Benefitting from its unique setting in the art academy, Städelschule, SAC sees its experimental and speculative approach to architecture both as a privilege and disciplinary obligation. In its disciplinary pursuit, the programme situates architecture in a wider social and political context while problematising contemporary cultural problems. SAC’s master programme is highly international, reflected in both faculty and student profiles, and exclusively conducted in English. Over the last three years, more than sixty students from about 20 different countries have at any time pursued their studies in the two-year programme.

Based on the artistic platform supplied by the Städelschule and the rigorous methodology structuring contemporary architectural design, the programme is formulated as a new and innovative approach to the practice of architecture. Work at SAC pursues design problems within a small sub-set of thematic contexts which at any time are defined by the Master Thesis Studios. Each Master Thesis Studio is led by an appointed professor, guest professor or thesis advisor. Reflecting the overall programme of the school, these studios operate autonomously but reflect the culture of the art academy and SAC’s disciplinary concerns. The respective academic and experimental agendas of the Master Thesis Studios complement one another and contribute to a vital and dynamic educational programme. The complementarity of the studio programmes engenders a productive in-house exchange and discourse for the benefit of the students and the development of the experiments and projects undertaken.

While deeply rooted in the discipline of architecture, SAC benefits from the arts’ profound commitment to critical speculation and innovation. Drawing on the small school’s distinct qualities and dynamics, SAC is situated at the cusp between the critical and innovative forces of art and architecture. Through its experimental research and the excellence of its students and graduates, the programme continuously explores disciplinary specific problems and the status of architecture within contemporary society.

SAC PROGRAMME & FacultY line-up 2018-19

SAC proudly announces its faculty line-up for the academic year 2018-19. The three Master Thesis Studios are led by: Peter Trummer - Architecture and Urban Design; Theodore Spyropoulos of Minimaforms - Advanced Architectural Design; and Johan Bettum - Architecture and Aesthetic Practice.

Yara Feghali has joined SAC as studio teacher and researcher. Yara leads the studio for the group of first semester students, and her design studio will be accompanied by techncial workshops and theory seminars. She also joins Bettum to teach in Architecture and Aesthetic Practice.

Beatriz Colomina and Mark Wigley return to teach history and theory for first year students, and Daniel Birnbaum offers seminars in theory and philosophy.

Hélène Frichot also returns to Frankfurt. While being Professor at the KTH School of Architecture, Stockholm, Hélène offers a series of seminars to students in the Master Thesis Studios and will guide them towards the completion of their written submission for their final degree.

During the winter semester, SAC also hosts a small number of visitors who will give lectures and/or seminars on select topics. First ones out before the seasonal break in December are the partners, Devyn Weiser and Peter Testa, who will entertain Master Thesis students for four days. Shortly after, Daniel Norell returns to offer a workshop to the First Semester Group after having been at SAC last year to give a guest lecture and participate in reviews. For the complete visitors programme during the winter semester, see here.

SAC Journal

The SAC Journal is a periodical that documents and critically reviews projects and theoretical discussions within contemporary, architectural design culture. The projects and texts published relate to the ongoing interests and ambitions of SAC. The publication series attempts to contribute to the discipline of architecture on a critical and discursive level. Read More

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Forthcoming SAC Journal 5


All news
20190626 160704


03 December 2019
Application deadline: April 30, 2020; Early bird deadline: January 31, 2020
Midterm review

Mid-term reviews

First Semester Group

02 December 2019
The Mid-Term Reviews for First Semester Group students will take place on 2 December
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Donald Kunze

Seminar, 13:00, Städelschule I9

28 November 2019
SAC hosts the theorist Donald Kunze for a salon-style seminar that focuses on the Kunze’s notions of the “virtual" and the “Fourth Wall” or “framing” - the latter conventionally understood as a quintessential function of architecture. Kunze holds an MA and PhD from Penn State University where he has also taught in the Department of Integrative Arts and the Department of Architecture till he retired. His dissertation was on the philosophy of imagination of Giambattista Vico.
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21 November 2019
In this lecture, Catarina and Rita Almada Negreiros will present several projects of their studio, CAN RAN arquitectura. The projects are divided into two large groups: Architectural projects of different scales responding to what it means to "build in the built environment" today - that is, in dense urban contexts with a large historical burden, and - second - artistic interventions in public space. The latter comprise of plastic/artistic interventions using tiles, a traditional Portuguese material. The projects will be presented with detailed analyses of given settings in Lisbon and a shared paradigmatic approach that entails seeing the respective projects catalysing change to the respective sites and contexts.
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Cristina Veríssimo

Dwelling in the Public Realm

14 November 2019
Cristina Veríssimo graduated in architecture from the Faculdade de Arquitectura at University of Lisbon (FAUL) and holds a MArch II Degree from Harvard Graduate School of Design. She has taught architecture for over a decade and been invited as a jury member and to lecture at schools in Hong Kong, Europe, Argentina, Chile, USA and Canada. She also has an active professional practice, CVDB Arquitectos, with her partner Diogo Burnay. CVDB Arquitectos has received international awards, such as WAN Award 2013 for education, Archdaily 2014 BOTY for education building of the year,  and AR Highly Commended Award in 2015. Veríssimo develops international workshops and exhibitions on the topic cork and new uses in architecture since 2014. The work  involves researchers, universities and industry. Her ongoing research for her PhD seeks to advance further uses of cork in architecture. Since 2013 she has been teaching as an Assistant Professor of Practice at the School of Architecture at Dalhousie University, Canada.

João Santa-Rita

Travelling (through space)

07 November 2019
João Santa-Rita is a Lisbon-based architect. After graduating from Escola Superior de Belas-Artes in Lisbon, Santa-Rita was a founding partner of Santa-Rita Arquitectos in 1990 and Santa-Rita Associados in 2016. As teacher, lecturer and jury member, he was invited to universities like University of Minnesota, SCI-ARCH, Columbia University, University of Granada, Rhode Island School of Design and Savannah College of Art and Design, and others.Santa-Rita has participated in the Triennale di Milano as well as the Biennale di Venezia, and his work was nominated for the Mies Van der Rohe Prize in 2012. Santa-Rita served as President of the Portuguese Chamber of Architects from 2014 to 2016. This lecture is part of the series, Master lectures 2019-20: Portuguese Contemporary architecture. The series is a collaboration between Städelschule, Deutsches Architekturmuseum and Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences.
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Spatial Fabulations & Other Tales of Representation in Virtual Reality 

Goethe Institut, München

6-7. November 2019
Goethe Institut, München.  SAC’s Architecture and Aesthetic Practice was invited to exhibit VR projects at Goethe Institut in München. The exhibition was a part of the event Perpetual Beta Brot und Spiele Postdigital.
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SAC Study trip to Basel

4-6. November 2019
SAC visited Basel from November 4-6 with students of both years having the possibility to visit, amongst other, Herzog & de Meuron’s Kabinett (Foundation). Hosted by SAC alumnus Hamit Kaplan and Donald Mak, SAC was introduced to projects that have been produced in the office of Herzog & de Meuron since 1978. SAC also visited Vitra Campus in Weil am Rhein and had a chance to take a tour through the unique buildings of such renowned architect as Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Tadao Ando, Nicholas Grimshaw, SANAA and Álvaro Siza. The return to Frankfurt went via Le Corbusier’s chapel at Ronchamp in France.