Home Congress Organisation Media Registration Contact Links Sitemap
English Française Deutsch Español Russian
The Commentary

Resource Architecture
The 11 September 2001
Call for...
The Road to Berlin
Social Event!

"Resource Architecture"

This is the title of the XXI World Congress of Architecture organised by the Union Internationale des Architectes (UIA) and the Bund Deutscher Architekten BDA, which will take place in Berlin from 22 to 26 July 2002.

If one looks at the meaning of the word “resource”, one comes across the term “source.” Water pours out of a source and ­ depending upon its surroundings ­ looks for the way to a riverbed.

Like water springs, the material resources of architecture are limited. What matters is what we make of them, how we use them and whether they can be re-used in cycles ­ even taking on a different form. By contrast, the intellectual resources of architecture such as the imagination, creativity and innovation are infinite. Yet again, what matters is what we make of them and into which direction we lead them.

Architecture may be a universal expression of time and space, in which human beings find themselves in an edifying manner. Architecture thus becomes the material expression of a spiritual ars vivendi or art of living, as is testified by the history of building culture on all continents. Architecture today has frequently transformed itself into private self-portrayal with cultural pretensions. Along with the industrial revolution, the service economy, the evolving market globalisation and its overwhelmingly economic goals, architecture and architects have lost many of their universal and strategic possibilities of influencing decisions about culture and civilisation.

For a number of reasons, many architects have turned to narcissistic self-portrayals and thus become stylists of a global politics of taste controlled by the well-off, the powerful and their public. The media promote architecture according to superfluous demands, which are in turn determined by fashion trends. This tendency contrasts with the alarming human misery and poverty that exist at a distance from the centres of power and decision-making.

The profession, discipline and responsibility of architecture and architects therefore needs a fresh and bold approach, akin to a spiritual revolution. For many architects, paying lip-service to ecological issues is already considered embarrassing, yet it has become a part of the everyday professional life, having only a remote connection with the truly creative and conservationist use of resources.

This World Congress, which is taking place in Germany for the first time, aims to stimulate an intensive discussion in order to help architects re-gain a strategic position in society, win political partners and design in a way that corresponds to the structural conditions of social requirements. The spiritual resources of architects may open up new sources for a balance between economics, ecology, society and culture.

We invite those who are interested in this unique opportunity and challenge to participate actively in the dialogues and discussions during the XXI World Congress of Architecture in Berlin as well as during pre-conferences in other German cities. For further information, see www.uia-berlin2002.com

Andreas Gottlieb Hempel
President of the Congress

Top of page


The XXI UIA World Congress will be held from 22 to 26 July 2002 in Berlin. While the main theme of the congress is “Resource Architecture”, considerable attention will also focus on Berlin as the host city. Following reunification in 1990, it is now once again the German capital, which sees itself as a gateway between East and West.

Berlin faces many challenges –competitiveness, jobs, knowledge, youth, information, immigration, the environment, structural change, civil society and the need for social cohesion as a city providing the focus for the surrounding region and as a metropolitan capital in the network of European cities. These challenges rule out any uni-dimensional urban development model. The diverse problems resulting from the need for reorientation call for a multi-dimensional concept, which is reflected in the Berlin Study – Strategies for the City.

The direction, resources and path of future development can be characterised as follows:
- Berlin, competitive
- Berlin, open and socially just
- Berlin, ecologically attractive
- Berlin, a city of knowledge
- Berlin, linked to East and West
- Berlin, rooted in civil society
This diversity is encapsulated in the concept of sustainability. The European motto: sustainable cities.

An awareness of this political and planning background will help visitors to the UIA World Congress to put Berlin’s urban development over the past 10 years into perspective.

