Obituary of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Günther Uhlig
The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the Division Management of Area 4, the KIT Department of Architecture, and the Institute of Urban and Landscape Design (IESL) mourn the death of Professor Dr. Dipl.-Ing. Günther Uhlig, who passed away on November 19, 2021, at the age of 84.
Günther Uhlig was one of the leading intellectual minds of the department in the 1980s and 1990s. As successor to Karl Selg, the planner and builder of the Waldstadt, he gave the Chair of Housing and Human Settlements (1984-2003) a theoretically oriented profile. During this time, it was no longer a question of creating as much housing as possible as quickly as possible, but rather the challenge of once again understanding housing construction as an integrative element of urban development. Particularly in Berlin, as an advisor to the Senator for Building and Housing, he worked on the model of critical reconstruction for the IBA Berlin in 1983 and implemented these "new ideas" in research and teaching in Karlsruhe.
Already in his doctoral thesis in 1977 and during his work as a research assistant at the RWTH in Aachen, he dealt intensively with the cooperative housing of the 1920s and addressed in particular the social significance of communal forms of housing in many publications. As co-editor of the journal ARCH+ he was an important voice in the national and international discourse and was able to set new and important impulses in an impressive way again and again.
In the department his very human and sovereign appearance is still very well remembered. His chair door was always open and he always gave his students access to his almost infinite treasure of books. His chair library was legendary and was always used for intense and unconventional discussions deep into the night. In this climate, outstanding research papers, publications and dissertations were written and many of his staff members started their very successful academic careers there.
As dean of the department , he built bridges between the constructive chairs of the Karlsruhe School and the Institute for Local, Regional and State Planning (ORL) and, as chairman of the Deutscher Werkbund Baden-Württemberg, was also an important figure in the professional debate of the region and the city of Karlsruhe at that time.
Later, he also used this connecting and integrating ability effectively as an advisor to the European Commission and as the department's representative for the exchange with the University of Kristen in Jakarta and also set important impulses in the international discourse here.
His themes are currently experiencing an astonishing renaissance. Communal living is the central theme of the International Building Exhibition 2027 in Stuttgart
and housing as part of urban development is without doubt one of the most important social issues of the future.
Our sympathies go out to his family, but we will remember him as a person and a good colleague.