transcends its built manifestations; it is thought made visible through the process of building. It emerges where the client is aware of the added value created by good architecture and remains committed to it even after it is completed. It requires an architect who is equally committed, one who thinks beyond building regulations and functional requirements to create added value. This is a tremendous challenge, and our built environment all too often illustrates how the costs and complexity of construction can defeat even the best intentions. Durability, convenience, and beauty – although set down more than two thousand years ago, the cardinal virtues of architecture are still relevant for today’s architects.
At Nöfer Architekten we believe that each one of these virtues only makes sense in context with the other two. Together they set the standard for good architecture, both present and future. Yet much of what is now being promoted as architecture does not measure up.
The wide range of architectural idioms has resulted in a confusion of tongues, and the price architects pay for this boundless freedom is the corruption of architectural quality. Architecture needs to overcome this confusion if it is to assert its autonomy and not become an art that only its authors understand. This is what drives us at Nöfer Architekten. Our designs speak an architectural language that we all share, because it draws on the rich store of our shared architectural heritage. A playful combination of formal conventions and anthropomorphic elements, sensitivity to the spirit of places, an awareness for the delicate balance of the old and the new: what we seek is not a radical, but a gradual transformation and rehabilitation of urban space.