DM 270 billion was invested between 1990 and 1999. Sony and DaimlerChrysler alone have spent DM 5.5 billion on their Potsdamer Platz developments. Deutsche Bahn AG has invested some DM 20 billion in transport infrastructure.
145,000 km of glass fibre cable have been laid to build up a fully digitised communications network. DM 8 billion have been invested in environmental protection to ensure that the Berlin’s supply of drinking water is of the highest quality and to bring down the levels of CO2 emissions, which were reduced by 17% between 1990 and 1997.

Berlin’s three universities and 13 colleges with a total of 130,000 students have been joined by six scientific and research sites in Mitte, Charlottenburg, Dahlem, Adlershof, Buch and Potsdam. 750 applied research projects are currently under way at 250 research institutes. Every year, DM 3 billion is spent on university research work and DM 1 billion on extra-mural research. Some 10,000 media, transport and bio-engineering companies have set up in business in eight technology parks providing 130,000 new jobs.

Berlin is a spacious city. A quarter of its 810 sq. km. is made up of forests and greenery. There are 80 sq. km. of lakes and 200 km of navigable waterways. 16 new parks have been laid out in the past 10 years and the surrounding countryside is still largely unspoiled.

Berlin is the leading conference venue in Germany and the ICC is Europe’s largest congress centre. 1.3 million visitors to the 400 fairs, exhibitions and congresses make Berlin one of the top ten conference locations in the world.

Berlin is a young city with over half the population under 35. Young people are a major element in the vibrant new recreational and entertainment scene with its over 5,000 bars and restaurants and the internationally renowned Love Parade. They feel at home in this multi-cultural city with its 450,000 foreign nationals from 185 countries. 100 East-West Institutes and the East-West Co-operation Centre actively promote co-operation.

The over 10,000 architects from all over the globe expected to attend the UIA World Congress will find the buildings erected in recent years of especial interest.

They include the city-centre developments on and around Friedrichstraße, Checkpoint Charlie, Hackesche Höfe, Pariser Platz and the new Kranzler-Eck; the office blocks at Oberbaumbrücke, in the Treptowers, the Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the Sony Center; the shops on Unter den Linden and Potsdamer Platz; the new riverside residential quarters at Rummelsburger Bucht and Wasserstadt Spandau; the Science and Business Centre at Adlershof; and the band of federal buildings and the new embassies in Tiergarten. Visits can also be made to one of the 200 galleries and 170 museums, such as the New Picture Gallery or the Jewish Museum.

Berlin also has a wealth of cultural facilities for evening entertainment, including three opera houses, eight symphony orchestras, 150 theatres and 880 choirs.

For more information about the UIA World Congress please contact
info@uia-berlin2002.com or visit the congress website at:www.uia-berlin2002.com
For information on Berlin consult www.berlin.de

Andreas Gottlieb Hempel
1st Vice-President UIA
Congress President UIA Berlin 2002

Top of page

11 September 2001

The tenor of virtually every commentary made after the events of 11 September is that nothing will ever be the same again. There has been talk of the need for a crusade to be waged by the forces of good against the forces of evil. Quiet suspicions are being voiced that Islam acts as a breeding ground for acts of terror. Exclusion and segregation are being considered and supporters of an out-and-out police state sense there are opportunities to be exploited.

All of this is wrong. We all have good and evil in us. It is in our consciences that the inner struggles must be waged that will ultimately determine whether we engage in acts of terror or work for peaceful coexistence in the outside world. As individuals we are all members of society, and injustice, intolerance, racism and abuse of power affect us all – even though they may occur in far-off lands.

How can we possibly justify the dramatic differences between rich and poor and the waste of energy and resources? With thousands of children still dying every day of hunger, the “crusades” are moving in the wrong direction and the suffering of the poor, oppressed and abused is revisiting us for having tolerated it or simply looked the other way.

What can we architects do? Given the events of recent weeks, is there any point at all in staging the World Congress of Architecture next year? Have all our efforts to achieve understanding, advance architecture, improve its design and demonstrate innovativeness and creativity in building homes for people been in vain? The Co-ordinating Council preparing the XXI World Congress of Architecture in Berlin from 22 to 26 July 2002 met in late September under the chairmanship of the UIA President, Vassilis Sgoutas, to examine these issues in detail.

