Architecture, spatial planning

Students of this engineering science deal with the planning, design, construction and renovation of buildings and open spaces of all kinds, e.g. residential buildings, public buildings, parks and green spaces as well as urban development areas.

The field of study at a glance

In architecture, the technical-constructive, economic and building law requirements are taken into account as well as aesthetic aspects and people's needs. A current trend is so-called micro or tiny houses. Everywhere in architecture, the balance between the artistic and creative design of buildings on the one hand and technically and economically sophisticated implementation on the other plays an important role. Ecological aspects such as energy efficiency and sustainable building materials are also of utmost importance. This applies to both new buildings and the renovation of old buildings. Issues of monument protection also play a role. Independent disciplines of architecture are interior design, landscape architecture and urban planning.

Landscape architecture, urban development and regional planning refer to the management of structural and spatial development in rural and urban areas. This also includes questions of transport infrastructure, supply and disposal, land management and nature and landscape protection. Landscape architects are involved in the planning and construction of open spaces, such as parks, sports fields and leisure facilities, public squares and gardens as well as other open spaces. The protection and development of landscapes are also part of their tasks. City builders and urban planners, on the other hand, must be aware of and take into account the interactions between political, social, economic and technical problems. As experts, they advise their clients and present them with various possible solutions, e.g. in the form of land use and development plans and conversion or renovation concepts.

Offered courses

The courses in this area are offered at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels at universities, art colleges and technical colleges. In addition to the classic “Architecture” course, there are also specialized master’s courses, such as “Media Architecture”, “Advanced Architecture”, or “Metal Building Envelopes”. Students of courses such as “Interior Architecture”, “Communication in Space”, “Interior Design”, or “Furniture and Interior Design” deal with the design of interior spaces. Courses in urban planning and urban development are offered under names such as “city and regional planning”, “spatial planning” or “urban studies”. Courses in the field of “landscape architecture” have names such as “open space planning”, “landscape development” or “sustainable regional management”. Depending on their orientation, students graduate with a Bachelor or Master of Arts, Engineering or Science.

Contents of the course

Building planning, urban planning and architectural theory knowledge is imparted. Modules in the subject groups of (urban) design / building construction, building science, interior design, social, cultural and historical fundamentals (sociology, culture of life), representation and design (design methodology, fine arts, aesthetics, descriptive geometry, digital design techniques), scientific and technical are used for this purpose Basics (structural theory, materials theory and building physics, technical building equipment). There are also aspects of energy use or energy renovation, sustainability and environmental protection. Monument protection, architectural, building regulations and planning law as well as construction project management and construction economics are also usually covered.

In addition to theory, internships in a construction company or in a planning office are recommended or mandatory in most courses.

Admission criteria & application for study

Depending on the university and course of study, a technical college or general university entrance qualification as well as a certain grade point average are required to apply for one of the courses. In order to determine the artistic or creative talent of applicants, many universities conduct an aptitude test before starting their studies. Applicants then have to hand in a folder with sample papers, for example.

Career opportunities after graduation

Architects often work with civil engineers, especially for calculation, planning and construction management of complex construction projects, as well as with authorities and construction companies. In the architectural office, as an employee or freelancer, you are responsible for the design, preliminary planning and construction supervision of individual buildings through to the planning of urban development projects.

In the construction industry, architects take on the structural planning of buildings. They calculate the costs and monitor construction. In larger planning offices, construction companies and large companies, they usually specialize in a specific area of activity (planning, design, construction management, etc.). This also applies to work in public administration, e.g. in city planning authorities, where they also carry out urban planning tasks.

Alternative areas of application include facility management, the sale of construction products or, for example, expert work.

In order to be accepted into the Chamber of Architecture and thus be allowed to use the professional title “architect”, “interior designer”, “landscape architect” or “city planner”, a four-year minimum period of study is required, together with usually two years of practical work (for the EU according to the EU Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications). Registration can take place either after an eight-semester bachelor's degree or after a bachelor's degree and a consecutive master's degree.