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gmp – von Gerkan, Marg & Partners Practice Information

Contemporary German Architectural Practice

post updated 23 Sep 2020

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Awards for three stadiums by gmp – Two gold and one bronze at the IOC/IAKS Awards

23 Oct 2013 – Three stadiums by architects von Gerkan, Marg and Partners (gmp) received the most important international architectural awards for sports and leisure buildings. At this year’s IOC/IAKS Awards, the Bao’An Stadium in Shenzhen, China, received a gold medal in the “Major outdoor stadiums” category. The Shanghai Oriental Sports Center in China won another gold in the “Pools and wellness facilities” category.

And the Warsaw National Stadium in Poland received the bronze medal in the “Major outdoor stadiums” category. The awards by the International Association for Sports and Leisure Facilities (IAKS) and the Olympic Committee (IOC) have been made every two years since 1987. This year, 97 projects from 30 countries were submitted.

Shanghai Oriental Sports Center: Gold in the “Pools and wellness facilities” category
gmp - von Gerkan, Marg & Partners Shanghai Oriental Sports Center
photo © Marcus Bredt
Shanghai Oriental Sports Center
For the competitions of the 14th FINA World Aquatics Championships in 2011, a new sports centre was created in Shanghai covering an area of over 347,000 square metres and comprising a sports stadium, a pool stadium, an outdoor pool for diving competitions and a media center. The link element between the different venues is an artificial lake. The buildings are supported on platforms that project into the lake. Towards the north, this results in a softly curving bank around the circular stadiums and, to the south, in a straight edge at the outdoor pool.

Bao’An Stadium, Shenzhen: Gold in the “Major outdoor stadiums” category
Bao’An Stadium, Shenzhen by gmp - von Gerkan, Marg & Partners Architects
photo © Christian Gahl
Universiade in Shenzhen – Sports Center and Bao’an Stadium
This stadium for 40,000 spectators was built on the occasion of the 2011 Universiade. The design was inspired by the bamboo forests of southern China. The image of the bamboo forest is created by a double ring of green steel posts whereby every other post of the inner ring combines with the concrete structure of the undulating upper rank, supporting the vertical loads from the spectator stands. The roof of the spectator stands consists of a tensile membrane structure with an inner ring and radial spokes. In detail, the roof is formed of 36 radial cable pairs which are tied together above the playing field via a double circular tensile ring consisting of cable bundles.

Warsaw National Stadium: Bronze in the “Major outdoor stadiums” category
Warsaw National Stadium by gmp - von Gerkan, Marg & Partners Architects
photo © Marcus Bredt
Poland National Stadium Warsaw
This stadium for 55,000 spectators was completed on the occasion of the 2012 UEFA European Championship. Its unmistakable visual impact results from the expanded metal panels in the facade in the striking Polish national colours, red and white. This translucent layer combines the different areas of the stadium into one large unit. Even when daylight strength is moderate, the interwoven facade elements create a rich interplay of light and shade. At night, the colour and striking contours of this facade are emphasised even more by its integrated lighting.

Designing Dialogue Exhibition, Chinese National Museum, Beijing, China
Design: von Gerkan, Marg and Partners
Designing in Dialogue Exhibition by gmp - von Gerkan, Marg & Partners Architects
photo © J Ackermann
Touring exhibition from 8 to 25 August in the Chinese National Museum, Beijing „Designing in Dialogue. The Architecture of von Gerkan, Marg and Partners”
The international touring exhibition, “Designing in Dialogue. The architecture of von Gerkan, Marg and Partners”, is hosted by the Chinese National Museum, Beijing, which was converted and extended by gmp Architects. For this purpose, gmp is cooperating with the Chinese architectural magazine UED and Verseidag. The opening ceremony on 8th of August, which was followed by a symposium, was attended by Meinhard von Gerkan, his partners Nikolaus Goetze, Stephan Schütz and Wu Wei as well as personalities from the Chinese architectural scene and other guests. The exhibition runs until 25th of August.

gmp – von Gerkan, Marg & Partners The practice

The architectural practice von Gerkan, Marg and Partners was founded by Meinhard von Gerkan and Volkwin Marg in 1965. Since its inception it has grown to include four additional partners, one partner for China, ten associate partners and more than 500 employees in ten offices in Germany and abroad.

gmp is one of the few practices with a generalist position, which takes responsibility for a project from the design idea and its realization right through to the interior design.

Tianjin Grand Theater, China:
Grand Theater Tianjin Building by gmp - von Gerkan, Marg & Partners Architects
photo : Christian Gahl

Their architectural interpretation is characterized by the Vitruvian ideals of solidity, longevity and beauty. Based on the understanding, architecture earns the quality of sustainability in the sense of permanence, when not only the climatic conditions and the corresponding use of materials are accounted for, but also when the house, as an envelope for the diversity of human existence, is designed in an obvious manner. Above and beyond these demands, they build in different cultural circles in accordance with certified guidelines and in consultation with the client.

