Chair History

Founded in 1908 as the Chair of Design and Urban Planning, the history of the chair reflects different epochs of German urban planning in its persons and positions. The respective professors* each played an active role in the city of Munich and shaped events in the city in different ways. 2021 will see another fundamental change: After more than 150 years of existence, the Faculty of Architecture and thus also the Chair of Urban Design will be absorbed into the School of Engineering and Design. We see this upheaval as an opportunity for greater internationalization and interdisciplinary linkage of our work.


1908 - 1929: Theodor Fischer

Theodor Fischer (1862 - 1938) worked as head of Munich's city expansion department between 1893 and 1901. His development and development plan with the so-called Staffelbauordnung, which was binding until 1970, shaped large parts of Munich with an organic and spatially concise urban development oriented on existing plots. In 1901, Fischer accepted a call to the Technical University of Stuttgart, and Bruno Taut and Paul Bonatz, among others, worked in his office. In 1908 he was appointed professor for design and urban planning at the Technical University of Munich, thus founding the local urban planning theory. Fischer was very important as an urban planner until the 1st World War.


1930 - 1949: Adolf Abel

Adolf Abel (1882 - 1968) was the director of urban planning in Cologne before he was appointed to the professorship for architecture and urban planning at the Faculty of Architecture in 1930. Together with his colleague Robert Vorhoelzer, he opened up the faculty for a modern concept of architecture against the dominance of German Bestelmeyer, who was considered conservative. When the National Socialists seized power, public contracts fell to architects who were more loyal to the regime, and Abel retreated into internal emigration. Toward the end of his term of office, the Nazi regime imposed a teaching ban on him. After the war, Abel withdrew from Munich, as his ideas for the redesign of the Hofgarten were not realized, and continued to work in Stuttgart, among other places.


1954 - 1960: Georg Werner

Despite his distancing and criticism of architecture in National Socialist Germany, Georg Werner (1894 - 1964) made a career under Albert Speer. After he had directed the reconstruction of the Fuggerstadt for two years as head of Augsburg's department of urban planning, he was appointed to the chair of design and urban planning by the professorship for structural engineering (1950) in 1954. Like Robert Vorhoelzer, Werner was an important representative of the Munich Post Building School. He realized various buildings in Munich, but also criticized the city for its timid attitude to modernization.


1961 - 1987: Gerd Albers

Gerd Albers (1919 - 2015) studied with Ludwig Hilberseimer and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe at the IIT Chicago and subsequently received his doctorate at RWTH Aachen University. He was particularly influenced by the sociologically oriented school of Chicago. After working as senior building director in Darmstadt, he was appointed to a professorship at the Technical University of Munich in 1961, which was now run as the Chair of Urban and Regional Planning. From 1965 to 1968 he was also rector of the university. Albers is responsible for a large number of publications on the various developments within urban planning during his active period, i.e. the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, which he decisively influenced. He is thus considered one of the most influential and internationally effective German urban planners. In 1964 he was co-founder of the magazine Stadtbauwelt. In addition, he founded the postgraduate studies in urban planning, which today is part of the training for the building traineeship (since 2019 as Public Planning Lab). Albers has been president of DASL and the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts, among others.


1988 - 2003: Ferdinand Stracke

After working as a practicing architect together with Max Guther in Darmstadt, Ferdinand Stracke (1935 - 2023) was Professor of Urban Development, Regional Planning and Housing at the TU Braunschweig from 1975. In 1988 he was appointed to the chair of Urban and Regional Planning at the TU Munich. He was essentially responsible for the reorganization of the interdisciplinary training for the Bavarian Building Referendariat. From 1996 to 1998 he was also Dean of the Faculty. In addition to his activities as an architect, urban planner and teacher, he served as a juror and chairman in numerous competitions and as a member of various institutions. With publications such as the "Hochhausstudie", the study on the "Mittlerer Ring" and "WohnOrt München - Stadtentwicklung im 20. Jahrhundert" he actively participated in the public discourse with relevance to the present day and was responsible, for example, for the realization of the third construction phase of Neuperlach Süd in addition to numerous large housing estates and urban development plans throughout Germany.


2003 - 2018: Sophie Wolfrum

Sophie Wolfrum studied spatial planning at TU Dortmund University, completed her traineeship in urban planning and, after working in administration in Germany and Tanzania, has run her office for architecture and urban planning together with Alban Janson since 1989. The office's projects were awarded the German Urban Planning Prize in 1995 and 2006, among others. After a guest professorship in Kassel, Sophie Wolfrum was appointed Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the Technical University of Munich in 2003. She was Dean of the faculty from 2011 to 2014. She sees herself academically at the interface between urbanism and architecture. Sophie Wolfrum is the editor and author of numerous publications on urban planning, such as Multiple City. Stadtkonzepte 1908 / 2008, Berlin 2008, Theodor Fischer Atlas. Städtebauliche Planungen München, Munich 2012, Performative Urbanism, Generating and Designing Urban Space, Berlin 2015, Platzatlas. Urban Spaces in Europe, Basel 2015, Porous City. From Metaphor to Urban Agenda, Basel 2018, Die Stadt als Architektur, with Alban Janson Basel 2019.


Since 2018: Benedikt Boucsein