Decoding Design

Temporary design: A lecture hall in Germany is more than make-shift

Temporary design: A lecture hall in Germany is more than make-shift

Posting in Architecture

A lecture hall at a Munich university proves that temporary design can have impact too.

It happens all the time: overflow classrooms and re-purposed spaces are added to schools, to account for growing school enrollment (and in many cases, dwindling funding). If there isn't room in the school itself, most of these annexes are made from whatever is cheapest, and most look like sheds, or at least obvious afterthoughts.

This lecture hall, however, built on the campus of the Technische Universitat Munchen, in Munich, Germany, is not like the others. The Interims Audimax, designed by German firm Deubzer Konig Rimmel Architekten, is nothing like most temporary structures-- and it was designed and built in just nine months.

It was built mostly from wood, including the undulating facade, and is expected to be on campus for up to twenty years. On the inside, students will find poured flooring, oriented strand board (like you could find in garages and sheds in the states), as well as simple but elegant lecture-hall-style seating.

But this building, though beautiful, leaves a few questions: what was the price tag on all of this, and was it worth it to go through the design process for a temporary structure? Why not just take the time to build something permanent?

That said, who's to say we shouldn't consider the importance of functional design even in temporary buildings? Twenty years is a long time, after all.

See also: In post-quake Christchurch, a temporary stadium to help rebuild.

More photos:

[The Fox is Black]
Images: Deubzer Konig Rimmel Architekten

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Beth Carter

Contributing Editor

Beth Carter is a freelance journalist based in San Francisco. She has worked for Catalyst magazine, the New York Times Syndicate, BBC Travel and Wired. She holds degrees from the University of Oregon and New York University. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure