7. March 2022 | Magazine:

Cultural Award for Professor Elisabeth Endres Ingrid zu Solms Foundation honours head of the Institute for Building Climatology and Energy of Architecture

Female cellists, composers and conductors – Professor Elisabeth Endres now joins these ranks. As the first woman from the field of architecture, the director of the Institute for Building Climatology and Energy of Architecture (IBEA) recently received the Culture Prize of the Ingrid zu Solms Foundation. She was nominated by the Federal Association of German Architects (BDA).

Delighted about the award from the Ingrid zu Solms Foundation: Professor Elisabeth Endres, Head of the Institute for Building Climatology and Energy of Architecture. Photo credit: Markus Hörster/TU Braunschweig

“It is a great honour for me to have been recommended from within the BDA network and I am thrilled to receive the award,” says Professor Elisabeth Endres. “It is wonderful to receive an award and thus recognition for the activity that one enjoys and puts one’s heart and soul into.”

With her foundation, Dr. Ingrid Gräfin zu Solms-Wildenfels has been honouring “women with elite potential” from various disciplines for many years. According to the foundation, the cultural prize is to be awarded to women from cultural fields in which they are underrepresented in leading positions, for example in music, the visual arts, the film industry and also in architecture.

Nevertheless, in the Department of Architecture at TU Braunschweig, the gender ratio in the professorate has recently been balanced: Eight female and eight male professors teach and research in the field of architecture. “Unfortunately, this is an exception, especially if you look at the management floors of offices and corporations,” says Professor Endres.

“Away from the obsession with technology”

Professor Elisabeth Endres focuses her research at the IBEA on climate-neutral construction, low-tech concepts, the energy of building materials and robust and sustainable buildings. “The maxim today should be: durable, repairable, recyclable! The upcoming generation of planners needs professors and researchers at the top who represent this climate-neutral approach,” Marie-Theres Deutsch, architect BDA, emphasised in her laudatory speech at the award ceremony. “Professor Endres’ approach is commendable: away from the obsession with technology – towards compact, changeable, simple buildings.”

Both Professor Endres and she grew up near Trier, she said. The fascination with 2,000-year-old buildings that have been transformed again and again over the centuries of their use probably found expression in their thinking here, the laudator said. “People like Elisabeth Endres do great credit to counteracting our society’s obsession with technology with intelligent research approaches that can also be applied well in practice. Her merit is nothing less than opposing the building industry’s heavy debt to global warming. The Ingrid zu Solms Foundation’s honouring of Professor Elisabeth Endres thus supports a high degree of responsibility for our future.”