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Chair of Architecture and Urban Design
Asst. Prof. Dr. Alex Lehnerer
Grand Urban Rules

Design Rules and Design With Rules!

Cities as cultural products are neither ‘built’ nor ‘planned,’ at best they are guided and steered in a certain direction. Therefore, rules and regulations are one of the few tools that are actually suitable to guide future development within such collective and complex urban settings.

We strongly believe that the field of (urban) design should not simply adhere to these standards as some neutrally existing context but should actively engage in discussing them in order to make them subject to design as well. read more

Office for urban regulation

Ancient Lights Doctrine


If sunlight has entered a certain window for 20 years or more, then the owner has a right to expect that this shall be the case in the future as well.

  • 'Ancient Lights' signs below windows in Clerkenwell, London.
    Image credits: Photo by Mike Newman.
  • London's destroyed houses (and windows) by WW II made it difficult to apply the ALD.

Rule category

Rights of Light: enough light and air for everybody
The Kind of Rule
Rule that works as reference, ratio, or dependency.
Rule that is NOT related to any preconceived zone or area.
Rule that stipulates a lower limit.
Rule that regulates building heights.
Rule that has a strong influence on urban density and its distribution.
Rule that influences programmatic and functional issues.
Rule with direct impact on architectural or urban form.
Neighborhood Rule: Rule that works at neighborhood scale.