German touch in Chinese buildings
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.