Friday, 9.3.2018, 2–8 pm




Architecture Matters



In 2018, we turn our attention to the economic foundations of architecture and the city. What does building in the city mean, given the expanding globalisation of the real estate industry? Worldwide property sales are rising: driven by the search for safe investment opportunities and low interest rate policies, nearly every buyer group imaginable is entering this market. For Germany – one of the most important investment targets for foreign buyers due to its political and economic stability – this means huge price increases in urban centres for land and therefore for housing. For architects, another consequence is that client profiles are changing too. Where, how and for whom are we building? What is the role of the “quality” of a building, and what specific qualities does this entail? How important is location for investors? How much can an investor “afford” to consider a building’s future users? What role do architects play in this context? What can and should both sides contribute to the common good? Where and how must state institutions intervene in a regulatory manner, apart from the reorganisation of land law?

The architect in the “shark tank”(1)? With an eye on the future, it makes little sense to perpetuate the clichéd relationship between real estate and architecture – where purely profit-oriented investors join out-of-touch, egotistical architects concerned only with aesthetics to produce soulless “investor architecture”. Even with rising interest rates, when other forms of investment become more attractive than real estate, the market is changing due to globalisation and digitalisation. Architects must fundamentally rethink their profession if they want to remain relevant. Investors must also think about their potential end-users, such as large pension funds seeking safe, long-term investments, which must consider the quality and amount of their investments to protect the value of their assets. All stakeholders should – and must – take interest in sustainable cities, where people can live in content and participate in their design, where the less affluent are not excluded and which – with a view to the Asian megacities – remain globally competitive.

One of the goals of Architecture Matters is to bring together and communicate the various perspectives surrounding these issues using a “hands-on” approach. With different formats, from a large public stage to small discussions. Including guests from the fields of architecture, real estate, sociology, philosophy, a former finance minister and two city planning commissioners. With trips to Tirana, whose young mayor is pursuing ambitious goals for the redesign of the city, and to the Volksbühne in Berlin.


Friday, 9.3.2018, 2–8 pm

Lenbachplatz 8
80333 Munich

tickets: 17,- / 28,- / 42,- €



Jürgen Bruns-Berentelg, HafenCity Hamburg GmbH, Reinier de Graaf, OMA, Chris Dercon, Volksbühne Berlin, Ulrich Höller, German Estate Group AG, Andrej Holm, HU, Berlin, Elisabeth Merk, LH München, Julian Nida-Rümelin, LMU Saskia van Stein, Bureau Europa, Christiane Thalgott, Erion Veliaj, Tirana
+ Super-Jury