Transfer - Buildings designed by migrants in the Federal Republic


The history of architecture is a history of transfer. Architecture is inconceivable without migration.

People immigrating to Germany bring with them a need for culturally specific spatial applications and building types that didn‘t exist in Germany before. Building types emerge within a specific spatial morphology and a specific social context in a specific time period. Transfer into a new context, leads to a selection of typology-relevant spatial principles. These are transformed when integrated into a new context, the process of negotiating these principles, elements and patterns results in new spatial manifestations. New typologies emerge.

The spaces thus created are trans-local, multi-contextual and hybrid. As prototypes Hindu temples, Turkish wedding halls, Gurdwaras, Shisha bars, Afro shops, mosques, English schools, Sikh temples, kahvehanes and American military bases in Germany show two things– the process of typology development and the process of negotiating spatial principles.

TRANSFER investigates buildings designed by migrants in the Federal Republic of Germany. So far their full range has neither been recorded in a phenomenological way nor typologically described. TRANSFER will create a typological table of these buildings.

Prof. Anne-Julchen Bernhardt
Anna Weber
Bruno Röver

Research project

Department responsible
Department of Building Typologies and Design Basics

2.5 years, submission expected in April 2015

Financial scope
approx. 100.000,- €

Commissioned by
application submitted to the DFG, first application

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