Founded in 2001 in Cluj (Romania) as a German-Romanian collaboration NGO, Planwerk
became an architecture and planning office in 2003. It's activity over the last 15 years ranges from urban development and strategic planning to public space and architectural design.
Efficient land use is a major and constant theme of Planwerk's work. By the beginning of the 2000s, triggered by economic development, uncontrolled land consumption became a common problem for most Romanian communities, regardless of size or wealth.
Based on a multilayered analysis of the specific situations, involving civic participation, Planwerk's attempts to understand and improve local conditions are primarily counting on preexisting potentials and qualities. Protecting and rehabilitating valuable structural and natural urban resources becomes a concern and, furthermore, a design tool. Nevertheless, working as an architect in a redeveloping post socialist environment still bears a special professional challenge, equally reflected in satisfaction and in the learning effect of things not always going as expected.
A collection of projects, reaching from city development strategy to square to building, is trying to illustrate an ongoing process. Tiberiu Ciolacu was trained as an architect and urban planner in Romania and Germany; he graduated from the Faculty of architecture and City Planning in Cluj, Romania, in 2005. Benjamin Kohl graduated from the faculty of architecture and urbanism of the HfbK Hamburg, in 2003.
Both are partners in the German-Romanian collaboration office Planwerk, based in Cluj (Romania), and have been teaching architecture design and urban regeneration studios at the Technical University of Cluj for more than ten years.