Architekturmuseum der TU, Munich

Institutional Internal Reference Code:



Metastadt (presentation model for the first press conference 1971).

Date of creation:


Name of creator(s):

Richard J. Dietrich

Administrative / contextual / biographical history:

As a 27-year-old student, Richard J. Dietrich (*1938) developed
his vision of a “Metastadt” (Metacity). Inspired by the spatial structures and utopian planning schemes of proponents of industrial building such as Yona Friedman and Konrad Wachsmann, he developed a variable construction system consisting of standardised elements that would accommodate all urban functions and be adaptable to the requirements of residents. Dietrich’s vision pointed toward a new type of city, one that would gradually densify existing ones. In 1969, he signed a contract with the firm OKAL, which manufactured prefabricated houses. In collaboration with manufacturers, teaching institutes, and technical advisors, Dietrich and his team developed and licensed the Metacity Building and Planning System for serial production and individual implementation. An initial prototype was erected in 1971 on the premises of Munich Technical University: the elevated space framework – whose completion envisioned the incorporation of the most various elements and allowed for reconstruction to conform to user requirements – is composed of steel frames that form the individual modules. The construction makes possible a spatial transformation in all directions, along with large spans for versatile utilisation and the building-over of urban traffic and transport surfaces. The team prepared numerous urban planning competitions and projects – none of which were actually realised. Only in the planned city “Neue Stadt Wulfen” (Wulfen new town) were apartments constructed according to the Metacity building system. Contrary to the actual Metacity conception, the 100 units were constructed on a landscaped meadow. In 1987, 13 years after its completion, the building was razed. The planning, building, and demolition of Metacity Wulfen was followed closely by the media throughout Germany. The Metacity project thus came to a close, the concept ultimately remaining unrealised.

Source: Show & Tell, booklet, 2014

Conditions governing access:

Open Access

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright Architekturmuseum TUM; Application for permission to publish required; Creative Commons – Lizenz BY-NC-ND.

Materials, physical characteristics and technical requirements:

Plastic, wood.

Finding aids available:

Database MediaTUM –

Cataloguing rules or conventions followed:

AM TUM Database Filemaker.

Exhibition / display history:

Weil am Rhein, Vitra Design Museum, Open House: Intelligent Living by, 2006; Essen, Museum Folkwang, Urbanität gestalten. Stadtbaukultur in Essen und im Ruhrgebiet 1900-2010, 2010-211; Köln, M:AI Museum für Architektur und Ingenieurkunst NRW, 2011; Frankfurt, DAM, Das Architekturmodell: Werkzeug, Fetisch, kleine Utopie, 2012; Munich, PDM, Show and Tell, 2014; Oslo, Nationalmuseum, 2016.

Subjects (Getty Art & Arch Thesaurus):

Architectural models


Munich; Wulfen.