Automobile and architecture. Facets of a liaison

  Automobile and architecture Copyright: © Art history


Andreas Gormans © Copyright: Art history


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Please register for the exam in good time!

The exam will take place on 19.08.2021.



In the beginning there was crude oil, first commercially extracted a good 160 years ago somewhere in northwestern Pennsylvania. Refined into gasoline through refining, it then developed a unique dynamic in conjunction with the internal combustion engine from the middle of the 20th century. Through the automobile as a means of mass transportation, architecture in particular was to be drawn into a maelstrom of massive innovation and upheaval: Cities were planned to accommodate cars and traffic, and landscapes were given a completely new appearance through the construction of interurban roads and highways. Hardly anyone has summed up all these changes more aptly than the Swiss architecture critic Benedikt Loderer, who recently wrote that every Western industrialized nation has perfectly prepared its land for the use of the automobile.

Since then, gas stations and repair shops, parking garages and underground garages, motels, rest stops and car yards, car bank and pharmacy counters, drive-in cinemas, drive-ins and park-and-ride facilities, recklessly implemented elevated roads and bold viaducts spanning valleys, car dealerships and showrooms and, last but not least, spectacular brand worlds and automobile museums, such as those of BMW and Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Volkswagen, have been created.

The seminar, which is devoted to these building tasks, primarily asks how the automobile has determined and influenced architecture. However, the focus is by no means only on the past. In view of rapid technological developments, new mobility concepts and drive systems, and against the background of climate change and sustainability, the seminar will also discuss how these building tasks have changed over time, what they might look like in the future, which of them have already outlived their usefulness and which have already been replaced by other, new ones, or are about to be replaced in the foreseeable future.


Online event

Automobile and Architecture. Facets of a Liaison

M. Sc. // all semesters // Elective course



Thursdays, 10:00 - 11:30 a.m.

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