Learning from Classics

Learning from Classics

With "Learning from Classics" at the PBSA in Düsseldorf, we chose not to define a specific context but to dive into the history of architecture through the selection of 30 "Classic" architectural references. The students analysed thirty or so exemplary, "virtuous" situations from architectural culture, in which citizens, architects or town planners have shaped an "architecture for the city" (Aldo Rossi's eponymous book). These built situations are generous in their interconnections with the environment, opportunistic in their offer of multiple readings and uses (Robert Venturi's Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture), and committed to the transmission of a sense of community within the city.

Learning from Classics is part of a dynamic (series) of reflections set up by CENTRAL, Maxime Delvaus and occasionally Sophie Dars for several years on the question of the tenuous, perceptible or imperceptible, link that architecture maintains with its context and the making of the city. All these reflections are interested in the question of the missing link between architecture and urbanism and in the expression of the collective values of certain projects within the city itself. The challenge is to identify virtuous urban situations and to reveal their potential in order to propose an extrapolation in a synthetic form. These extrapolations, once isolated from their contexts, take on a certain form of 'universality' and can therefore be used as a project tool. These situations are generally the result of an assembly of intentions of which the city is made, they can be intended or inherited, anodyne or spectacular, architectural or not.... Each chosen context constitutes for us a pool of potential projects with its own particularities and specificities. We have to learn from what exists, from what is already there, from what has been and from what already works without always knowing why.


  • Peter Behrens School of Arts

Sophie Dars & Carlo Menon


Léonard Serges, Janine Belouadi, Marina Jungermann, Ronja Lehmann, Sofie Wolff, Anike Henn-Anschütz, Joshua Hoffmann, Amelia Jalosinska, Melda Gümüsbas, Maren Hertel, Max Brockerhoff, Julius Habbich, Ann-sophie Lehmann, Stefanie Kleinpeter, Lisa Kleimann, Ellersiek, Kallenberg, Leslie Schelper, Leonie Silbermann, Kae Baedorf, David Morsi, Ilir Simnica, Jannis Glünkin