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Recurring Elements of Modern Facades (1960–1990). Foundations for the Conservation of High-Tech Modernism.


High-Tech architecture made use of standardized, serial components whose characteristics were meticulously described in technical specifications. The scope of this historic information is almost unmanageable, the analogue sources are increasingly difficult to access. The challenge of quantity is mirrored by the scale of the built structures, constraining the possibilities of thorough building investigation. As a result, these building elements are often replaced during renovation before they could be acknowledged, evaluated, and possibly preserved.
What if, based on a few geometric details recorded on site, one could identify standardized building products semi-automatically and make use of the historic knowledge by integrating both into Historic Building Information Models?
The method I aim to develop will first target window frames manufactured between 1960 to 1990 in Germany. A close historic reading of hitherto neglected sources will produce a thesaurus, mapping technological development, production, and distribution. In this process, the analogue archival material will be digitalized, structuring both geometric and alphanumeric information. A second work package will develop sophisticated 3D scanning techniques for documentation and comparative analysis of similar facade elements. Parallel, existent conditions of the case studies will be evaluated in relation to standards of conservation and retrofitting. The outcome of these steps will be implemented iteratively into a graph database for efficient matching of 3D scans with information of historic building products, finally leading to semi-automatic identification.
The resulting digital repository will for the first time allow for a comprehensive overview and understanding of windows in High-Tech architecture. Innovative means of surveying and the new insights into the construction history of serial, standardized components in late 20th century modernism will be crucial for future conservation and reuse.


Net EU contribution
€ 1 499 919,00
Arcisstrasse 21
80333 Muenchen

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Bayern Oberbayern München, Kreisfreie Stadt
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00