berlin hat einen Preis für vorbildliche Lehre mit einem Betrag von € 4000.- ausgelobt. Dieser Preis wird für besonders vorbildliche Lehrveranstaltungen mit jährlich unterschiedlichen Schwerpunkten vergeben. 





[Translate to English:]

Die Infozentrale auf dem Vollgut (Building Cycle Collective / Natural Building Lab in Kooperation mit FG TEK und GtE ) wurde im Bundeswettbewerb `HolzbauPlus` des Bundesministeriums für Landwirtschaft und Ernährung mit einem Sonderpreis ausgezeichnet: 


Studenten I Gestalten I Zukunft

[Translate to English:]

Das Projekt Neue Mosterei - Bestand reaktivieren - Nutzer integrieren (Mohamad Alnajjar, Nicolas Herre, Sina Valeska Jansen / Natural Building Lab) wurde auf der BAU 2019 im Wettbewerb „Studenten I Gestalten I Zukunft“ des BAKA Bundesverband Altbauerneuerung mit dem 3. Preis ausgezeichnet: 



In the international competition the project URBAN TEMPLE of Derbentogullari Gencay (Städelschule Architecture Class) and Hamurisci Hasan Burak (TU Berlin) won an HONOURABLE MENTION.


Baunetz Campus Award

FG Pasel congrats their alumni Simon Lehmann and David Wegner for the 2nd place for their project 'Campus Salzufer Berlin'.



2nd Price for Stefan Neumaier and Ilkim Er (FG Pasel) for their contribution to building with wood in rural regions. The project of the winner are exhibited from 24.8. - 10.10.18 at Aedes Architekturforum.

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