Ranging between infinite mental and finite material resources, the theme of the congress, “Resource Architecture“, offers sufficient scope to move beyond purely architectural matters and grasp the complex nature of interaction between society, culture, the economy and the environment. The social responsibility architects bear for the tangible and intangible world around us needs to be made apparent. This responsibility includes efforts to bring together investors, clients, architects and users from all over the world regardless of the colour of their skin, their origins and the nature of their work to engage in an exchange of ideas and opinions. In the wealth of differences and concepts they represent there lies an infinite resource, whose power and strength can be used to constructive ends.

The task of architects is to be constructive, not destructive. Building, improving living conditions, enhancing and upgrading the environment, continuing different traditions to produce better quality in housing, public spaces and public life are all elements of architectural activities designed to enable people to live a decent life in peace. The World Congress will state explicitly what architecture and architects can do in exercising their responsibility to society and the environment. As is the case every three years, it will bring together people from all over the world and generate friendships and mutual understanding. This is the best way to help peacefully overcome the dark and evil forces in and around us – a task that is more urgent than ever before following the events of 11 September.

Information on the XXI World Congress of Architecture from 22 to 26 July 2002 in Berlin is available from

UIA Berlin 2002 e.V.
Köpenicker Str. 48/49
D-10179 Berlin (Mitte)
Fon +49-(0)30-278734 40
Fax +49-(0)30-278734 12

Andreas Gottlieb Hempel
1st Vice-President UIA
Congress President UIA Berlin 2002

Top of page

Call for...

...contributions. 15 October 2001 was the deadline for the submission of proposed contributions to the XXI UIA World Congress in Berlin from 22 to 26 July 2002. Some 700 “abstracts” were received in response to the worldwide call for contributions issued in June 2001. They include suggestions for papers, seminars, film and video presentations and illustrations of other ideas on the theme of “Resource Architecture“. The entries came from over 50 countries and by no means just from Western Europe (UIA Region I), as might have been expected, since this is where the World Congress is being held. Most of the proposals came from UIA Region II (Middle East and Eastern Europe) and the least, regrettably, from UIA Region V (Africa). A very large number of proposals and suggestions came from Latin America.

Given the quality and variety of the ideas that were submitted, it was far from easy to select the 500-odd projects, whose authors will be asked to present their projects on posters for the International Poster Exhibition during the congress events in the International Congress Centre, ICC Berlin. They will thus have the opportunity to communicate their intentions by giving their projects a visual dimension. The precise formulation that is possible in a poster will enable the different approaches adopted to the theme of the congress to be documented. The poster session will thus provide an overview of present international developments in architecture.

Contributions will also be selected from among the entries for the forums, project workshops, symposia and urban workshops. They will be allotted to the main themes of the four days of the congress from 23 to 26 July. These are:

Urban Societies – The Built and the Natural – Innovation and Tradition – Space and Identity.

The first day of the congress, 22 July 2002, is reserved for joint events staged by the UIA Work Programmes.

Proposals for speakers and chairpersons have now been allotted to the different plenary sessions, which will be devoted to the same main themes, but under their own separate headings. The relevant enquiries are now being made and the invitations issued. Among those proposed are outstanding architects as well as prominent figures with a marked interest in architecture, including politicians, philosophers, writers, historians, etc.

Details are provided in the provisional congress programme that was sent out to all the National Sections of the UIA in English and German in November 2001. They are also available in the other UIA languages, French, Spanish and Russian, on the website www.uia-berlin2002.com

...registration. There were over 1,200 registrations for the congress by October – an impressive figure for a congress that is still nine months away. We should like to combine this report on the state of preparations for the congress with a “call for registration“.

Those registering by 28 February 2002 pay a reduced attendance fee: € 430 for participants, € 220 for accompanying persons and € 150 for students. From 1 March the fees for these categories will be € 530 / €270 and € 180 respectively. All the above-mentioned fees include 16% VAT.

