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History of the Conservation & Restoration Degree Programme

Ehemaliger Gestaltungsraum der Konservierung und Restaurierung mit diversen Modellen


Excerpts of the following remarks were taken verbatim from the article by Gottfried Hauff entitled: "Zur Geschichte des Studiengangs Restaurierung", published in: Potsdamer Beiträge zur Konservierung und Restaurierung, ed.: Studiengang Restaurierung an der Fachhochschule Potsdam, Books on Demand, Norderstedt 2005, pp.125-127.

Today's conservation and restoration course at the Potsdam University of Applied Sciences developed from two initially independent approaches.

In the winter semester of 1993/94, two years after the founding of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, the Department of Architecture established a course of study in building preservation. A new player in monument conservation with knowledge of architecture, restoration and building trades was to be trained, the Diplom-Bauerhalter.

But at the same time as the first students were admitted, doubts arose in the department about the overall orientation of this course and the market acceptance of the future graduates. Was generalist, interdisciplinary knowledge and skills enough without a classical basic education in one of the disciplines? Was there sufficient demand for this new specialisation? A renewed survey of experts from heritage conservation and the restorers' associations yielded a clear no and led to a rapid reorientation.

The "branch" of the Berlin Fachschule für Werbung und Gestaltung Berlin, which had existed since the 1950sin Potsdam, in the house at Schopenhauerstrasse 5-6, had established a specialisation in the restoration of architectural settings in 1976 under the direction of Dr Jürgen Kandler, in addition to the traditional training as a colour designer in the building industry. The three-year course enjoyed a very good reputation among the few training opportunities for restorers in the GDR. A staff of about ten teachers and an almost equally large number of external teachers provided a varied teaching programme.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall - in the meantime under the direction of Angela Müller and Aribert Kutschmar - the training centre had to undergo a number of changes. It went through an "odyssey of affiliation" with various higher-level institutions as well as the "emigration" of several teaching staff and was finally affiliated with the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam in 1994 as the area of Restoration in Heritage Conservation. This led to the grotesque situation of two parallel courses of study with different degrees in an overlapping subject area. Therefore, in April1995, the senate of the University of Applied Sciences decided to phase out the specialist school course by 1997.

In the meantime, Prof. Dr. Martina Abri, the founding commissioner appointed in 1994, worked hard to set up a diploma course in restoration according to the classical, internationally recognised model. Decision-intensive times for the students already enrolled! Some switched to the study of architecture, but most of them went along with the change. The students awaited the start of the new programme with unmistakable impatience.

In the winter semester of 1995/96, with the appointment of the restorers Werner Koch and Gottfried Hauff as professors for the fields of study Conservation and Restoration of Wall Painting and Stone Conservation, respectively, the Restoration programme began its regular operation. Corinna Nisse was able to initiate the first practical parts of the study programme through a research assistant position - however, suitable workshops were still lacking on site. For other subjects, teachers from the architecture and engineering courses and lecturers from outside were recruited.

In 1996, students in the field of conservation and restoration of wooden objects were able to begin their studies as a third field of study with the appointment of Prof. Hans Michaelsen.

A recognised restoration training centre from GDR times as a "discontinued model" on the one hand, a newly founded restoration course of study with "tasted-in", largely West German professors on the Pappelallee campus on the other - a post-reunification scene of liquidation? Fortunately, the whole thing turned out to be a merger for the most part! Most of the teachers at the technical college were able to integrate their respective subjects into the teaching at the university of applied sciences and, in some cases, into the course of study in restoration when the teaching there slowly declined from 1996 onwards. In the latter, Dr Jürgen Kandler took over the subject of natural sciences in restoration and photographic technology, Aribert Kutschmar the history of building, Wolfgang Thiel the design and Angela Müller the colour theory. Many students from the last years of the technical college wanted to and were able to enter the main course of the technical college education and obtain a technical college diploma.

On the other hand, it was particularly important for the students of the restoration course at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam to be accepted and moved into the venerable workshop and laboratory rooms of the technical college in Schopenhauerstraße, some of which were decorated with practice paintings. Here, the workshop practice as well as the scientific measuring and laboratory exercises of the technical college studies finally found their first home. And it was here that the workshop leaders responsible for each individual field of study took up their work, namely the graduate restorers Peter Kozub (stone), Henning Schulze, since 2002 Jörg Weber (wood), Barbara Schick, since 1999 Tjalda Eschebach (mural painting).

A large farewell meeting and party of almost 200 former technical school graduates and current diploma students as well as the former and current teaching staff in July 1997 in the garden and building Schopenhauerstraße set a striking conclusion, but also continuity accent for the Potsdam conservator training.

The next important stage for the degree programme was the consolidation and refitting of the laboratories and workshops of all departments in a new building on campus. The move of the restoration workshops and laboratories into the new laboratory and workshop building, undertaken with united efforts, took place at the turn of the year 2002/03, initially with certain feelings of homesickness for the oasis-like workshop atmosphere of the old building and impatience about the fierce dry spell that had to be overcome until completely new rooms and facilities were functional.

But the advantages of the new rooms, generously equipped according to today's standards of furnishing and occupational health and safety, as well as the proximity of the workshops and laboratories of the other departments, soon made this new beginning recognised as an improvement and an opportunity for something new.

At the same time, in what were actually lean years in which Brandenburg's university funding seemed to be rather stagnant, the management of the University of Applied Sciences and the Ministry of Science, Research and Culture gave the go-ahead for the restoration course to establish a new course in metal conservation. In the summer semester of 2003, the first students in this subject began their studies under Prof. Jörg Freitag and workshop leader Eva Laabs.

At the same time, the field of natural sciences in conservation and restoration could be expanded after the retirement of the previous natural scientist, Dr. J. Kandler, through the reorganisation of the position and the appointment of Dr. Steffen Laue and the laboratory manager Christine Fuchs.

Today, the founding phases have long belonged to the realm of legend. But many things, such as the orientation towards the preservation of historical monuments, the special profile of the four material areas and fields of study, the design components of the courses on offer, stem directly from this history.


  • Anniversary celebration for the 10th anniversary of the restoration course at the FHP


  • Changeover from diploma to bachelor's degree


  • Admission of the first Master students


  • Accreditation of the Bachelor's and Master's degree programmes in restoration
  • Renaming of the Restoration degree programme with different names for each field of study to the Conservation and Restoration degree programme - with the respective indication of the material direction (wood, metal, stone, mural painting)


  • 20th anniversary of the restoration degree programme at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam

  • Start of the new Annex 2 building



  • Move from House 5 to the new Annex II
  • Change of FB2 name from: "Architektur und Städtebau" to "STADT | BAU | KULTUR".
Das Kollegium der Studiengänge Konservierung und Restaurierung (2019)

College of Conservation and Restoration 2019



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