BMW World © picture-alliance / Sven Simon

Architecture in Germany

Germany has a thriving architectural scene which includes big names on the German and international stage as well as up-and-coming German architectural firms. Following reunification, Berlin became one of the main centers for modern architecture but it has also undertaken great measures to restore and preserve its historical masterpieces, including the magnificent Museum Island.

Current trends include a leaning toward a multiplicity of forms, as seen in Daniel Liebeskind’s extension to the Jewish Museum in Berlin, Norman Foster’s Reichstag dome, and the Gehry buildings on the Düsseldorf waterfront, or toward Bauhaus-inspired minimalism such as Berlin’s new central railway station by Meinhard von Gerkan. It is in green building and ecological improvements, however, that German architecture really leads the way.


Bauhaus building by Walter Gropius © picture-alliance/ ZB

The Bauhaus is considered among the most influential schools of architecture, design, and media of the 20th century. The three cities where it operated between 1919-1933--Weimar, Dessau, and Berlin--each have major institutions presenting different facets of the school and its ongoing significance.

German Sustainable Building Council

House with solar panels

The German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB – Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen e.V.) was founded in 2007 by 16 initiators from various subject areas within the construction and real-estate sectors. The aim was to promote sustainable and economically efficient building even more strongly in the future. Today the association has more than 1,100 members throughout the entire world. Its vision for 2050: a sustainably built and liveable future.

German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB)

HafenCity Hamburg

Aerial view of HafenCity © picture-alliance / dpa

With the development of HafenCity on the Elbe waterfront, Hamburg is setting new standards, in Europe at least. By 2025 a city brimming with life will have taken shape on a site covering 157 hectares. In contrast to other city areas dominated purely by offices and retail, it will blend maritime atmosphere with work, living, the arts, leisure, tourism and shopping.

HafenCity Hamburg

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Germany

German World Heritage Sites Collage

Germany is home to 40 sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Some, like the Cologne Cathedral, familiar to travelers, and others, like the Zollverein former mining complex Essen, less familiar. Take your time perusing this overview of the sites and plan to visit a few on your next trip to Germany.

UNESCO World Heritage

Deutsches Architekturmuseum

Deutsches Architekturmuseum

DAM is not just one of the many museums in the City of Frankfurt, is it also the “German Architecture Museum”, with a national claim. DAM is today increasingly taking up the challenge this entails, and is fostering the debate on current and future architectural and urban design issues, as well as current topics relating to Frankfurt.

Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM)

Your Guide to Architecture in Germany: the Goethe-Institut

Grünes Logo des Goethe-Instituts

From the Aedes am Pfefferberg architecture forum and publishing house in Berlin, to the Wolkenkuckucksheim / Cloud-Cuckoo-Land international online journal of architectural theory, the Goethe-Institut's online portal is the pre-eminent resource offering an overview of the German architectural landscape. Check it out!

Architecture @ the Goethe-Institut
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