Jun 20th 2019

Hamburg Semester Abroad Fall 2019

In 1994 Hamburg, Germany, became an official sister city of Chicago. Coinciding with the 25th anniversary of that partnership, College of Architecture Adjunct Professor Martin Kläschen will lead his second semester abroad to Germany’s second-largest city during fall 2019.

The semester will officially kick off on August 19, with students set to attend Bauforum 2019, a symposium occurring once every five to 10 years, which will provide a setting for discussion about the future of Hamburg’s urban structure. Students will have the opportunity to contribute to the forum and to work with renowned architects and firms such as Kees Christiaanse and MVRDV. The results of Bauforum have had an incredible impact on the city in the past; for example, in 1989 a proposal from Bauforum laid forth the master plan for the redevelopment of HafenCity, which is currently Europe’s largest inner-urban construction site.

Both the topic of Bauforum and Kläschen’s semester abroad program will focus on “urban arteries,” and will involve studying and comparing artery architecture in relation to infrastructural networks and social-urban centers within Hamburg and other European cities, such as Vienna, Prague, and Moscow. It’s an especially important subject for many European cities, including Hamburg, that are looking to decrease the amount of vehicle traffic within their urban centers by introducing new opportunities for urban renewal and expansion.

“Investigating Hamburg through the lenses of urban arteries will provide large-scale insights on essential factors of the city’s metropolitan structure,” says Kläschen. “On a more local scale, the study emphasizes rethinking arterial architecture through design, aiming on the development of new, quality interconnections between architectural space and public realm.”

Students will select one major artery, one artery building, and one neighborhood to be the subjects of their investigations and design projects. Further, the accomplishments from the semester abroad program will be compiled in a book produced by Illinois Institute of Technology. A 500-page book summarizing the 2018 semester abroad in Hamburg—from photos to project proposals to research papers—is currently available in print.

The program is open to College of Architecture graduate students as well as members of the undergraduate program in their fourth or fifth years. Students can also apply for the Droste Scholarship, which covers all travel costs associated with the semester. For more information about the program and how to apply, visit the semester abroad in Hamburg website.