General information and the terms and conditions of participation can also be found in the provisional congress programme. This applies in particular to the congress venue, registration, payment, conditions for attendance, hotel reservations, private accommodation, arrival etc.

Any enquiries or requests you have should be addressed, as always, to

UIA Berlin 2002 e.V.
Koepenicker Str. 48/49
D-10179 Berlin
Fon +49 (0)30 278734-40
Fax +49 (0)30 278734-12
E-mail info@uia-berlin2002.com

We look forward to hearing from you.

Andreas Gottlieb Hempel
1st Vice-President UIA
Congress President UIA Berlin 2002

Top of page

The Road to Berlin

“The Road from Beijing” is the title of a UIA Work Programme that was launched at the 1999 UIA World Congress held in the Chinese capital. In the meantime, this Work Programme has published the Charter of Beijing, a document of considerable importance for the attitude of architects to society and the environment in the future. Worthy of especial note is the call made to architects in the charter to adopt a holistic approach to their work and to act in an awareness of the wide-ranging responsibility that rests on their shoulders. At a time of ever-greater specialisation and classification, the charter says, the capacity to understand complex relationships, to formulate them in projects and to exercise control over their practical application is of the utmost importance when it comes to mapping out visions and prospects for the future.

This is of particular significance in respect of the advice given to politicians, who generally base their decisions on the knowledge provided by specialists. In view of the inevitable sectoral bias this involves, it is little wonder that politicians tend to end up at best with short-term suggestions rather than integrated, sustainable proposals. What architectural policy must offer, however, is a multi-dimensional, long-term perspective, because short-term investment decisions, the follow-up costs of which generally have to be borne by society as a whole, are simply too expensive. The Charter of Beijing provides plenty of food for thought for politicians interested in a long-term architectural policy.

Every road leads in a certain direction and hence “The Road from Beijing” is “The Road to Berlin“ and the XXI World Congress of Architecture to be held in the German capital from 22 to 26 July 2002. The theme of the World Congress, “Resource Architecture“, will mark the culmination of the “Road from Beijing”. At the end of the discussions and of the dialogue between the disciplines at this forum, further progress will need to be made along a road showing that globally co-operating architects have suggestions to make for a peace accord with the resources nature has to offer. Moreover, use can also be made of the creative resources architects can provide in the reformulating of a world peace policy opposed to terror, injustice, homelessness and poverty – a policy based on dialogue, tolerance and delight in the tremendous diversity of mankind.

The Charter of Beijing has already radically altered the work of Chinese architects. The 1999 UIA World Congress in Beijing, the stimulus provided by the gathering of thousands of architects from all over the world in China and the extensive discussions with students, in particular, have generated an incredible dynamism over the past two years. The Congress President and Minister of Construction, Ye Rutang, the head of “The Road from Beijing“ Work Programme, is now Environment Minister. The meeting with him and the present Minister of Construction at the Annual General Meeting of the Architectural Society of China showed that China’s politicians appreciate the value of architecture in forging the future identity of their country. Architectural policy is regarded not just as a means of making economic progress, but also of drawing on long-standing cultural traditions in the quest for a future that builds on regional qualities in an era of globalisation.

We expect the XXI World Congress of Architecture and the impact it will have to generate not only a greater appreciation of architecture among politicians and the public at large, but also to provide a new approach to use of the material resources of architecture (not just in Germany as the host country) and to the quality of the built environment all over the world.

The UIA and the BDA as the organisers of the XXI UIA World Congress of Architecture cordially invite you to participate in the dialogue between the disciplines to this end.

For up-to-the-minute information about the World Congress and direct registration as a congress participant please visit our website at www.uia-berlin2002.com.

Andreas Gottlieb Hempel
Congress President UIA Berlin 2002

Top of page

UIA Berlin 2002 - Social Event!

