Urs Bette

Dr Urs Bette

Senior Lecturer

School of Architecture and Built Environment

Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences


Urs Bette is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Adelaide and Director of Urs Bette : Design. He holds a Masters degree in Architecture from the University of Applied Arts, Vienna, and a PhD from RMIT University Melbourne. His design works have been shown at the Architectural Biennale Venice, the AEDES Architecture Gallery Berlin and the FRAC Centre Orléans. His research investigates the role of ‘the unreasonable’ in the design process, revealing strategies that facilitate the poetics of architecture within a professional discourse dominated by expectations of quantifiable performance. The context of this research is set by the relationship between existing urban fabrics and a secondary layer of architectural form. The work contributes to the discourse on sustainable models of urban growth, by developing strategies for urban densification that tap into local histories and voices, including those of the seemingly inanimate - the architecture itself and the ground it sits up-on - to inform the site-related production of architectural character and space. Urs leads practice-based research at the School of Architecture and Built Environment.

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  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2016 - 2013 Lecturer - Fixed term contract University of Adelaide
    2013 Lecturer - Continuing Position University of Adelaide
    2006 - 2007 Design Architect Sam / Ott Reinisch
    2004 - 2004 Design Architect next ENTERprise Architects
    2004 - 2004 Design Architect K.Stattman, Office for Architecture & Research
    2004 Director Urs Bette : Design
    2001 - 2003 Design Architect Eichinger oder Knechtl
    2000 - 2001 Design Architect Designbureau Chavanne
    2000 - 2000 Design Architect next ENTERprise Architects
    1997 - 1998 Design Architect Atelier Lange Monteagudo
    1992 - 1994 Designer Coop Himmelb(l)au
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2016 Teaching Award Executive Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching Faculty of Professions - The University of Adelaide Australia
    2016 Achievement OLT innovation and development grant Office for Learning and Teaching Australia $497.000 - jointly awarded to 14 Universities
    2015 Research Award Aiming for the Stars University of Adelaide - Faculty of Professions Austria $4.000
    2015 Research Award Cluster Evolution Support University of Adelaide - Faculty of Professions Australia $7,500
    2015 Award Austrian Steel Construction Award 2015 Austrian Steel Construction Association Austria
    2013 Scholarship RMIT University HDR Scholarship RMIT University Australia $16.800
    2010 Award Artist in Residence Studio, 1. Prize, Architectural Design Competition Australian Experimental Art Foundation, Adelaide Australia
    2009 Award Thalia NEU, 1. Prize, Architectural Design Competition Austria
    2000 Recognition Experimental Tendencies in Architecture Austrian Federal Chancellery Australia
    2000 Scholarship Tische-Scholarship The Austrian Federal Chancelor Austria
  • Language Competencies

    Language Competency
    English Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
    German Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2011 - 2015 RMIT University Australia PhD
    1993 - 2000 University of Applied Arts Austria MArch
    1987 - 1992 University of Applied Sciences Germany DDes
  • Certifications

    Date Title Institution name Country
    2003 Architect Chamber of Architects Germany
  • Research Interests

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  • Journals

    Year Citation
    2019 Bette, U. (2019). Unreasonable Creatures: Architecture & (Bad) Behaviour. Drawing On: Journal of Architectural Research by Design, (03), 93-106.
    2014 Bette, U. I., OttReinisch, I., & Sam, F. (2014). Thalia Graz - High-wire act above existing building. Architektur Aktuell, 411, 102-113.
  • Books

    Year Citation
    2020 Bette, U. (2020). Architecture in Dialogue with an Activated Ground: Unreasonable Creatures. London, United Kingdom: University College London Press.
  • Book Chapters

    Year Citation
    2012 Bette, U. I. (2012). Artist in Residence Studio. In T. Court, F. Bonnato, & J. Cys (Eds.), Design South Australia (pp. 145-147). Adelaide: Integrated Design Commission.
    2012 Bette, U. I. (2012). Urs Bette Architecture. In A. Sánchez Vidiella (Ed.), Contemporary Architects 1 (pp. 590-599). Barcelona: LOFT Publications.
    2010 Bette, U. I. (2010). Expo 2010 - Uralla Court. In J. Fajardo (Ed.), Starchitects Visionary Architects of the Twenty-first Century (pp. 526-530). Harper Collins.
  • Original Creative Works

