Langenberg, Silke, “Flexibilität, Variabilität, Erweiterbarkeit”. In: archimaera #004 (2011). lebensdauer, pp. 103–116.
Although the planning and construction phase of a building is relatively small compared to its potential lifespan, in the 1960s and 1970s it was often given greater attention than the executed structure. Strategies for optimising planning and rationalising the construction process characterised the architecture of the “boom years”. Depending on the building task, the influence of these strategies on the planned object is greater than that of structural precursors, social and societal demands or the knowledge of proven materials, constructions and building techniques available at the time. Flexibility, variability and expandability were frequently formulated planning principles that were intended to help allow a reaction to changing framework conditions, influencing factors and possible developments in addition to existing requirements. Today, the buildings of the boom years are often criticised due to structural deficiencies, high maintenance costs and changed aesthetic preferences. Nevertheless, the implemented basic principles of flexibility, variability and expandability still allow for adaptation to changing conditions.
Photography: © Tania Reinicke und Ekkehart Bussenius