Issue 3.2024


Dear Readers,

As much as housing is perceived by the general public as a very private basic need – more than 50 percent of Germans dream of owning a detached single-family home – the socio-political debate is sparked off by the lack of social housing, the wasteful use of land in rural areas and the construction industry’s significant contribution to the climate crisis. Higher interest rates, a strongly rising inflation rate and demand stagnating at a high level determine the German real estate market. What does this mean for architects? How and where should we live? Should we densify cities? According to current statistics, in 2023, more than 77 percent of people in Germany lived in cities, but only 13 percent consider the city an ideal place to live. The reasons: price levels are too high, too little nature. How should residential buildings in rural areas be designed to be environmentally and socially sustainable? I have discovered a good example – in this case, temporary – in the Bregenz Forest (image above, p. 22). The skilful interplay between nature and architecture here is unparalleled. Equally meaningful and current are material- and space-saving conversions, such as in Iwata, Japan (from p. 68), in Geneva (from p. 86) or in Basel (from p. 114), as are intelligent, space-efficient residential developments like those in Wädenswil (from p. 104) or Malmö (from p. 106). In Madrid (from p. 74), Cologne (from p. 82) and Vésenaz (from p. 100), we are convinced by the optimisation or expansion of existing floor plans – the exemplary space-saving concept “Five on 100” in Berlin (from p. 76) impressed the jury of the German Interior Architecture Prize 2023 and earned Berlin-based interior architect Elisabeth Müller third place. Contemporary housing solutions engage both universities, as evidenced by the master’s thesis “Space Fillers” at the University of Stuttgart (from p. 44), and the industry: Two companies successfully address micro-living with the project “The Moving Tree” (from p. 118). Finally, we have a multitude of congratulations: for the three winners of the INsider Award 2023 (photo on the right, p. 14), Gustav Düsing & Max Hacke as finalists of the EUmies Awards (p. 14) and all the female protagonists in the interior/architecture industry on International Women’s Day on March 8! Congratulation!

Best wishes
Petra Stephan, Dipl.-Ing.
Chief Editor

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