NL | EN | FR | IT


BAU China Congress, from Germany to China

Centered on quality products, energy efficiency and sustainability, whilst underlining the close relations between Germany and China, this first edition of the BAU China Congress, which took place in Beijing last July 8th & 9th, has exceeded all the organisers’ expectations.
A total of 3094 visitors came along during these two days to participate to the Congress and also visit the interesting attached exhibition of construction materials and techniques. « Such an event is quite important to better understand the cultural gap between Asia and Europe. It can help to know the opportunity and capability from both sides, not only in general but also in details », commented Stephan Schütz, partner of gmp Architects von Gerkan, Marg and Partners, one of the fifteen speakers of the Congress.
The Chinese architect Tiantian Xu, who closely analysed her works during the congress, also added: “I was mainly attracted by the high quality of the Congress. Advanced architectural concepts from Germany with real projects in China provide architect a very valuable learning opportunity. ”
Marko Arend, BAU Exhibition Group Director, reported the visitors’ satisfaction – mainly promoters, architects, engineers and builders – to participate to this very interesting Business to Business event, the first one organized by BAU München outside of Germany. He also wished to get more Southeast Asian speakers to participate to the next edition. The concept of BAU China Congress is from now on fully established. Save the date: Beijing June 23rd & 24th 2015.

The Archi-Europe team


Portrait of the month

1 Meinhard von Gerkan & Volkwin Marg

2 Berlin Brandeburg Willy Brandt Airport (Conception 2006/ Construction 2007-2012) Photo ©

3 Cape Stadium, South Africa (Competition 2006/ Construction 2007-2009) Photo © Bruce Sutherland /Marcus Bredt

4 Manaus Stadium (Conception 2008/ Construction 2010-2013) Photo © gmp / Marcus Bredt

5 Berlin Central Station (Competition 1993 / Construction 1996-2006)

6 Hanoi Museum, Vietnam Museum (Competition 2005 / Construction 2007–2010 Photo © Marcus Bredt

7 Eco-Park, Qingdao (Conception 2010 / Under construction.End: 2015) Photo © gmp

8 Lingang New City (Competition 2002/2003 / Under construction.End : 2020) Photo © gmp/Julia Ackermann - Hans-Georg Esch

9 Maritime Museum, Lingang New City (Conception 2005 / Construction 2006-2009) Photo © gmp/Julia Ackermann Hans-Georg Esch Jan Siefke

10 Qingdao Grand Theater (Competition 2004 / Construction 2005–2010) Photo © Christian Gahl

Gmp Architeken von Gerkan, Marg und Partner - Hamburg

The recent Football World Cup in Brazil and also an exhibition at the Venice 2014 Architecture Biennial have highlighted the German office gmp, renowned, among others, for the design of stadiums and airports.

To have as principal ideal a strong and sustainable architectural conception, especially thanks to a certain restraint as to forms and materials homogeneity, it is the philosophy of this office created in 1965 by Meinhard von Gerkan (Riga 1935) and Volkwin Marg (Königsberg, 1936). At that time freshly graduated, they developed the geometric modular principle of the Berlin Tegel airport, applied to all the construction elements. Initiating their reputation for airports, this project is turned to the future, « too good » for the early needs, is the centre of interest of the Venice Architecture Biennial exhibition called « Too Good. Two. Be True » as well as the second Berlin Airport (Berlin Brandenburg Willy Brandt), a complex megastructure signed by Gmp. During more than half a century, Meinhard von Gerkan and Volkwin Marg and their partners have designed and realized more than 320 large buildings. We will study here a few projects of the last decade. Built for the 2010 Football World Cup in South Africa, the Cape Stadium is an isolated construction well integrated in the surrounding landscape. Its exterior envelop with light glass fiber membranes is drawn like a stretched structure composed of great concave elements creating a homogenous and swaying façade. The roof is covered with laminated security glass, with a translucent membrane in its centre. Gmp also designed the Warsaw National Stadium rebuilt on the occasion of the European Football championship in 2012, as well as the renovation and the new roof of the Brasilia Stadium (arch. Icaro Castro Mello 1974) or the construction of those in Belo Horizonte and Manaus for the 2014 World Cup. Ultra efficient stadium for 45000 spectators, the Arena de Amazonia in Manaus reflects the site’s natural topography. A ring separates the superior rows from the lower stands integrated in the base. To take account of the hot and humid Amazonian climate, the roof follows a continuous transition with the translucent low-E glass fiber façade so as to provide shadow on the peripheric and vertical circulation. One must point out the global ecological concept (building site, transport, materials, water and waste management, energy consumption, permanent control, etc.), which enabled gmp to receive a LEED certification.

