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Emancipation and Beauty: Ritz Ritzer of bogevischs buero on the past and future of architecture in 2080

For Ritz Ritzer, utopia and naturality are determining characteristics of 1960s architecture. On the occasion of DETAIL’s anniversary, this founding partner of bogevischs buero elucidates his desire for a new self-perception within the discipline in the year 2080.

What is the legacy of the 1960s?
The 1960s were defined by an emancipation from the inordinately simple architecture of the post-war years (with a few notable exceptions), by a new openness towards construction and materials, and with a real élan for new spaces! Brutalism experienced a new flourishing, space was made for structuralist models. What’s more, completely unconventional projects such as the Olympic complex and the Olympic village in Munich were conceived in the 60s. What wonderfully utopian naturality!

When did you first encounter DETAIL?
It was in the mid-80s, during my first office internship. The magazines there were a dry, sober, valuable repository of constructively correct Details. The odd documented example may not have achieved the lofty design standards of the time. But then that changed dramatically and DETAIL transformed into the magazine I value so much now: one of the best specialist publications in architecture, always current and topical, with examples from near and far, alternative points of view concerning various guiding themes, and as a (print) medium always at hand. Please keep it up!

Where will architecture be 60 years from now?
Shouldn’t it find its way back to what it was for so many centuries? In times when resources and energy did not seem inexhaustible? We’ve already taken a bit of that path, a path away from self-depiction, away from depreciation models and poorly conceived profit-driven projects. I would like to see more rationality, more economy in the long-term sense and: more beauty for people in the built environment. The utopian quality of the 2080s-era utopia will be that it will not come to us in the same way as the utopia of 1960: it will be quieter and more prudent, I believe. 

Ritz Ritzer is a founding partner of bogevischs buero architekten and an urban planner. For more than 25 years, he has worked successfully on residential building projects, social and commercial buildings as well as city-planning programs. Projects by bogevischs buero have won many distinctions such as the 2016 German Urban Planning Prize, the 2017 Sustainability Prize and the German Architecture Museum DAM Prize in 2018. Ritzer studied at the TU Munich and at the E.T.S.A.B. in Barcelona. He is a member of the Bavarian Association of Craftsmen, the Association of German Architects and various advisory boards devoted to design. Today, he researches strategies for the sustainable development of urban structures and living spaces and is a member of the temporary design advisory boards of both the Bavarian Chamber of Architects and of the City of Ulm.

Ritz Ritzer of bogevischs buero on the past and future of architecture in 2080, Photo: Frank Bauer
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