Elective Course Preservation: High-Tech (FS22)

Elective course Spring Semester 2022

Contact: Matthias Brenner

The task of heritage conservation is the inventory and preservation of objects worthy of protection. In doing so, it is confronted with a wide variety of challenges and issues, both constructive and social, such as ageing and decay, the desire for development, densification or change of use, changes in climate conditions and requirements, the appropriation and rejection of objects and stocks, amongst others.

In the spring semester of 2022, we focus on a specific section of the architecture of the 1970s and 1980s, namely the “High-​Tech Architecture”. Starting in England and France, various examples of this movement can also be found in Switzerland. These expressive buildings are characterised by experimental constructions, innovative special solutions and the use of industrially prefabricated components.
The rapid obsolescence of technical innovations compared to the overall lifespan of a building, and the resulting replacement, raises the question of holistic and appropriate preservation of high-​tech buildings.

Within the framework of this elective course, we will discuss and examine not just the challenges but also the opportunities associated with the preservation of buildings from the high-​tech movement  Students will survey and document selected object both in terms of their design and construction, evaluate plan documents and construction site photos as a supplement to their literature research; specific high-​tech building details will be examined on the object itself. Furthermore, they will develop preservation strategies that take into account today’s social, technological and ecological parameters.

Photography poster: © Richard Davies

Course Catalogue