The institute’s field of study is architecture as works and culture. The concept of architecture mainly covers the art of building but also ranges from design to city and landscape planning, and garden design.
The scale and scope of architecture reflects its dual role as an articulated building tradition and symbolic expression. This duality is reflected in this institute’s subject areas. The subjects are aimed at interpreting, integrating and further developing the basis for architectural practice as a central, signifying factor in society’s spatial organisation. In the institute’s view, architecture is considered part of the history of civilisation – as a manifest cultural heritage that must be carried forward and integrated into the contemporary world – and an artistic expression of society’s current and future values.
The Institute of Building Culture is divided into the following subject areas: Theory and History of Architecture, Building Culture and Restoration, and Theory and Design.
Theory and History of Architecture perceives the history of architecture as part of contemporary architecture in the sense that the architecture of any age will always have an existing city landscape and a given building culture as its framework conditions. This subject area deals with theories of architecture, i.e. production aesthetics and technology as they are expressed in architecture in different historic periods or in their philosophical and artistic forms.
The subject Theory and History of Architecture is concerned with the continual update, communication and research of the subjects Architectonic Theory, Historiography and Analysis of Architectural Works.
Building Culture and Restoration revolves around the architectural problem of maintaining whilst at the same time renewing building culture. This problem is central to the field of architecture because in practice almost all architectural projects must in some way take a stand with regard to this issue. The title Building Culture covers cities, development and buildings, both on open land and in urban areas. Overall, the subject area is concerned with the history of architectural expression. Updating, communication and research will take place on a continual basis in the following subjects: Theory and History of Restoration, Documentation of City and Building Culture, Building Restoration and Maintenance.
Theory and Design is aimed at giving society a series of independent models for architectural development. The activities in this area are parallel with basic research in the sense that they are not necessarily determined by functional needs or defined targets, but aim to lend societal developments a free and artistic expression.
The artistic development activities range from experiment with form, the production of architectural works and to reflected systems of value.