TUM at Architecture Biennale in Venice

Stephan Trüby – newly appointed tenure track Assistant Professor for Architectural and Cultural Theory at Technische Universität München (TUM) – is the research director and co-curator of the main exhibition “Elements of Architecture” at the Architecture Biennale. In collaboration with TUM, he developed the “Corridor Space”, which takes on the form of a labyrinth.

Usually they are narrow, long and convoluted. Corridors induce feelings of oppressive confinement. “It is an architectural form in which we don’t really feel comfortable – yet it is omnipresent,” says TUM Professor Stephan Trüby. The architect should know, after all his doctoral thesis deals with the “History of Corridors.”

In this work, the history of architecture is viewed through the “eyes of the corridor,” as it were, explains Trüby. Rem Koolhaas, the director of this year’s Architecture Biennale in Venice (7 June to 23 November) under the motto “Fundamentals”, is also convinced by the approach of contemplating architecture from the perspective of its elements. The main exhibition in the Padiglione Centrale carries the label “Elements of Architecture” and builds conceptually on Trüby’s doctoral thesis.

Exhibition venue with a surprise effect

The individual rooms of the pavilion are each dedicated to a single architectural element – a stair case, for example, or a window. “To obtain a better understanding of the whole, it is often beneficial to contemplate the elements comprising the whole,” explains Trüby, who is also co-curator of the exhibition. This approach to architecture is not unlike reverse engineering: An object is dismantled into its individual components to get a better understanding of its structure and composition.

In collaboration with TU München, Trüby drafted the concept of the “Corridor Space.” It was important for Trüby to create the claustrophobic feeling so typical of corridors. He had the entire space, which is partially situated underground, filled with corridors, thereby creating a kind of labyrinth. “Due to the newly erected corridors, the former spatial expanse is no longer perceivable – quite a surprising effect,” explains Trüby.

Trüby accepts newly established professorship

As of September 2014, Trüby will take on a new challenge: He will assume the tenure track Assistant Professorship for Architectural and Cultural Theory at the Department of Architecture of TU München. Particularly appealing to Trüby in the newly established professorship is “the opportunity to build up something new in the field of architectural theory.”

In addition to “neuroscientific architectural research” – presumably the only research focus in the field of architectural theory of its kind worldwide – his areas of research will include ecomomics of architecture and urbanism, as well as – in continuation of the Biennale exhibition – the elements and synthesis of architectural spaces.