Lecture Course "History and Theory of Public Building Types"

The lectures deal with the historical evolution of public buildings and public spaces. Two aspects are important: function and architectural space. The history of function is one of diversification and specialization. History has shown that programmatic ideas and spatial ideas correspond within their own time but that form does not always follow function. In many cases, typical spatial forms are capable of coping with a diversity of functional requirements. Function can be implicit as well as explicit; how could we otherwise reuse old buildings.

Public buildings and public spaces are as much a result of conflicting architectural ideas proposed by different periods of history as they are the result of a specific programmatic idea of their own time. Ideal buildings and ideal spaces are the exception; in most cases, architects are concerned with the reconciliation of conflicting spatial ideals and conflicting programmatic ideas.

The lectures are an attempt to explain how the purpose of public buildings has changed in history, with the aim of finding out where their purpose lies in our time.

Five lectures will deal with the library and five lectures will deal with political functions, from the Aeropagus to the modern parliament.

Venue: Audimax, Steubenstr. 6
Time: 9:15 – 10:45 am
First lecture: Tuesday April 9

Prof. em. Karl-Heinz Schmitz