    Year Citation
    2020 Authors: Bette U. Title: Uralla Court - print. Description: N/A. Extent: 2830 x 2000mm.
    2018 Authors: Bette U. Title: River Torrens Footbridge - blueprint. Description: http://www.rustsalttar.com/bridge-gallery.html. Extent: Dimensions in centimeters: 61 x 191.
    2018 Authors: Bette U. Title: Unreasonable Creatures - strategic mappings. Description: N/A. Extent: 3 x 1.5 m.
    2017 Authors: Urs Bette U. Title: Thalia at GRAIN. Description: N/A. Extent: Medium: dye ink print, Dimensions: 100 x 70.
    2017 Authors: Bette U. Title: Thalia facade. Description: N/A. Extent: Dimensions: 100 x 70.
    2016 Authors: Bette U. Title: Tindaya Whale. Description: Tindaya whale is the most recent step in an ongoing series of installations. Their aim to explore and test the topics of my architectural design in a medium that is free from program or functional constraints, revealing aspirations and contradictions that are present in my work.. Extent: Dimensions 300x150x200cm.
    2016 Authors: Bette U. Title: the dragon in the sea. Description: N/A. Extent: 150m2.
    2014 Authors: Bette U. Title: Dissecting the whale. Description: Working on installations has substantiated my design process and revealed how its expression has changed over the past years. My architectural figures have become more and more monolithic and hermetically closed. Closing the object has confined space to the void underneath the object, denying it the possibility to bridge the gap and branch out into the architectural character and along the ground. This quality was last noticeable at Uralla Court I & II. While the characters have developed and gained ‘radiant space’ through their increased presence, they have lost the ‘sequential space’ that develops along a timeline of events. In my forthcoming work I intend to re-initiate ‘spatial flow’ by dissecting the object. The installation at Spinoza’s Cabinet had been a first attempt in this direction. There, space began to flow between segments of the character and the void beneath. The ground contributed to the development of the object and thus was silently activated. My aim is to achieve a balance between breaking up the body to further the flow of space and protecting the identity of the character. The installation at RMIT will be the next instance in which I can test and develop this strategy, hoping that it might function as a synthesis of my past practice and give an outlook into future research.. Extent: 30 meter sq..
    2014 Authors: Bette U, OttReinisch I. Title: HTMTI Training Hotel. Description: N/A. Extent: 1300 m2.
    2014 Authors: Bette U, OttReinisch I. Title: HTMTI Training Hotel. Description: N/A. Extent: 1300 m2.
    2013 Authors: Bette U, Ott-Reinisch I, Sam F. Title: Thalia NEU. Description: “Thalia New” is the result of an architectural design competition for a fitness studio plus offices, with the aim to restructure the existing building complex opposite the State Opera house, which, after only partial implementation of previous projects, had been left in an inhomogeneous state. The design is based on the premise that all existing roofs and facades, with the exception of those that are heritage listed, will be regarded as the site. Hence building mass is distributed equally along and above four existing buildings, and nestles into all available niches. This allowed the perceived cubic volume to be kept low, and relevant lines of sight maintained.. Extent: Addition/rooftop extension and integration of existing buildings.
    2012 Authors: bette. Title: River Torrens Footbridge. Description: N/A. Extent: 3500m2.
    2012 Authors: Bette U. Title: To the Islands. Description: N/A. Extent: 1 page.
    2009 Authors: Bette U. Title: Australian Experimental Art Foundation (AEAF) Artist in Residence Studio. Description: N/A. Extent: 50m2.
    2007 Authors: Bette UI. Title: Uralla Court ll. Description: Residential building in Adelaide, Australia. UC-2 is the redesign of the project 'Uralla Court' with changed parameters; the reduction of the usable space by 2/3. The spatial concept remains the same, previously enclosed spaces at the lower level are now used as sheltered outdoor spaces.. Extent: 130m².
    2005 Authors: Bette UI. Title: Uralla Court. Description: The project was developed from the individual ´users´ own needs which can be found in the atmospheric and spatial qualities of the structure. The central question was ´How would you like to live?´ and not ´How should your house look?´ The essential element of the project was the ´reading´ of the clients as individuals and ´feeling into´ the way they see their lives.. Extent: 330m2.
  • Curated or Produced Public Exhibition or Events

    Year Citation
    2015 Final Year Students, A. (2015). Divergent (No. Of Pieces: 1 week) [Exhibition]. Adelaide University - Hub Central.
    2014 Bette, U. (2014). Masters of Architecture, Landscape Architecture & Urban Design (By Final Year Students ALAUD) (No. Of Pieces: 1 week) [Exhibition]. Adelaide.
    2014 Bette, U. (2014). Masters of Architecture, Landscape Architecture & Urban Design (By Final Year Students ALAUD) (No. Of Pieces: 1 week) [Exhibition]. Adelaide.
    2013 Final Year Students, A. L. A. U. D. (2013). Masters of Architecture, Landscape Architecture & Urban Design (No. Of Pieces: 1 week) [Exhibition]. Adelaide.
  • Theses

    Year Citation
    2015 Bette, U. I. (2015). Unreasonable Creatures | in dialogue with an activated ground. (PhD Thesis, RMIT University).
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  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2019 Co-Supervisor An Other Regionalism: A Design Investigation into an Adelaide Architecture Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time APrf Francesco Bonato
    2017 Co-Supervisor Architectural Design: Research by Practice Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mr Anthony Quentin Donald Coupe
    2017 Co-Supervisor Design by Research that Investigates the Capacity of Architecture to Facilitate New Types of Social Situations Through Denaturalisation of 'Normal' Behaviour Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Richard Joseph Le Messurier
    2017 Co-Supervisor Design by Research that Investigates the Capacity of Architecture to Facilitate New Types of Social Situations Through Denaturalisation of 'Normal' Behaviour Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Richard Joseph Le Messurier
    2017 Co-Supervisor Architectural Design: Research by Practice Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mr Anthony Quentin Donald Coupe
    2016 Co-Supervisor Adaptive Reuse and The Architectural Profession : An Inquiry by Design Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Meherzad Behzad Shroff
    2015 Co-Supervisor Unexpected Expectations: Material Collision for a Purpose, Ensemble of Imperfections through Adoptive Process Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Ms Mirai Morita
  • Position: Senior Lecturer
  • Phone: 83134590
  • Email: urs.bette@adelaide.edu.au
  • Fax: 8313 4377
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Horace Lamb, floor 4
  • Room: 4 71
  • Org Unit: School of Architecture & Built Environment

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