Together with his partners, Meinhard von Gerkan has written architectural history over the past 50 years: The rise of the firm started with a bang, the first project being Berlin‘s Tegel Airport. To date, over 390 have been realized. To this day, von Gerkan develops his designs in sketches. To mark the 50th anniversary of gmp von Gerkan, Marg and Partners Architects and von Gerkan‘s 80th birthday, the exhibition „Lines of thought“ based on selected projects provides an insight into his archives and shows how his projects develop.
The exhibition was first shown in July 2015 in Hamburg, where it ran until October. The exhibition was occasioned by Meinhard von Gerkan’s 80th birthday this year and the opening of the exhibition pavilion at Elbchaussee designed by him.
The new exhibition pavilion is located in the immediate vicinity of the main office of gmp · Ar- chitects von Gerkan, Marg and Partners and the residence of the von Gerkan family. The second venue of the exhibition – St. Peter’s Church in the inner city of Riga – is closely connected to Mein- hard von Gerkan’s life. This is where the architect, who was born in Riga, was baptized in the summer of 1935. St. Peter’s Church (Latv. Svētā Pētera baznīca) at Pēterbaznīcas iela in the center of the inner city of Riga was the city’s parish church in the Middle Ages. Architecturally the church is a large three-nave basilica in the Gothic style, built of red bricks. The church spire is similar to that of St. Catherine’s Church, one of the principal churches in Hamburg.
The "Lines of thought“ exhibition looks back over the last 50 years of gmp architecture, but most importantly pays homage to an architect who, to this day, develops his designs with the help of sketches. It is also intended as a plea for architects and designers to be able to put ideas and con- ceptual thoughts manually on paper, in spite of the ubiquitous proliferation of digital design applications.
From an archive of far more than 3,000 sheets, curator Michael Kuhn, Head of Communication at gmp, together with Meinhard von Gerkan, selected more than 150 originals relating to 46 projects. Michael Kuhn is also the editor of the accompanying catalogue, to which architectural historian and journalist Gert Kähler has contributed the texts. The sketches selected are primarily those that ex- emplify von Gerkan’s ability to use just a few significant hand-drawn lines to capture the core and character of even very complex projects. In addition, the exhibition focuses on designs that exem- plify the work, the development and the milestones of the practice.
The exhibition includes the first drawings for the design of the Berlin Tegel Airport – the project with which the practice’s history began – as well as those for Berlin’s main railway station and the most important projects in Riga.