24/11/2009 to 19/12/2010 Building the Future – The Architecture of von Gerkan, Marg and Partners  


Duration of exhibition
25.11.2010 – 20.12.2009

santralistanbul, Istanbul, Türkei

Over the past forty years, Meinhard von Gerkan, Volkwin Marg and their partners have designed and built in virtually all the major cities of Germany, in Europe and (since 1999) in Asia.

The firm has established a reputation in Europe and elsewhere for sustainable and lucid architecture that ties in with its surroundings.

gmp architects design buildings that create character by interacting with the location. They are thus distinct from the global architectural mainstream in reacting to specific circumstances such as ecology, topography, economy, society and politics to ensure architectural sustainability. "Their firm produces buildings that are as a rule technically and organizationally well thought-through and aesthetically among the most successful examples of their kind," is how architectural historian Wolfgang Pehnt puts it.

The many architectural commissions that gmp receives range from museums, opera houses, sports stadia, airports and railway stations, through exhibition centers, hospitals and several campus universities, to residential and urban development.

At present, gmp is working on projects not only in Germany but also in China, India, Vietnam, Libya, Turkey, Belarus, Poland, Latvia, Italy and Spain, etc. Recent additions include the construction of football stadia – for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa (three) and the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

gmp’s involvement in Turkey goes back to the construction of the Kavaklidere complex in Ankara in 1988, comprising the Sheraton Hotel and the Ankara Karum. The hotel complex established itself as a landmark of modern architecture in Ankara. In 2005, an aparthotel with an attached congress center was added to the complex. gmp’s most recent project in Turkey is the Calista Luxury Resort in Belek, near Antalya, which is one of the most innovative and modern hotels in Turkey. In 2009, it was awarded the Yeşil Yıldız, the environmental award given by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Under the aegis of the German Consulate General, gmp is collaborating with Istanbul Bilgi University and Arkitera on an exhibition aimed at illustrating the diversity of building projects that the architects handle and how they handle them. The intention is to look at outstanding examples of an approach to architecture that sees architecture as art within the social fabric. The wish to make this comprehensible also to a lay public was a major consideration in prompting gmp’s founding partners von Gerkan and Marg to send the exhibition on tour. The exhibition thus shows an exemplary selection of their entire forty-year oeuvre.

The architectural illustrations are transferred to aluminum-coated plates using a special, costly printing process. The impression that these create gives the exhibition its unique character, underlining the high standards the architects aim for.

Sketches and drawings illustrate the first conceptual ideas, while films show the urban context. Models convey the draft concept in three-dimensional form as miniature architecture.

The exhibition is divided up according to the different construction tasks in urban and public areas, ranging from the transport infrastructure via cultural, sports and research institutions to places of assembly and commercial ensembles.

An illustrated introductory essay about the development of ideal cities as a reflection of the age leads on to the topic of the Lingang New City project in China. Given its size and importance, this urban planning scheme forms a focal point of the exhibition. The range of documentation extends from the first sketches via visualizations of the planned city to satellite images showing the progress of construction. Colored diagrams and a 1.5 x 3.5m model demonstrate the huge scale of the development scheme. The completed city hall and Maritime Museum are being exhibited for the first time, the implementation of the latter’s emblematic structure being a challenge for all concerned.

Accompanying the exhibition project are specialist lectures and panel discussions on topics to do with the globalization of urban planning infrastructure.