It is an open secret that UIA World Congresses have never been exclusively specialist affairs. While they are always major occasions for the profession as such, they traditionally incorporate a lively social element. It is for this reason that many of the participating architects bring their partners and families with them, who are very glad to join in the many social events and, indeed, enhance them with their presence.

Of the three excellent opportunities provided by a UIA World Congress – to hear fascinating presentations by prominent figures, to inspect outstanding new architecture in the city where the congress is being held and to meet old friends or make new acquaintances – considerable importance attaches to the latter.

In our display screen age we can conjure up virtual worlds at the touch of a button and – in some cases at least – we are already beginning to confuse them with reality. Inherent in these artificial worlds, which provide us with an immense wealth of information, is the danger of us losing sight of essentials: personal contacts, spontaneous inclination or rejection, the chance to sense what is hidden between the lines or remains unspoken, the opportunity to really get to know and understand people. Previous UIA World Congresses have led to stimulating, long-term and occasionally unique friendships and to the emergence of co-operation, aid and support. Sometimes they have “merely” provided an opportunity to meet people again after a period of years, with whom it has been impossible for reasons of time or distance to maintain contact as one would have liked. That will undoubtedly be the case once again in Berlin. Revisiting opposing standpoints after a period of years can be intriguing, too. Viewpoints change and preconceived opinions can be revised. After all, there is so much common ground that brings architects together in their efforts to produce a built environment fit for human habitation and to develop building art and building culture.

What social and cultural events does the XXI World Congress of Architecture from 22 to 26 July 2002 in Berlin hold in store?

First of all, there is a large number of exhibitions and vernissages. They include 18 exhibitions directly associated with the congress ranging from the International Architecture Exhibition to inter-disciplinary exhibitions on art and architecture staged by well over 30 Berlin galleries. The International Trade Fair for Planning Professions in the Building Sector, PlanCom 2002, will be officially inaugurated on the opening evening and on all the other evenings the public project reports by prominent architects will be followed by cultural events and entertainment at prominent locations in Berlin. They include the welcome party in the Palais am Funkturm, the Music and Architecture Forum in the Tempodrom and the Night of Architecture in Berlin Galleries and they will culminate in the party on Museum Island with the award of the UIA Gold Medal and four UIA prizes and the farewell party at the post station at Ostbahnhof. Other highlights will be the Architecture Quartet, at which critics will discuss architecture, walks to visit buildings designed by Schinkel, the Film and Architecture Festival, the presentation of the World Architecture Awards and Architecture Day on 27/28 July.

That is more than congress participants can contend with. They will be spoiled for choice and are unlikely to get bored at any stage. Detailed information on the social events at the UIA World Congress is available at www.uia-berlin2002.com. You can use the website to register for the congress and/or individual events. All BDA members, all the Member Sections of the UIA and a large number of prospective participants were sent the provisional programme containing all the relevant congress information in December 2001. Should you not have received the programme or have questions you would like answered please contact

UIA Berlin 2002 e.V
Köpenicker Straße 48/49
D-10179 Berlin
Fon +49.30.27 87 34.40
Fax +49.30.27 87 34.12

Andreas Gottlieb Hempel
1st Vice-President UIA
Congress President UIA Berlin 2002

Top of page

Press contact
Scantinental Business-Kontakt-Agentur
Fon +49 (0)30-84 77 00-0
Fax +49 (0)30-812 00 80
Mail to Scantinental Business-Kontakt-Agentur

Congressplanning and -programme
UIA Berlin 2002 e.V.
Koepenicker Str. 48/49
D-10179 Berlin (Mitte)
Fon +49 (0)30 - 27 87 34 40
Fax +49 (0)30 - 27 87 34 12
Mail to UIA Berlin 2002

Congress Management and Registration
Bundesallee 56
D-10715 Berlin
Fon 030-8579030
Fax 030-85790326

Press Release
Goals and Impact
Press Service

Top of page

Last update: 20/03/2002