Architecture criticism

Architectural Criticism is an aspect of art criticism and is concerned with the assessment of architecture. Especially the exploration of contemporary architecture is an essential feature of architectural criticism.


One goal of architectural criticism is to identify the causes of failures of architecture.

Architectural criticism is a method of conflict resolution. Under the aspect of " distinguishing and questioning " the built environment is assessed.

Philosophically carried out the review:

1 subjective, personal taste and feeling, and is

2 objectively justified by applying a safe, measurable principles by the value ( or lack of ) to recognize a design.

So the goal is to find an argumentative stance of these two possibilities. The contemporary architectural criticism is mostly dogmatic and didactic, as the critics by its opinion always takes sides - due to his aesthetic conceptions of the cultural epoch which he comes. The architecture critic exposes himself by standing between the building and the viewer and believe it - always worn, from his point of view " to know better " than others. The criticism is also criticism of the person of the architect ( in his role as " architects " ) when he shocked with his work and provoked or tired and bored.


The criteria of architectural criticism formulated by the architectural theory. According to Vitruvius, the three main requirements for the architecture: Firmitas (strength), Utilitas ( utility ) and venustas ( beauty). This account must be taken of all three categories equally and equal.

  • See also: Section Important Threads of the lemma Architecture


Historic architecture of representation, such as the Parthenon or Gothic cathedrals, was created by architects and anonymous craftsmen.

With the humanism emerges a new conception of architecture as " free art " and forms a new type: the architect as an artist who, with his architectural design aesthetic mediator for the wishes of his client stem. Historically representing architect and client the same values ​​and thus the foundations of all representational architecture. Who was privileged by birth and (or) assets, increased his reputation by the architect. Conversely, it meant - as the recognition of a work of art depended solely by the rulers - society for the architect rise, success and further orders. This context provided the basis for the patronage. Criticism here was completely unnecessary, because it was either "in" or "out".

In the 19th century, the architecture was transformed by technological progress and the engineering sciences: the division of design and construction. Most architects created further scenarios for the upper-class tastes, unable to synthesize, they went all out, the new iron structures to hide behind monumental facades and fell so vulnerable to the function of a " stylist ". The theory of " beauty" has been reduced to a system of rules and who did not meet the, was criticized.

Well-known architectural critic

See also: Comité Internacional de Arquitectura de Críticos

  • Dieter Bartetzko, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
  • Wolfgang Bachmann, Baumeister ( magazine)
  • Ulrich Conrads, Bauwelt (Journal)
  • Ingeborg Flagge, the architect
  • Gerhard Matzig, Süddeutsche Zeitung
  • Roman Hollenstein, Neue Zürcher Zeitung
  • Hanno Rauterberg, Time


  • BDA award for architectural criticism