Good architecture must burn, it must flow, rise up into the air and yet be firmly anchored in the ground! This was our claim in our first issue of XIA by AIT at the beginning of 2020, and we have successfully provided proof of this in the course of the year. In XIA 1-2020 we started with the theme earth, followed by issues dealing with air and water and we now conclude with the fourth element — fire! What could be more obvious than to focus on the (not so rare) building task of a fire station? We found two remarkable examples — the fire station in Antwerp (p. 26) and the fire brigade centre in Cologne (p. 30). The other projects (from p. 36) have quite different connections to fire: materials, colour, building history… but see for yourself! Product developments from the areas of fired materials, fire protection, building safety, fireplace and heating technology (from p. 60) complement the topic of fire, as do products used in current architectural projects. Our articles for series are distinguished by passion and enthusiasm: Architect Florian Hagmüller burns for hard rock and his band Schmutzkis (p. 22) and students from Stuttgart University for reed (p. 18)! Why else would they have wrapped a mountain hut with reed at an altitude of 2,600 metres? Art has been burning once a year in the Nevada desert for 33 years. This year, the Burning Man festival could only take place virtually — but we show impressive pictures by NK Guy. We wish you a very special Christmas — with cosy candlelight in front of a flickering fireplace — and a peaceful, sparkling 2021!
Petra Stephan, Dipl.-Ing.