HAMBURG – This year marks 50 years that gmp has been in existence, and to commend this milestone – along with founding partner Meinhard von Gerkan’s eightieth birthday – the firm is opening the Elbchaussee Architecture Pavilion in Hamburg, Germany. The opening will coincide with an exhibition called Lines of Thought, which will look back at 50 years of gmp architecture in drawings and sketches. A selection of 125 original sketches from 39 projects will be exhibited on three levels of the new pavilion, which is design by Meinhard von Gerkan himself. The pavilion falls into a category that is gradually paving its way within the field of architecture. Firms no longer seek external validation or administration, instead they build exhibition spaces to celebrate and showcase the work that has been achieved independently.
The unveiling of the Architecture Pavilion solely focuses on the apprehension of dissemination and presentation in architecture. The building is situated in the striking location of the Elbhang below the main gmp office and above the Oevelgönne museum port, where it can be accessed via the museum’s footpath. The pavilion is strategically oriented to maximise the topography and views surrounding it, with its north side facing the uphill land that has been landscaped into a terraced garden. On the south side, large room-high windows with a range of affluent terraces face the Elbe River taking advantage of the enticing view. The exhibition space can be accessed by one shared main entrance on the first floor. Once inside, separate staircases leading to the basement and second floor divide accessibility, accommodating different uses in each space. The basement is planned to permanently exhibit a collection of gmp architectural models from over the years. The other two units above are designed for a variety of purposes such as changing exhibitions, events and workshops, leaving private rooms on the third floor for work or accommodating guest. Comprehensively the design of the pavilion complements the function of the building whilst remaining in harmony with the surrounding context, appreciating the form of architecture and the concept of adaptation.
Photos courtesy of Hans Georg Esch