In the past 45 years Meinhard von Gerkan, Volkwin Marg and their partners have planned and constructed buildings in most major German cities. They have designed small scale homes, hotels, museums, theaters and concert halls, office buildings, commercial centers and hospitals as well as research, educational and sports facilities, buildings for transportation, trade and industry buildings and master plans.

gmp became internationally known as a team of airport architects when, in 1975, the Berlin Tegel building with its drive-in airplane terminal for “stacked parking” was established. This innovative design has been further developed to transform the departure and arrival halls at Stuttgart and Hamburg airports.

They are internationally recognized not only for their projects like the New Trade Fair in Leipzig, the Rimini Exhibition Center or the Christ Pavilion for the EXPO 2000, but also for their designs. Key examples are the designs for the reconstruction and roofing of the Olympic Stadium in Berlin or Berlin Central Station, which was completed in 2006.

Mané Garrincha Stadium, Brasília, Brazil:
Brasília Stadium
image from architects

gmp has succeeded in winning more than 580 prizes in national and international competitions, among them more than 280 first prizes and a large number of awards for exemplary architecture. More than 340 buildings have been constructed by gmp worldwide.

Amongst others in China, the exhibition and congress centers in Nanning and Shenzhen, the Shanghai Pudong museum and the Zhongguancun Cultural Center in Beijing as well as the Universiade Sports Center in Shenzhen and the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center have been built. Further buildings are the opera houses in Chongqing, Qingdao and Tianjin as well as the Chinese National Museum in Beijing and the new Tianjin West Railway Station.

In the year 2006 in Hanoi/Vietnam the National Congress Center was finished. The Hanoi Museum was realized in 2010.

In South Africa three World Cup stadiums in Cape Town, Durban, and Port Elizabeth were finished in 2010. For the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil gmp realizes the stadiums in Brasília and Manaus.

Von Gerkan, Marg and Partners have demonstrated town-planning competence with their visionary proposals for “Stuttgart 21” for the Deutsche Bahn, HafenCity Hamburg, and the urban master plan of Bucharest/Romania, as well as many urban projects in China, including the planning of Lingang New City for 800,000 inhabitants.

Aside from Germany gmp is currently involved in projects in China, India, Vietnam, Brazil, Italy, Russia, Switzerland Latvia, and Qatar, to name but a few.

Date: 02/2013

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gmp – von Gerkan, Marg & Partners Award News

IOC/IAKS Award 2011

Green Point Stadium Building
image © Marcus Bredt, Berlin

gmp stadiums win gold and bronze

The stadiums built by the architects von Gerkan, Marg and Partners (gmp) in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa received the IOC/IAKS Award on 26 October 2011. In the context of the international Trade Fair for Amenity Areas, Sports and Pool Facilities (FSB), the International Olympic Committee and the International Association for Sports and Leisure Facilities (IAKS) selected the Cape Town stadium for first prize and the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium in Port Elizabeth for third prize in the “stadiums for competitions and events” category. The awards were received by Hubert Nienhoff, gmp partner in charge of the offices in Berlin, Frankfurt and Rio de Janeiro. The silver medal in the above category was awarded to the architects Boogertman + Partners in South Africa for the conversion of the Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg. In total, 135 projects had been submitted from 38 countries and the nine jurors selected the best contributions in seven categories. The IOC/IAKS Award is the only international architecture award for sports and leisure facilities that have proven successful in operation. It has been conferred every two years since 1987.

Cape Town Stadium, South Africa

This stadium is the only building in a park below Signal Hill and takes its place respectfully in the surrounding landscape. Its envelope consists of a membrane construction with an abstract linear pattern. The undulating skyline, which results from the stadium geometry, makes the stadium appear like a sculpture and reinforces the way it connects with the landscape in its vicinity. The stadium has been designed for football and rugby matches and has a capacity of about 68,000 spectators, arranged on three tiers.

Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

The stadium has been designed for football and rugby matches and is located at North End Lake in the midst of terraces and hills in the middle of Prince Alfred Park. It stands alone and blends well with the landscape features, resembling a flower rising from the shores of the lake. In its position directly overlooking the lake, the building creates a unique image as it is reflected in the water. The skyline of the 48,000-seater stadium derives its eye-catching appearance from the clear pattern of its roof structure.

