Germany, Hamburg 

Elbchaussee 139, gmp Office


Design Meinhard von Gerkan

Project team Jacob Kierig, Peter Sembritzki, Sabine von Gerkan, Volkmar Sievers

Client Meinhard von Gerkan

Construction period 1987–1990




Gerhard Aumer

Heiner Leiska

Klaus Frahm



von Gerkan Residence, Elbchaussee

Ensemble of architects’ practice, architect’s house, public square, and restaurant, 1986

The dominant, steamer-like, building of the complex consisting of the office, the house, a restaurant and a public outdoor area houses the main office of gmp architectural partnership.

The cylinder of the top recessed storey – a counterpart of the small classical turret of the old building – towers over the "steamer’s forecastle" like a navigating bridge. The central spiral stair gives access to the large, almost entirely glazed, round conference room. The partner offices and the foyer take up the two floors beneath it, while the studios of the employed architects form the connecting tract to the old building.

A barrel vault with exposed steel structure lends workshop character to the large drafting studio on the upper floor. Walk-on glass skylights set flush in the floor of the public forecourt let daylight into the garage underneath. At night, the light from inside penetrates the darkness and accentuates the building’s connection with four light steles in the public forecourt.