Interiors Buildings Cities

  • 16151
    Il Teatro del Mondo (1979) Aldo Rossi
  • Comiccity
    The Comic City, Sebastiano Serlio
  • Schermafbeelding_2017-05-12_om_11
    Exterior Festspielhaus
  • Schermafbeelding_2017-05-12_om_11
    Interior Festspielhaus
  • Schermafbeelding_2017-05-12_om_11
    Interior Festspielhaus

Thinking through Making

Please note: This is not the official TU Delft website. For official information (ECTS, course codes etc.), review the study guide or visit the website.

For both studios you need to enroll under the main course code for the MSc2 of our chair (AR2Ai010). Please indicate your choice for the individual studio through a 150 words motivation sent to We strive to accommodate students in their variant of choice but we need to redistribute the participants in case one variant is over inscribed. 

The MSc2 course, Thinking through Making, encompasses design research investigations into thinking about, making and representing architecture, up to and including 1:1 scale. The MSc2 projects act a platform for special research and design projects proposed by members and associates of the Chair of Interiors Buildings Cities. At the heart of each of these projects, renewed every semester, is a research question or opportunity that yields possibilities for responses through design, and realised in tangible artefacts or ‘models’. The MSc2 project is contextualised through an annual theme, which this year is the Festive City.

The Festive City

During the 18th century no sharply defined borderlines existed between city planning and architecture, between architecture and decoration, between decoration and stage design, between stage design and landscape architecture.” 

Zucker, Paul (1955) Space and Movement in High Baroque City Planning

The form of the European city, its buildings and spaces have frequently been driven by the idea and nature of the festive moment, whether it is inscribed in the founding of the city itself, the positioning, uses and relationships of its representative spaces, or the situation and appearance of its buildings and institutions. Whether Sixtus V’s Baroque Rome, Karl Friedrich Schinkel’s Berlin, or the repurposing of city fortifications as promenades overlooking formerly hostile landscapes, the festive city engages with ideas of the theatrical, marking the urban spaces and buildings within and without as set-pieces or scenography. Such scenes are inferred in Serlio’s engravings describing ‘tragic’ and ‘comic’ scenes. At the scale of the building Gottfried Semper describes the evolution of the language of architecture as the material embodiment of ephemeral adornment, garlands of flowers or leaves, hung from walls and columns to create a festive atmosphere. This process of translation raises the relationship between day to day life and the festive moment. Within contemporary urban culture, the nature of the festival is something other, signified by the ephemeral structure. The project which the studios of Interiors Buildings Cities will focus on for 2017/18 will instead seek to reclaim the impact of the festive, at many scales of community life, on the fundamental nature of places and spaces in which we collectively live and to consider the way in which they might respond to the challenges we face in difficult, contested times.

Studio Birthday Playgrounds
Tutors: Dirk Somers, Merijn Muller

The Festive City semester celebrates Aldo van Eycks hundredth birthday by dedicating an MSc2 project to his work. The aim of the studio is to build a series of small structures that explore the themes of his work. 

The relativity of scale has always been a key component in the designs of Van Eyck. His Amsterdam playground designs were a decisive trigger for his career.

Students are asked to design and build a series of play structures themselves. These features aren’t just study models. The studio aims at building play features that could be installed in Amsterdam kindergartens or schools. These structures combine an exploration of Van Eycks language with the diminutive character of playground architecture.

In this studio students can experience the joy of making a real scale, material object. Students will collaborate in groups of 2-4 to design and build one such structure. The eventual outcome will be evaluated by a board of 3 year old Dutch infants, amongst others. 

Studio Festspielhaus
Tutor: Jurjen Zeinstra 

The idea of a festive house or space that celebrates performance - whether dance, theatre or music – as part of the underpinning of a collective, public culture, is an ancient one. This project will study one particular example, constructed at the cusp of the classical and modern world. Drawing upon the ideas of the former and the possibilities of the latter. 

The Msc2 Studio will investigate and reconstruct the interior of the object of the Festspielhaus in Hellerau (Dresden), designed by Heinrich Tessenow in 1912. Its front elevation has gained an iconic status in architecture, representing a clear example of a reduced classical modernism with a reference to both Haus and temple. But the building is much more than that: it contained a remarkable interior, designed in close cooperation with Jacques Dalcroze (dance innovator) and Adolphe Appia (stage designer). The studio will study the building, its urban setting, its interior and its technical features

The Festspielhaus will be placed in context by studying a number of similar buildings that were realised in Germany and Switzerland between 1907 and 1917 by architects such as Theodor Fischer, Peter Behrens, Le Corbusier, Henry van der Velde and Paul Bonatz.  In these buildings, one finds a number of concerns that are still relevant today. One of these concerns is the potential strength of these buildings to operate as centres of community, in replacement of the traditional church. Another concern they share is in their relations between ideas of abstraction / reduction and those of representation, which are closely connected to festivity. An individual History Thesis will be written on each of these buildings and students will produce a series of drawings, documenting these lesser known projects. During an excursion to Germany, a number of these projects will be visited. 

The outcome of the Studio will be a careful documentation and a model from the interior of the Hellerau Festspielhaus on a 1:50 scale. Students are then asked individually to make a proposal for a stage design in the original building. Following on from previous research into Tessenhow’s domestic buildings, the ultimate outcome the Studio is to be part of a larger Tessenow exhibition that is foreseen for 2018 in Mendrisio.  / Nr of students: 4-16


The compulsory general course of the Msc2 Architecture that runs alongside our programme is:
Delft Lectures on Architectural Sustainability