Former BTU professor Inken Baller honored for her work as an architect

Inken Baller will receive the BDA Grand Prize 2023 together with Hinrich Baller. The prize will be publicly awarded on September 15, 2023 at the Museum für Angewandte Kunst MAKK in Cologne. Inken Baller was professor from 1996 to 2007 and vice president from 2000 to 2006 at the Brandenburg University of Technology (BTU) in Cottbus.

The BDA Grand Prize is the most important personal honor bestowed by the BDA. With this award, the Association of German Architects (BDA) honors significant achievements or an exceptional work by architects, urban planners or urban planners from Germany and abroad every three years. Hans Scharoun was honored with the prize for the first time in 1964, followed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Egon Eiermann, Günter Behnisch and Oswald Mathias Ungers, among others. The most recent recipients were Peter Zumthor (2017) and Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal (2020).

Prof. Inken Baller held the chair of Design - Construction Building in Existing Contexts at the Brandenburg University of Technology (BTU) from 1996 to 2007. From 2000 to 2006, she was Vice President for Studies and Teaching. In addition, she was instrumental in shaping in particular the content and orientation of architectural studies at the university, but also the Faculty of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Urban Planning until her retirement in 2007. Inken Baller remains closely associated with the faculty to this day.

Prof. Karen Eisenloffel, holder of the Chair of Structural Design in the Institute of Architecture at BTU, fondly remembers the constructive collaboration with Inken Baller and says: "At the time of her appointment at BTU almost 30 years ago, Inken Baller was already an internationally recognized architect thanks to the distinctive Berlin "Baller buildings", as the residential development on Fraenkelufer in Berlin-Kreuzberg is known. Even then, her work was marked by the issues that we consider red-hot today: Preservation and conversion of existing buildings, sufficiency, communal use, Interculturalism.... She continues to pursue these themes at BTU today, including through lectures, tours, and doctoral supervision. Inken Baller's work here has been characterized by interdisciplinary collaborations and a strong commitment to teaching. In addition to teaching design in Architecture, she has taught for many years in the Building and Conservation and World Heritage Studies study programmes, as well as leading the EU-TEMPUS project "Rehabilitation of Islamic Cities". Inken's curiosity and humor are contagious; through her vast knowledge, exciting work, and dedicated supervision, she has been a great inspiration to many generations of students and Staff Members at BTU - including me as a younger colleague."

Prof. Bernhard Weyrauch, Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Urban Planning, adds: "The award for our colleague Inken Baller fills us with great joy and pride. On behalf of all colleagues at the Institute of Architecture and the entire faculty, we extend our heartfelt congratulations. The work of Inken and Hinrich Baller is as independent as it is innovative. Many students have benefited from Inken Baller's knowledge, expertise and from her witty design skills."


Until 1989, Inken and Hinrich Baller worked together to combine technically innovative and socially exemplary solutions in multi-story residential construction with a design language all their own. Their eye-catching Architecture was considered a trademark of the West Berlin scene in the 1970s and 1980s. They will receive the 2023 BDA Grand Prize for their joint work. At the award ceremony in Cologne, the honorees will present their work. They will also be interviewed about which of their impulses can be applied to today's requirements for affordable, innovative and, not least, climate-friendly housing construction. In conversation with a younger generation of architects, the unbroken topicality of a completely independent body of work is thus revealed.

Award of the Grand BDA Prize 2023

by Susanne Wartzeck, President of the Association of German Architects (BDA),
Friday, September 15, 7 p.m., MAKK - Museum of Applied Arts Cologne
The honor will be awarded as a gold medal depicting Daidalos and a maze based on the labyrinth of Knossos. The inventor, master builder and designer Daidalos has been a symbolic figure of the architectural community through the centuries.


Susett Tanneberger
Kommunikation und Marketing
T +49 (0) 355 69-3126
On October 24, 2006, the university library in the Information, Communication and Media Centre (IKMZ) in Cottbus was named "Library of the Year" - an occasion for great joy, and not just for Prof. Inken Baller: As vice president and architect, she played a key role in supporting the construction of the new building, which was designed by the renowned architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron, from the BTU side. (Photo: BTU, Ralf Schuster)
With heart and mind: Inken Baller's advice was also in demand at the BTU in particular with regard to the structural development and design of university buildings. Here, during her speech at the farewell ceremony for former library director Annette Warnatz, she homorously looks back on some milestones in connection with the construction of the IKMZ. (Photo: BTU, Ralf Schuster)