Association of German Architects

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The Association of German Architects BDA e. V. is an association freelance active architect in Germany. The Federation of German Architects is federally organized in local and regional groups and in state associations that are united under the umbrella of the BDA Federal Association based in Berlin.

Members cannot join on their own initiative, instead each regional association appoints such architects "whose professional work fulfills special, holistic requirements for the quality of planning and who also take on social responsibility with their work and for fair, transparent dealings with all those involved in Construction stand. ”It has around 5000 members.


Federal states


The association was founded on June 21, 1903 in Frankfurt am Main to protect the interests of freelance architects vis-à-vis real estate speculators and building contractors and to promote the quality of the architecture. To this end, the statutes stipulated a strict separation between architectural design activities and commercial activities. The headquarters of the BDA was initially in Hanover, as the first impulses for the foundation had come from the Hanoverian architects, and the architect Albrecht Haupt , who resided there, held the office of chairman in the first few years. The entry in the register of associations was also made in Hanover on September 16, 1907.

Within a few years, the BDA became the most important representative of the interests of independent architects in many regions of Germany. Numerous reform architects came together in its framework , who, along with the Deutscher Werkbund, had a major influence on the development of modernism in Germany.

In 1919, the previous BDA, the German Free Architectural Association (DFA) and the German Architectural Association (DA) decided to merge to form the new BDA. At the time of its first general meeting in June 1920 in Würzburg, the new BDA had around 2,500 members.

During Wilhelm Kreis' presidency from 1927 onwards, initially conflicting, more conservative and more progressive architects came together, which was reflected in pioneering congresses on the rationalization and optimization of residential buildings.

1934, under the presidency of Eugen Hönig the DC circuit of the Association of German Architects for state-supporting professional organization of architectural community, namely as a specialist group within the Reich Chamber of Fine Arts , which in turn is a subsidiary organization of the Reich Chamber of Culture was. The loss of organizational independence actually means the dissolution of the BDA.

In 1948 the BDA was re-established, first in individual countries and then throughout the Federal Republic, with significant participation by architects such as Eugen Fabricius and others who had been BDA members before 1933. Bonn became the new seat. In 1952, as a result of the division of Germany, the Association of German Architects in the GDR was established with its headquarters in East Berlin.

During the presidency of Otto Bartning (1950–1959), the BDA gained great political influence in the construction years of the Federal Republic. During this time, the BDA and the GDR Association also joined the UIA (Union Internationale des architectes), which was seen as a further step in Germany's return to the international community.

In 1969, with the founding of the Federal Chamber of Architects, one of the BDA's main objectives was met. The association's crisis of meaning was solved by a new statute passed in 1972, which formulated “planning and building in responsibility towards society” as the highest goal of the federal government. In the work of the federal government, however, there are still content-related overlaps with the Federal Chamber of Architects and the State Chamber of Architects, in which employed architects are also organized.

In the course of the accession of the states of the former GDR to the Federal Republic, the Association of Architects of the GDR (BdA / GDR) dissolved in 1990. As a result, regional associations of the BDA were founded in the new federal states. In 1999 the association moved its federal office from Bonn to Berlin.


According to their own statements, the regional associations currently have around 5000 members (as of June 2017). The federal office is located in Berlin-Mitte in the German Architecture Center. Acting President is Susanne Wartzeck. The association is present in 16 regional associations with regional and urban sub-groups in the federal states, regions, municipalities and cities. The regional reference is intended to guarantee that the necessary critical discussion of the building process can be conducted up-to-date and by well-informed experts.


The association publishes the magazine “ der architekt ” (editor-in-chief: Andreas Denk ), which uses an interdisciplinary approach to address important issues relating to the fundamentals of architecture and building culture. The association is also the sponsor of the German Architecture Center DAZ (Artistic Director: Matthias Böttger ) in Berlin, which presents current trends in architecture and urban planning with exhibitions and accompanying events. The BDA communicates its concerns at the federal level with the annual events “ Berlin Talk ” and “BDA Day” as well as numerous other events on current topics, through statements and publications.


Brinkama-Hof in Weddewarden

The association awards the Big BDA Prize , the BDA Prize for Architectural Criticism and the Nike, alternating every year . In cooperation with the Association of Polish Architects SARP , the bilateral BDA-SARP-Award is awarded to graduates in the field of architecture at German and Polish universities. The German Builders' Prize is awarded by the German Association of Cities, the Association of German Architects and the Association of German Housing and Real Estate Companies. As a cooperation partner, the BDA-Bundesverband accompanies other architecture awards. In their opinion, the state associations honor successful architecture at the state level and support students and graduates from the architecture faculties who are considered to be particularly capable with sponsorship awards.

The regional association of Berlin awards its regional prizes on behalf of the BDA, also every three years. In 2018, architects applied for a prize with a total of 95 buildings. Anyone can also cast their vote on the Internet at Buildings in very different styles were proposed, which above all also adapt well to existing buildings or to the environment. These include, for example, the Paragon apartment building on Danziger Straße , a residential building on stilts that was created from a former water police station in Schöneweide on the Spree, the new building of the Kopernikus School in Steglitzer Lepsiusstraße or the house FRIZZ 23 in Friedrichstraße , a commercial building made from model assemblies.


  • Bernhard Gaber: The development of the profession of freelance architects. Depicted on the history of the Association of German Architects BDA. Richard Bracht publishing house, Essen 1966.
  • der architekt , born in 2003, issue 5–6, pp. 19–87. (Chronicle and various articles on the 100th anniversary)
  • Andreas Denk, Alice Sàrosi-Tumusiime, David Kasparek: Association of German Architects BDA. Chronicle of an electoral community. 1903-2013. Berlin 2013, ISBN 978-3-00-042134-1 .

Web links

Commons : Bund Deutscher Architekten  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. BDA: What does "Architect BDA" mean?
  2. ^ Association of German Architects BDA (Federal Association)
  3. Zentralblatt der Bauverwaltung , Volume 40, 1920, No. 52 (from June 30, 1920), p. 336.
  4. The official journal for the Fachverband für Baukunst was published by the publisher Otto Karl Stollberg under the title "Die Baugilde - Journal of the Association of German Architects".
  5. ^ Nikolaus Bernau: The art of the place . In: Berliner Zeitung , August 24, 2018, p. 10 (print edition).