Wolfgang Lorch: Building Communities

a red brick building with an intentionally indented, curved facade viewed from below

Ökumenisches Forum Hafencity, Hamburg, designed by Wandel Hoefer Lorch. photo / Wandel Lorch Architekten

FXCollaborative Lecture in Sustainability, Urbanism, and Design

Wolfgang Lorch is chair of the Stiftung Baukultur Saar, and, since 2003, has been a professor and chair of construction and experimental design at Darmstadt Technical University. Previously, he was professor and chair at FH Stuttgart. He is a founding partner of Wandel Hoefer Lorch and the recipient of many awards and prizes including the 2015 Rabbiner Rülf award, the 2008 Deutscher Städtebaupreis (German award for urban construction), the 2008 Austrian Architecture Award, and the 2007–08 D.A.M. Preis des Deutschen Architekturmuseums (award of the German Museum of Architecture).

Lorch has won many competitions including the Hotel Königshof am Karlsplatz, München (first prize, 2013); the Laurentiuskonvent Ökumenisches Forum Hamburg Hafen City (first prize, 2009); the Wilhelmspalais Stadtmuseum, Stuttgart (first prize, 2009); the Neubau Kindergarten Perl-Besch (first prize, 2009); and the Archäologische Zone und Jüdisches Museum, Köln (first prize, 2008). He has authored numerous articles, exhibition catalogs, and publications.


"Building communities" is an architectural endeavor that not only encompasses the technical side of the task — material, construction, or engineering — but also is permeated by the challenges that time poses. No building claiming to contribute to the development of a community can be designed without taking into account an incessant discourse with historical, political, and social issues that shape society. As a result, it is the duty of an architect to study the historical circumstances just as thoroughly as the immediate factors that will determine the design, such as context, site, or resources.

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