Dietmar Eberle, born in Hittisau (Austria) in 1952, took up architecture at the Vienna University of Technology. In 1976-1977, having finished his studies, he worked in an urban development project in Iran, and from 1979 to 1982 he was part of a work group of the cooperative Bau-und Planungsges.m.b., with Markus Koch, Mittersteiner Norbert and Wolfgang Juen. In 1985 he and Carlo Baumschlager set up Baumschlager Eberle Architects, a firm which has executed works of different typologies all over the world, among which we can mention the Hötting-West residential estate in Innsbruck, a housing project in St. Gallen or the Münchener Rück building in Munich. Since 2004 Eberle has been an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects.
Eberle has held teaching posts at the Technical University of Hannover (Germany), the Vienna University of Technology (Austria), the University of Art and Design of Linz (Austria), the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich (Switzerland), Syracuse University in New York (USA) and the Technical University of Darmstadt (Germany).
He is currently professor of architecture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich, of whose faculty of architecture he was dean from 2003 to 2005.
Architecture is always public and, unlike art, cannot simply be eliminated. A building has to be socially accepted and culturally appreciated first and foremost on the level of perception. Correspondingly, architecture is subject to all the demands of pleasing. This pleasing never takes place on the level of individual taste, however, but in coming to terms with collective acceptance. The challenge lies in responding to this collective perception, which is essentially based on conventions anchored locally or, in other words, in positioning oneself in accordance with public awareness.
For that reason, we have to break with the old way of thinking about a building purely in terms of its intended use. The primacy of fulfilling a use has to be replaced by beauty as the central objective of architectural design, because beauty is the quality which leads to the social and cultural acceptance of a building. Social and cultural acceptance are the most important premises for a building’s longevity.
(Extracts from “From City to House – A design Theory” by Dietmar Eberle and Pia Simmendinger, ETH Zurich, GTA Verlag 2007)
CPD Credit Hours and AIA CES Learning Unit Hours are offered to members of the HKIA and the AIA.
This lecture is open to the general public.
The Fall 2013 Public Lecture Series are co-sponsored by “Ronald Lu & Partners (HK) Ltd.” & “Woo, Chow, Wong & Partners (HK) Ltd.” visiting lectureship in architecture.