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Politics & Administration

Forum Architecture

The Forum Architektur is a municipal institution of the city of Wolfsburg, which was founded on July 1, 2001 with the tasks "architecture communication" and "architecture mediation".
Ali Altschaffel

The Forum Architecture looks back on 15 years

On July 1, 2001, the Forum Architektur of the City of Wolfsburg was founded as an institution for the communication of architecture and urban development. This makes it one of the oldest public building culture institutions, founded before the initiatives at state and federal level. Wolfsburg is considered a pioneer, because for the past 15 years building culture has had its own place in the city's cultural life alongside the classic departments of literature, music, art and history.

The small institution was born out of an increased need: requests for exhibition and research projects, university excursions and publications made it clear that the city's special architectural feature as a rare 20th-century city re-foundation with important individual buildings by Alvar Aalto, Hans Scharoun, Zaha Hadid and others is widely noticed and stimulates debate.

Since the beginning of 2006, the Forum Architektur has been organizationally located in the building department of the city of Wolfsburg and directly assigned to the city's building department. A working group on building culture links the work with the other departments: Structural Engineering, Urban Planning, Monument Preservation and Green. The work of the Design Advisory Council is also coordinated by the Architecture Forum. In this way, the building culture projects are not seen as an add-on, but are developed jointly from the tasks of the building administration. The 'Wolfsburg model' is regarded as a role model nationwide in this respect. In the Alvar Aalto House of Culture, the institution is centrally located with a shop window facing the town hall square.

On the one hand, it is a matter of consciously presenting Wolfsburg as a city of architecture with a tourist component and a wide range of building tours, architectural walks and urban tours. Equally important is the sensitization of the city's citizens to the special nature of Wolfsburg as a "functional city" of the 20th century with its new urban planning ideas and values. After all, the search for identity is still an issue in the young city.
"People are often only slightly aware of the great influence that built space has on their lives. If we succeed in getting them to be more aware of their surroundings and walk through the city with open eyes in the future, then we will go home satisfied," says Nicole Froberg, who set up the Forum Architektur from the beginning and still heads it today.

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