Germany, Hamburg 

von Gerkan Residence, Elbchaussee 139


Design Meinhard von Gerkan
Staff Jacob Kierig, Volkmar Sievers,
Sabine von Gerkan
Project leader Klaus Tiede
Client Meinhard v. Gerkan
Construction period 1987 - 1992
Haustechnik Assmann Ingenieure
Statik Weber, Poll

Façade redesign 1998
Design Meinhard von Gerkan
Project leader Volkmar Sievers
Staff Brigitte Queck, Christian Kleiner
Structural engineering Weber-Poll, Hamburg
Client Meinhard von Gerkan
Construction period 1998–1999



Gert von Bassewitz

Juergen Schmidt

[email protected]

Klaus Frahm



gmp-Office, Elbchaussee 139

The house of Meinhard von Gerkan is located at the apex of a trapeze-formed court opening out to the Elbe. The cubic building belongs to the group of buildings of the "Elbschlucht". The house is set slightly off axis. lt is parallel to the line of the eastern site boundary and sits on the plinth covering some of the courtyard space. It is completely modest in statement, closed on the street side, and fully open to the Elbe. A central elliptical staircase links all four floors together. As the compartments and floors can be adapted to changing uses, it displays the internal flexibility of the architecture. The design is based on functional necessity. The multiple use of wood creates a spatial atmosphere, which is neutral. All the fittings and most of the furniture has been purposes designed. The large fireplace is out of raw pig iron.

Façade redesign
The existing vertical shuttering, constructed in 1990, made from white lacquered wooden panels, was completely removed on the north, west and east elevations and replaced by a ventilated façade construction: A black lacquered cement fibre board mounted on the existing lathing with integrated thermal insulation provides the necessary weatherproofing.

The external appearance is characterized by untreated Siberian larch wood panels which are vertically fixed with a cavity to the fibreboard. Viewed in cross section, the storey-high boards are planed in a diamond shape, resulting in a varying appearance depending on the viewer’s position. The boards are partially alter-nated in front of the window openings.