Since 4 December 2014, Meinhard von Gerkan has been Consulting Professor at the Faculty of Architecture of the renowned Tongji University in Shanghai. He was handed his certificate of appointment by Prof. Zheng Shiling, member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, in the presence of representatives of the Faculty and numerous students. To honor the occasion, Meinhard von Gerkan gave a lecture to the Faculty entitled „Construction and structural order – one of the four guiding principles of dialogue in design“. Following this event, Meinhard von Gerkan’s partner, Nikolaus Goetze, gave a lecture on 10 December 2014 on the subject „On old foundations. Building in a historical context“, in which he compared German and Chinese examples of architecture.
Following his appointment as Consulting Professor, Meinhard von Gerkan also accepted the role of Chairman of the jury for the UIA-HYP Cup 2015 architectural competition. In cooperation with the Academy for Architectural Culture (aac), which was initiated by the gmp Foundation, he established the competition briefing under the title „Transformation – place, tradition and modernism in conceptual unity and diversity“. Under this title, the competition participants will design buildings for education and research in northern and southern China.
Tongji University, with its about 55,000 students and over 4,800 teaching and research staff, is an establishment that is widely known in China and beyond, and cooperates extensively with other institutions throughout the world. It was formed by the German government as the first large foreign cultural policy project in 1907, and started life as the „German Medical School for the Chinese in Shanghai“. The founding Principal was the physician Erich Paulun. For many years lessons were given in German and this was an early effort to establish German-Chinese cooperation, which is still supported today at Tongji University.