New professor for the history of building culture

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Erik Wegerhoff (Image: FHNW)
Erik Wegerhoff (Image: FHNW)
School of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geomatics

At the FHNW School of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geomatics, Dr. Erik Wegerhoff is now teaching budding architects about the history of building culture. Most recently, he was a private lecturer at ETH Zurich.

With Erik Wegerhoff, the Institute of Architecture has gained a proven expert in the history of building culture: He studied architecture at the TU Berlin with a year abroad at the Architectural Association in London. Dr. Erik Wegerhoff completed his doctorate at ETH Zurich from 2006 to 2011 on the post-antique appropriations and reinterpretations of the Colosseum from the Middle Ages to the time of the Grand Tour. He explored the question of what happens to a building that no longer had a purpose after antiquity, but is still standing. "What I learned in the process can also be applied to today’s renovation projects," says Wegerhoff.

From 2010 to 2017 he was a research assistant at the TU Munich at the Chair of Theory and History of Architecture, Art and Design and from 2017 to 2021 senior assistant at the Chair of History and Theory of Architecture at ETH Zurich.

Streets in the history of architecture

He also completed his habilitation at ETH Zurich in 2021 on the inspiring and conflict-laden relationship between cars and architecture in the 20th century, from the speed enthusiasm of the early avant-gardes to the slowing down of the car in the traffic-calmed areas of the 1980s. "It was particularly important to me to include roads as infrastructure structures in the history of architecture," says Wegerhoff. The work has been published as a book under the title "Automobil und Architektur. A creative conflict".

Dr. Erik Wegerhoff has published numerous other publications, articles and essays in his career to date. He was editor of the "Schweizerische Bauzeitung TEC21" for two years from 2021-2023 and has thus followed and helped shape current architectural debates. He continues to work as a freelance architecture critic.

The 49-year-old was born in Le Chesnay, France. In addition to his native German, he also speaks fluent Italian, French and English. He has lived in Basel since 2022.

As an academic, Wegerhoff has also been able to gain extensive experience abroad, which is incorporated into teaching at the FHNW. "Training architects is something special for a historian - because design is rightly at the heart of teaching. But it’s precisely this proximity to practice that appeals to me, because I always have to ask myself the question: What do builders really need to know about architectural history? How can I transfer the findings from research to teaching practitioners?" says Wegerhoff.