Ger­man touch in Chi­nese build­ings

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - LIFE ARTS - By SUN YUAN­QING sun­yuan­qing@chi­

Among all the in­ter­na­tional play­ers in ar­chi­tec­ture in China, GMP is one of the most pro­duc­tive.

The Ger­man ar­chi­tec­ture agency is now re­veal­ing the se­cret of suc­cess: “de­sign­ing in dia­logue”.

The ex­hi­bi­tion, De­sign­ing in Dia­logue: The Ar­chi­tec­ture of von Gerkan, Marg and Part­ners, is cur­rently dis­played in the National Mu­seum of China in Bei­jing. It re­views 41 projects with sketches, mod­els and pho­to­graphs, il­lus­trat­ing how the firm re­al­izes its ar­chi­tec­ture phi­los­o­phy through dia­logue in dif­fer­ent parts of the world.

“Ar­chi­tec­ture is art, but it is art with so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity,” says Mein­hard von Gerkan, founder and part­ner of the firm. “There­fore, we have to con­nect to the peo­ple and sur­round­ing lo­cale to make the projects suc­cess­ful.”

“For the last 15 years, we have been learn­ing how to com­mu­ni­cate and work with Chi­nese peo­ple. China has be­come my sec­ond home and a very im­por­tant mar­ket for GMP,” he says.

The firm has done more than 80 projects in China since ar­riv­ing in 1999. Land­mark projects in­clude the National Mu­seum of China, Qing­dao Grand The­ater and Shang­hai Ori­en­tal Sports Cen­ter.

“It is an honor for us to ex­hibit the ar­chi­tec­ture that we de­signed,” Von Gerkan says.

The Ger­man com­pany, along with China Acad­emy of Build­ing Re­search, won the com­mis­sion to re­con­struct and ex­tend the National Mu­seum of China in 2004, ahead of 11 in­ter­na­tional ar­chi­tec­tural firms, such as Foster and Part­ners, Kohn Ped­er­sen Fox and OMA.

Af­ter much dis­cus­sion with the client, the de­sign scheme man­aged to merge the new mu­seum build­ing with the old one while main­tain­ing its own char­ac­ter­is­tics.


Ger­man ar­chi­tec­ture firm GMP has been in­volved in more than 80 projects in China, in­clud­ing the National Mu­seum of China (left) in Bei­jing and China Mar­itime Mu­seum in Shang­hai.

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