ECIA New Member – BAK

The ‘Bundesarchitektenkammer e.V.’ (BAK - Federal Chamber of German Architects) is the national association of the 16 Chambers of Architects of the German Länder, bodies under public law. It represents the interests of Germany´s architects, landscape architects, interior architects and urban planners in politics and society (ca 134 500 members) 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.

The establishment of the BAK (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.

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/her federal state are allowed to call themselves architect, landscape architect, interior designer 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. Architects are obliged to register at the Länderkammer of the federal state (German Land) where they are settled. The regulations vary between the different Bundesländer.

Iris Wec, EU-policy officer