TU Wien 260.518 -

International Summer School

Dealu Frumos/Schoenberg

(Design Studio - Kleines Entwerfen)


Course Folder Poster Dealu Frumos International Summer School


During July 2018, the International Summer School in Dealu Frumos in Transsylvania was held. It gathered 25 students from eight countries originating from the University of Architecture and Urbanism Ion Mincu in Bucharest, the host, Technische Universität Wien and the Korean Gyeongsang National University in Jinju. In total 12 teachers and supervisors from Romania, Austria, Germany, Japan and Korea were present and supported the students in their search for contemporary uses for selected lands, villages and houses of the region that became marginalized and widely neglected after the retreat of German settlers taking place during the final quarter of the last century.
For more than700 years the Germans were the dominant ethnic group in Transylvania or Siebenbürgen, primarily protestants, and responsible for building most of the approximately 250 fortified churches as defense line against aggressors from outside. While the objects in their totality are a unique cultural heritage of sacral buildings worthwhile to be protected as an ensemble the reality of the region and country does not allow such an approach. The region is poor and did not recover from the loss of people and income. Means provided by international and national sources are scarce and only allow a priority setting to protect the best preserved objects. One out of 35 or the seven most famous fortified churches became a UNESCO World Heritage Site and consequently get the most attention and visits. Some 100 objects require renovation and were given to institutions or cultural associations who try to reestablish a meaningful use. The remaining majority of objects are ruins or under current conditions not useable buildings.
Since 2004 the University of Architecture and Urbanism Ion Mincu Bucharest revitalizes one of the objects, the fortified church in Dealu Frumos/Schönberg as the seat of the Center of Varnicular Architecture and the place for numerous national and international summer schools. The use of the fortified church in Dealu Frumos is restricted to the warm season as it would be too expensive to heat the object during winters. But at least during this season citizens and visitors can feel new live in the old village. And even more important is that continuously new ideas are coming up on how to improve the state of single objects, ensembles of built environment, or the magnificent cultural landscapes in the surroundings of Dealu Frumos. In this spirit 15 architect students from TU Wien tried to contribute. They came up with their ideas on how to intensify the underused structures and to regain economic incentives for the further development of the region. Ideas of new uses comprised the fields of tourism, agriculture, manufacturing and improving the local and regional infrastructure.
In priniple, Transylvania could become an outstanding European tourism destination but the tourist infrastructure and transport services are not highly developed. Tourism in various forms, as architectural or cultural heritage tourism, religious tourism, history tourism, ethnic minority tourism, event tourism, cycling tourism, farm tourism, connecting the centres, was selected as the most appropriate economic activity to revitalize the region and several ideas were born in this context.
Agriculture appealed in two ways, in form of a traditional agriculture that contributed to the unique cultural landscape and that partly survived in the region and by entirely new smart farming concepts aiming to digitize and rationalize farming. Traditional agricultural practices are maintained by many shepherds moving around with their flocks or small scale peasants practicing circular resource economy and subsistence agriculture with few animals on limited areas of land. Ideas of smart farming were primarily influenced by Korean students from Jinju who were supported by the Smart Farm Centre in Jinju.


Student Contributions to Dealu Frumos Design Studio 2018 (Kleines Entwerfen 5 ETCS)
Given Name Family Name/e-mail Study Tour Report Concept
Rares Denis Barbu STR_Barbu Barbu_(new)
Audrey Chang STR_Chang Chang_(new)
Toni Cherneva STR_Cherneva++++ Cherneva +++
Anna Dumitru STR_Dumitru Dumitru
Lukas Flandorfer STR_Flandorfer Flandorfer_(new)
Andreea Harlesteanu STR_Harlesteanu Harlesteanu_(new)
Petra Ianu STR_Ianu Ianu++
Lea Kavvasiadi STR_Kavvasiadi Kavvasiadi
Michael Plankensteiner STR_Plankensteiner Plankensteiner++++
Oana Roxariu STR_Rotariu + Rotariu +++
Andrei Sassu STR_Sassu Sassu
Claudiu Selistean STR_Selistean Selistean_(new)
Bianca Severin STR_Severin + Severin +++
Calin Talaba STR_Talaba Talaba
Fabian Wildner STR_Wildner Wildner


Student works of TU Wien students are exhibited here. Some of the concepts are finalized ideas while others are work in progress. Comments to all TU Wien students Meinhard Breiling, TUW - Comments from Ioana Zacharias Vultur, CSAV


Inputs Ressource Persons Dealu Frumos Design Studio 2018 (Kleines Entwerfen 5 ETCS)
Given Name Family Name/e-mail Contribution 1 Contribution 2
Marius Voica Course Intro UAUIM  
Meinhard Breiling Course Intro TUW Follow Up
Erwin Szlezak Soil Protection ARGE Donau
Mirela   Weber Restoration Motis-Mortesdorf
Barbara Willsberger Danube Strategy PA9-Danube Strategy
Sebastian Bethge Stiftung Kirchenburgen - Overview
Hanna Derer Presentation  
Ioana Zacharias-Vultur Center for Vernacular Architecture - Journal
Martin Czell Family founded Czell brewery later "Ursus"
Milan Racek Colors of the Earth
Liviu Gligor Restoring church of Dealu Frumos and more
Koji Harashina Rural Landscape Development in Japan
Mihaela  Hermanescu Vernacular and Technology. InBetween.
Hyeon Tae Kim GNU Introduction FEBS Introduction
Waqas Qasim Greenhouse Automatic Control System
Frank Okyere Precision Farming and Artificial Intelligence
Willy  Schuster Small Scale Organic Farming - Biorama


Lectures given by international professors and scholars with the aim to stimulate students to formulate their ideas are provided above. And benath, we depict the highlights from our study tour in Sibiu, Museum Astra, Dealu Frumos, Sigisoara, and many other wonderful places.


Pictures from the excursion to Dealu Frumos July 9th to July 14th, 2018
Date morning noon afternoon
July 9th Stiftung Kirchenburgen Sibiu Town Tour Museum Astra
July 10th Tour Museum Astra Colors of the Earth
July 11th

Leaving Astra

Hosman Fortified Church

Nocrich Fortified Church, Pottery, Scouts

Altana Fortified Church

Pelisor Fortified Church

Veseud Fortified Church

Agnita Dinner

July 12th

Dealu Frumos A

Summer School B

Summer School C

July 13th

Bradeni, Apold Fortified Churches Sigisoara


Mosna Schuster Ecofarm

Mosna Fortified Church

Bridge Factory Apold

July 14th  Farewell  


Awards funded from PA10, Danube Region Strategy for two TU Wien students to participate in the 7th Danube Region Forum in Sofia, Oct. 17th to 20th, 2018 to present the results of the International Summer School Dealu Frumos July 9th to 14th, 2018

Presentation at Danube Region Participation Day, Sofia, October 17th, 2018

We would like to thank all colleagues that supported us during this course and appreciate the co-operation with the working groups of the Danube Region Strategy.


Last Update: March 18th, 2019