The central Berlin Railway Station, Hauptbahnhof (with its built surface of 175000 sqm on 5 levels) is the greatest European railway station for long distance, regional and urban traffic. It is noteworthy for its huge implicit roofs and two transversal office buildings. It’s not only an important communication centre, but also, thanks to the numerous office buildings and shops, a link between the very heterogeneous surrounding districts. The Hanoi museum – an isolated building situated in a nicely set up park – offers a square basis and a central circular void linking the meeting hall to the three exhibition floors. The latter expand upwards in overhanging terraces, like a reversed pyramid. The projected shadow protects the pieces and objects from the impact of direct light.
In China, gmp has many projects, especially the exhibition parks and congress centers of Nanning and Shenzhen, as well as the Shangai-Pudong Museum, the Beijing Zhongguancun Cultural Center, the Foshan sports park, the Beijing National Chinese Museum or the Shenzhen sports center built for the 26th Summer Universiades in 2011.
A Sino German Eco-Park (ecological city’s district) is under construction in Qingdao and should be ready in 2015 with the support of the German society for sustainable construction (DGNB) and Transsolar Consultants. Gmp has drawn up a list of criteria and measures integrating in the master plan the largest number of renewable energy sources. Another important project, the new town of Lingang designed in 2002 as per the city plans of Meinhard von Gerkan and situated about 60 km south of Shanghai. This satellite town must accommodate 800 000 inhabitants on approximatively 74 sqkm to take account of Shanghai’s huge expansion, a very important economic center which will reach 23 million inhabitants in 2020. The city-planning concept links the European city’s traditional ideals legacy to a « revolutionary » idea : instead of a dense and compact city center, in the heart of the city the focal point is a 2,5 km diameter circular lake with a 8 km long lakeside promenade, leading to a beach. « The metaphor which lies under the town’s whole structure refers to concentric ripples caused by the impact of a drop falling into water. The radial system with the streets and lanes superimposes itself to the concentric structure and awards to the town a very clear network where each built area is divided in districts. The result is a perfect street infrastructure capable to adapt to the town’s future expansions ». The first phase was finished in 2008.

The two other phases will continue up to 2020. First Maritime Museum in China, a 46400 sqm building takes place in the center of Lingang New City. « In perfect symmetry, two parallel four story high wing buildings define the rectilinear plan. The octagonal façade geometry, the arcades and the « air-beams » clad with light grey granite, literally harbour the museum to the lake shore. The analogy of a ship in a port is developed further in the abstract symbolism of a « sail » almost placed in the middle of the museum square. Masterpiece of engineering, it allows the two curved structures, touching each other at a height of 40m, to rest only on two large base points. Like a huge fishing net a pre-tensioned cable net structure clad in glass forms the façade between the two sails. » The Qingdao Grand Theater being close to the sea gives us a special feeling. The formal style of the building echoes the enchanting landscape and its profile is inspired by the Laothan moutain nearby and the clouds often wreathing it. The opera raises like a mountain in the natural environment, with a cloud-like roof on the four main buildings. The wall and the floors of the foyer are clad with local stone, which emphasizes the mineral aspect. Throughout the years, four extra partners have joined gmp, one partner for China and eleven associated architects. With more than 500 employees, working in ten offices worldwide, gmp wants to take some distance with the present architectural realizations, by insisting on sustainability and avoiding « an extreme purism, harsh and boring, or the expressionist forms coming from artistic approaches with no connection to usefulness. »

1 Meinhard von Gerkan & Volkwin Marg

2 Berlin Brandeburg Willy Brandt Airport (Conception 2006/ Construction 2007-2012) Photo ©

3 Cape Stadium, South Africa (Competition 2006/ Construction 2007-2009) Photo © Bruce Sutherland /Marcus Bredt

4 Manaus Stadium (Conception 2008/ Construction 2010-2013) Photo © gmp / Marcus Bredt

5 Berlin Central Station (Competition 1993 / Construction 1996-2006)

6 Hanoi Museum, Vietnam Museum (Competition 2005 / Construction 2007–2010 Photo © Marcus Bredt

7 Eco-Park, Qingdao (Conception 2010 / Under construction.End: 2015) Photo © gmp

8 Lingang New City (Competition 2002/2003 / Under construction.End : 2020) Photo © gmp/Julia Ackermann - Hans-Georg Esch

9 Maritime Museum, Lingang New City (Conception 2005 / Construction 2006-2009) Photo © gmp/Julia Ackermann Hans-Georg Esch Jan Siefke

10 Qingdao Grand Theater (Competition 2004 / Construction 2005–2010) Photo © Christian Gahl

Project of the month


Musée des Confluences
Architect : COOP HIMMELB(L)AU Wolf D. Prix & Partner, Vienna

End of 2014 event, the futurist architecture museum, which should open its doors to the public in December, wants to become the new Lyon symbol.

From now on, in the hands of scenographs, painters and landscape designers, this new building situated in the new district at the confluence of the Saône and Rhône rivers, is nearly ready after thirteen years of studies and construction. In 2001, its design is entrusted to the Austrian office Coop Himmelb(l)au. The architects imagine a large building combining two architectural units linked in a complex way and constructed on a massive base: the Crystal and the Cloud. Real urban forum, the Crystal stands at the north entrance, on the town side. With a 40 m high glass roof, it is the place where people meet and exchange. Its precise shape and crystalline form represent the world in which we move each day. This crystalline nature comes from its construction: large glass panels are fitted in steel frames assembled in a way to give a reflective aspect to the different folded surfaces.

