The "Bundesarchitektenkammer e.V." (BAK - Federal Chamber of German Architects) is the governing body of the 16 Federal State Chambers of Architects in Germany. It represents the interests of about 134.000 architects in politics and the public on a national and international level. Although both architect and building order regulations are a matter of individual federal state legislation, many important political decisions pertaining to the profession are made in Berlin or Brussels.
Like lawyers, medical practitioners or pharmacists, architects belong to the group of liberal professions, whose occupational titles are protected by law. Only those professionals registered with the chamber of architects in his or her federal state are allowed to call themselves architect, landscape architect, interior architect or urban planner. Even though the admission rules vary slightly between the individual federal states, the chamber system guarantees that all professionals maintain a high level of professional training. This safeguards the quality of architectural and planning services in Germany so esteemed also abroad.
Amongst other things, the professional policy activities of the BAK focuses on professional training, competition and public procurement law, yet include also questions of standardisation and the development of the "Honorarordnung für Architekten und Ingenieure" (HOAI - German Fee Scales for Architects and Engineers). The HOAI constitutes a well-proven, transparent and reliable negotiation basis for fees for all those involved. It ensures that competition in planning services is based on quality and not on price, so that architects can work for the benefit of the awarding authorities and individuals, the users and the public.
The "Deutsche Architektenblatt" is the monthly member magazine of the BAK and the Federal State Chambers of Architects. It distinguished itself as a magazine with which architects can identify as regards their work in general, their questions, professional challenges and successes.
It is also available on www.dabonline.de.
The chamber members from the sixteen federal states are:
Architects (working in structural engineering) 85%
Landscape architects 6%
Interior designers 4%
Urban planners 3%
Effective professional policy work requires good networking. The BAK therefore maintains strategic partnerships on a national and international level.
The BAK closely cooperates with the "Bundesingenieurkammer" (Federal Chamber of German Engineers), the professional associations of architects, engineers and urban planners and maintains the office of the "Rat für Baukultur im Deutschen Kulturrat" (German Council for Building Culture, a member of the German Cultural Council). Moreover, the BAK represents the architects' interests in the "Bundesverband Freier Berufe" (Federal Association of the Liberal Professions). For its activities within the European institutions (European Parliament, European Council of Ministers and European Commission) the BAK maintains its own representation office in Brussels. The BAK is an active member of the European governing body Architects' Council of Europe (ACE).
For the purpose of promoting activities abroad, the BAK established the Network for Architecture Exchange - Netzwerk Architekturexport (NAX) early in 2002. NAX gathers export experienced architects, acts as an agent for providing colleagues and awarding authorities with national and international contacts and improves the flow of export-relevant information.
More on the Internet under www.nax.bak.de.
The establishment of the "Bundesarchitektenkammer" (BAK) on 2 June 1969 constituted a professional representation of architects by way of a democratic, self-governing body. With the claim to "shape a human environment worth living in for all citizens of our country" ("Hamburger Erklärung" - Hamburg Declaration), the federal states' chambers of architects joined together in one association.
"Bundeskammerversammlung" (Federal Chamber Assembly)
Once every year, more than eighty federal state delegates meet for the "Bundeskammerversammlung" (BKV - Federal Chamber Assembly). This highest decision-making body of German architects determines guidelines of professional policy, passes the BAK budget and every three years votes on the BAK presidential board.
The members of the executive board are the presidents of the 16 federal state chambers of architects, the BAK presidential board and one respective representative for Landscape Architects, Interior Designers, Urban Planners as well as for the civil servant and employed architects. The presidential board passes all decisions, provided the BKV has not or has not yet exercised its decision-making authority.
Barbara Ettinger-Brinckmann holds the post of BAK President. The three vice presidents are Joachim Brenncke, Martin Müller and Professor Ralf Niebergall. The executive committee is responsible for the operative professional policy work and for managing the BAK. The president acts as the official BAK representative.
Committees and Project Groups
Committees and project groups (PG) and working groups ("Arbeitsgruppen" - AG) advise the BKV and the executive board in individual factual issues.
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Here you will find information about the regulation of the architectural profession and practice in Germany.