City and Architecture

Panel with Van Bo Le-Mentzel, Frank Junker und Nikolaus Hirsch

The city is making a huge comeback: life in an urban environment is going through another big boom. But the consequence of steadily-rising demand is the lack of affordable housing. Cities and their municipal housing associations are faced with the challenge of creating thousands of new dwellings at high speed, year for year. Architecture and urban planning play key roles in the search for new solutions to this problem. What are the tasks of public housing associations in this context? Which innovative concepts, processes and materials determine the trend? The theme evening »Architecture« focuses on innovative solutions and technologies and explores the potential of new buildings, alternative living concepts and subsidized housing construction.

Discussion in german language.




Van Bo Le-Mentzel is an architect, author and filmmaker. Inventor of Hartz IV Furniture, Open School, founder of Tinyhouse University. »One Sqm House« was exhibited worldwide and recorded in the Vitra Design Museum and Bauhaus Archive.

»The appeal of the city as a place to live is rising inexorably, fueling the ongoing debate about adequate and, above all, affordable, housing. But lack of housing is not the problem. Instead, architects, urban planners and politicians lack the imagination to establish new residential structures.«

Frank Junker, lawyer, has been responsible for the company management since 1991 and is Chairman of the Management Board of ABG FRANKFURT HOLDING, the residential and real estate group of the City of Frankfurt am Main.

»With almost 52,000 apartments, ABG offers housing for almost a quarter of Frankfurt's population and is committed to modern, energetic furnishing for their apartments. With its construction of more than 3,000 multi-story apartments in the passive-house standard and that of an active building, the Group sees itself as an innovator in the energy revolution.«

Nikolaus Hirsch was the director of the Städelschule until 2013 and currently teaches at Columbia University in New York. His buildings include amongst others the award-winning synagogue in Dresden. He curated the exhibition "Wohnungsfrage" at the HKW in Berlin.

»The lack of housing and the scarcity of resources are increasingly calling into question the way in which we live together as a society. Before we bring out the same old solutions we should ask ourselves: isn't the housing question also a historical opportunity for a fundamental criticism of norms and standards, or even the chance for a reinvention of the New Frankfurt?«


hr-iNFO is pleased to be a partner of the Luminale 2018. The theme evenings on city and architecture, city and people and city and environment at the Instituto Cervantes will be moderated by the hr-iNFO editors Christoph Scheffer and Petra Boberg. Petra Boberg is an editor in the hr-iNFO research editorial office. Christoph Scheffer is an editor in the hr-iNFO cultural editorial office.



Panel Discussion

City and Architecture

20. März 2018, 20:00 – 22:00 Uhr


Instituto Cervantes, Staufenstraße 1, 60323 Frankfurt am Main

Das Projekt wird unterstützt von

Stiftung Polytechnische Gesellschaft