The Cooper Union
School of Architecture

Competition Entry 1995

"The beauty of form is the inner idea of nature. Only the flower is for the fine arts."—Karl Friedrich Schinkel: "Thoughts about Art"

In 1995 the German weekly newspaper DIE ZEIT organized an international ideas competition in protest against the reconstruction of the Bauakademie by Karl Friedrich Schinkel in the historic center of Berlin. The aim of this competition was to propose a contemporary architecture for the historic site in the spirit of Schinkel's continous striving for the radical progress of architectural form.

The proposed design is a contribution to the discussion about a new kind of architectural language that is derived from natural forms. It is an effort to search for the role of architecture within the contemporary process of finding the "form" of the present. The cubic form of Schinkel's Bauakademie is replaced by a figur that unfolds itself free of axial coordinates. The airy and transparent spaces are designed to support creativity and intellectual work. They are "passage-spaces" that continously transform in volume and lucidity.

Assistant Professor, Adjunct Faculty