Euro 2012 and 2014 World Cup, Europe

Ongoing gmp projects include the design of two stadiums for the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship in Poland and Ukraine – the National Stadium in Warsaw and the Olympic Stadium in Kiev. For the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil the architects are involved in the design of the National Stadium in Brasília, the Mineirão Stadium in Belo Horizonte and the Arena da Amazônia in Manaus. Further current projects include the Śląski Stadium in Chorzów in Poland and the Tashkent Sports Park in Uzbekistan. The recently completed 55,000-seater Lia-Manoliu Stadium in Bucharest, Romania, has now had its inauguration ceremony.

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Location: Hamburg, Germany

Architecture Practice Information

German architects

gmp is run by Meinhard von Gerkan and Volkwin Marg.

von Gerkan, Marg und Partner have offices in Beijing and Shanghai

gmp Practice Philosophy

Our ideal is to design in such a reduced form, that the results endure content and time. Formal restriction and uniformity of materials contribute to this standpoint because we understand obviousness as a categorical imperative.

We want to design a house simply as a statement, to form it as a durable cover for the variety of human existence. With a critical distance from recent architectural expressions, we try to avoid expressionist forms which are only derived from artistic caprice, without reference to use, construction and functionality. The media renames this traditional simplicity as “new” simplicity. This purism carried to extremes, expressed as a denial of information in drawings and as severely barren buildings, remains alien to us. We want a reduction which is based on plausibility and self-evidence and has to integrate supposed stylistic inconsistencies provoked by building task and site. For the conception of buildings and interiors the positions of dialogical design are relevant as the guidelines of our architectural understanding:

Hanoi Museum, Vietnam:
Reunification Palace Vietnam
picture : Julia Ackermann

– Simplicity:
Search for the clearest solution for your design. Strive for the best of simplicity.

– Variety and uniformity:
Create uniformity within variety. Create variety within uniformity.

– Distinctiveness:
Develop an identity of the design from the specific conditions of location and task.

– Structural order:
Render a structural order to the design. Organize functions as clear building forms.

“The development of appropriate and acceptable answers and solutions for problems demands an openness for dialogue and the adaptation of one‘s standpoint to changing conditions. Society and its complex political and economic mechanisms decide what is being built in what fashion. We architects have not only the obligation, but the responsibility to lay ourselves open to this dialogue and take part in the discussions with a firm conviction.”

Hamburg Architecture Practice Lead Architects

Prof. Dr. h. c. mult. Dipl.-Ing. Architect BDA Meinhard von Gerkan

Curriculum Vitae

Meinhard von Gerkan, founding partner, born 1935 in Riga/Latvia, Prof. Dr.h.c.mult., graduate architect, 1965 co-founder with Volkwin Marg of the architectural partnership of von Gerkan, Marg and Partners, 1974 appointed professor, chair A for Design at the Carolo-Wilhelmina Technical University in Brunswick, head of Institute A for Architectural Design, member of the Freie Akademie der Künste in Hamburg, 2005 honorary doctorate in design from Chung Yuan Christian University in Chung Li/Taiwan, 2007 honorary professor, East China Normal University College of Design, Shanghai/China, 2007 president of the Academy for Architectural Culture (aac). Numerous awards, including Fritz Schumacher Prize, Romanian State Prize, bronze plaque of the Freie Akademie der Künste, Hamburg, BDA Prize, Federal Cross of Merit.

Selection of major projects:

Berlin Central Station
Villa Guna, Latvia
Christ Pavilion, Germany
Lingang New City, China
National Museum of China, Beijing, China

Prof. Dr. h. c. Dipl.-Ing. Architect BDA Volkwin Marg
Curriculum Vitae

Volkwin Marg, founding partner, born 1936 in Königsberg/East Prussia, Prof., graduate architect, 1965 co-founder with Meinhard von Gerkan of the architectural partnership of von Gerkan, Marg and Partners, 1979 to 1983 president of the Bund Deutscher Architekten (BDA), 1986 professor of Town Planning, Faculty of Architecture, RWTH Aachen, member of the Deutsche Akademie für Städtebau und Landesplanung, member of the Freie Akademie der Künste, Hamburg, 2007 principal of the Academy for Architectural Culture (aac). Numerous awards, including Fritz Schumacher Prize, bronze plaque of the Freie Akademie der Künste, Hamburg, BDA Prize, Federal Cross of Merit.

Selection of major projects:

Berlin Olympic Stadium
Rimini Exhibition Grounds, Italy
New Trade Fair, Leipzig
Cape Town Stadium Cape Town, South Africa
National Stadium Brasilia, Brazil

gmp architects are from Hamburg, north Germany : Hamburg Architecture

German Architect

Contemporary Architects

German Architecture

Gerkan, Marg & Partners Book

Olympic Stadium Berlin, Renovation and Modernization 2000 – 2004
Edited by Professor Volkwin Marg
119 pp, German/English; ISBN 3-936300-16-X
DZA Verlag Altenburg
+49 (0)3447 55 50

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