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RWTH Aachen University, Lehrstuhl für Gebäudelehre und Entwerfen
Schinkelstraße 1
52056 Aachen
Academic Organisation
established 2006


RWTH Aachen University

The studio at RWTH Aachen University was founded in 2006 with the aim to early introduce students to self-responsible thinking and behaviour, and to show them the social relevance of their profession. Numerous projects have been realized in the past years in different parts of South Africa. The European architecture students work together with southafrican students, craftspeople and volunteers from schools and kindergardens to create a cooperative architectural practice.The students gain a deep insight into the relationship between design, materialization and construction – far more complex than what can be taught and discussed in a purely academic concept. They learn to understand architecture as social practice and to further implement it with all consequences by building with their own hands. All projects have been developed with the goal of beeing environmentally sustainable and fully executed as self-build projects. Main principles are the use of local traditional and low cost materials as well as the development  and improvement of innovative strategies using  these materials in combination with contemporary construction methods. The basis for all these projects is the intensive research of the climatic and cultural context as well as the aspect of participation. Through the cooperation with local unprofessional helpers the development of small craft businesses should be encouraged.

Since 2013 the program focuses as well on different projects in Germany.


Primary school, Montic South of Johannesburg 2006

Assembly Hall Ithuba College, Montic South of Johannesburg 2008

Oppie Koppie Creche,  Prince Alfred Hamlet 2010

Classroom Building Ithuba College, Montic South of Johannesburg 2012

Guga Theatre, Langa Cape Town 2013-15

(in collaboration with AIT ArchitekturSalon Hamburg/Köln, PBSA Düsseldorf, GeorgiaTech Atlanta, CS Studio Architects, Cape Town)

Pfauenhaus, Hamm 2014

Recycling Mies, Aachen 2015


Bernadette Heiermann, Nora Elisabeth MüllerTel: 0049 (0)2418093855Fax: 0049 (0)2418092243



Germany, South Africa

Organisation Network

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