A 2 – Corporate Architecture: Legal Structures and Built Spaces as Ordering Regimes of Corporate Modernity
Gotthard Müller, Structure, 1962, Pushpins, oil on canvas, Private collection, Bad Homburg.

SECTION A – Order as Control

A 2 – Corporate Architecture: Legal Structures and Built Spaces as Ordering Regimes of Corporate Modernity

Pietro Cesari, Daniel Damler

Max Planck Institute for European Legal History Frankfurt am Main

 

The rise of the corporation to become the world’s most important private-sector actor marks a deep turning point in modern history. This development, which began at the end of the 19th century, seems irreversible today, because corporations are essential to modern economies. It was not least the formation of corporate groups, i.e. the acquisition of shares and the consequent control of one company by another, that opened up completely new legal and economic perspectives. The architectural implications of this institutional revolution remain insufficiently investigated.

The first research project by Pietro Cesari addresses the managerial system of control and coordination and the relative models. They find their spatial and functional declination and characterization in the buildings of headquarters and the relative subsidiaries, in their intersected services of managerial training and R&D centres. The focus is on three case studies of large corporations from the USA, Italy and Germany.

The second research project deals with the architectures of fictional corporations as they appear in films, comics, computer games and other forms of visual narrative.