We live in a world of limited resources. Undeveloped land and unoccupied spaces in our cities cannot simply be multiplied. While the world’s population grows, the need for housing grows with it. According to the United Nations’ World Urbanization Prospects: The 2014 Revision, 54 percent of the world’s population lives in cities with a rising tendency for rural flight into urban areas everywhere. It is no secret, then, that the lion’s share of the emissions that damage our climate is produced by the world’s cities. It has become increasingly difficult throughout the world to compensate for the ecological cost that is associated with increasing mobility in the form of automobile traffic.

Given the multiple challenges we face including climate change, the exploitation of natural resources and the increasing number of social and economic conflicts, sustainable architecture can make a significant contribution to social stability.


Expo 2010

Frey Architekten has been chosen to present an example of sustainable architecture on behalf of the city of Freiburg at the Expo 2010 in Shanghai.

The Five Finger Principle

Using sustainability as a guide, Wolfgang Frey has developed the so-called “Five-Finger Principle” based on the notions of Ecology, Affordability, Innovation, Integration and Profitability.

“The Latin origin of the term sustainability covers many senses of the term ‘to hold,’ including to persevere, to hold like a promise, to support as in taking hold of something. In the case of our five fingers in architecture, we need a hand that unifies and holds the five fingers together.” – Wolfgang Frey


The relationship between human beings and nature has a direct impact on the quality of people’s life and existence in this world. Consequently, the use of environmentally friendly materials in conjunction with modern building technology is crucial for gaining an economic value.


People can only benefit from sustainable architecture if it’s affordable. Out task is to find appropriate solutions that fit the job according to a given budget. Simple solutions are technically suitable, not only they’re cheaper but also they fit in every project and cut out the unnecessary.


The will to design has nothing to do with market opportunities – it’s a matter of conviction.


Architecture and building are not just about arranging a pile of blocks. The real task is to create an environment where people feel pleasant to live, work and communicate. Sustainable urban planning meets the needs of aspects of human dignity such as the need for a safe and secure environment, public meeting and communication facilities.


Only if the result is rewarding, people are ready to go beyond familiar structures and enter new terrain to try out new things. We need to be dedicated. Everyone needs to be dedicated. Only then people will be able to achieve greater goals.