By contrast with its form and diversity of materials, the Cloud represents the knowledge of the future. This huge spatial vessel floating on pillars is covered with a stainless steel metallic skin catching all the shades of the sky and the town, water and greenery. In its depths are situated ten exhibition rooms on three levels. This group of dark spaces - daylight is not admitted – is adapted to give a maximum of flexibility for exhibition design. A « mellow » space called “Espace Liant” functions as means of additional access between exhibition spaces: it brings the visitor from the Crystal to the other end of the Cloud. In the extension of the park, a landscape of ramps and levels eliminates the boundary between inside and outside.

Designed to open a new access to knowledge, the Musée des Confluences will assemble more than two million objects covering five centuries of History on a 30 000 sqm surface. This experimental place mixing arts, sciences, societies, will enable to better understand the evolution, dreams and interrogations of human societies in space and time.

Design Principal: Wolf D. Prix
Project Partner: Markus Prossnigg
Project Architects: Mona Bayr, Angus Schoenberger
Design Architect: Tom Wiscombe
France Planning: Patriarche & Co, Chambéry/Lyon
France Execution: MESA Workshop / Grégory Perrin, Lyon,
Structural Engineering:
Design: B+G Ingenieure, Bollinger und Grohmann GmbH, Francfort, Allemagne
Execution: Coyne et Bellier, Lyon, France / VS_A, Lille, France

Products of the month



Strikingly inconspicuous security.

For certain buildings the more conspicuous the security is, the better. When it comes to historic buildings, however, their appearance is particularly important. This means that the security measures employed for such buildings must NOT be visible. ‘Strikingly inconspicuous security’ is what we call this at aalbers|wico. This is a way of securing buildings that has been approved by the Netherlands Cultural Heritage Agency.

As a structural security specialist we have an unrivalled ability when it comes to integrating intruder, ballistic and even blast resistance in an invisible way – even when all these applications have to be combined in a single solution. We can offer the perfect solution for every project: whether it concerns state-of-the-art new constructions, industrial heritage or historic buildings.

Aalbers|wico is able to install new steel windows and doors that completely match the style of the old ones, with the option of wood cladding if desired. In some cases it is possible to upgrade existing elements. If old elements have to be retained in their entirety, secondary windows can be installed on the inside, for example.

Traditional-style glass

In contrast to the modern, flat glass that is used today, in days gone by only drawn glass was employed. This was never completely flat or flawless. When replacing it with secure glazing, aalbers|wico makes use of traditional-style glass. This has the same appearance as the old glass. We also pay considerable attention to the colour of the glass. Thick glazing can take on a green hue, but by using extra-clear glass, we retain the original colour of the old, thin glass. Ensuring structural security while maintaining a historic appearance – with aalbers|wico it's possible.

More information:

Events in the spotlight

Cityscape Riyadh 24 - 26 November 2014

Now in its 5th year - Cityscape Riyadh 2014 is especially timely this year since the Kingdom’s dynamic real estate industry has recently received further massive government support. With 50% more exhibitors expected this year - Cityscape Riyadh continues to influence the Saudi real estate market proving that it has become the premier platform in attracting great participation for local and regional real estate developers, consultants, architects, investors and industry experts to come together and do business.

The exhibition will be complimented by the Riyadh Real Estate Summit, the most powerful meeting of real estate professionals covering the hottest topics in and around the Kingdom and its capital.

For more details about the exhibition and summit, please visit our website:

___________________________ __________________________________________________

Saie Bologna 22 - 25 October 2014

The next edition of the SAIE building fair will be taking place from 22 to 25 October in Bologna.

For this 50th edition, several events have been programmed among them the Forum Saie 50 that will host 7 big events on innovation topics and smart cities.
Turkey will be host country and Archi-Europe will manage to bring a delegation of Turkish architects and official representatives who will meet their Italian counterparts from the Emilia Romagna Region.

For more details about the exhibition, please visit our website:

Competitions in the spotlight
Mada 2015

A competition for young architects

MosBuild the international building and interiors event from Russia, is proud to introduce an international award for young architects and architectural students. The competition is organized by ITE Group together with the international community of architects Archi-Europe. The jury comprises renowned international and Russian architects, prominent public figures, and representatives of various communities and associations.

The competition has two categories:

• Best architectural solution for creating an accessible environment

• Best sustainable architecture project

Registration deadline: 16 March 2015

Click here for more information about this competition
SUOMI SEVEN. Emerging Architects from Finland
(6/09 – 9/11/2014) – Francfort/Main Deutsches Architekturmuseum (D)
Finn Juhl - Een Deens designicoon
(5/07 – 12/10/2014) – Ghent Design Museum Gent (B)
Intersections#3. Belgian Design
(10/09 – 16/11/2014) – Brussels Atomium (B)
(19/06 – 13/10/2014) – Paris (F)
El Paisaje Urbano en la Colección de Fotografía del IVAM
(9/10/2014 – 15/02/2015) – Valencia IVAM Centro Julio Gonzalez (Es)
>> read more

Deadline: 09/12/2014


Deadline: 15/10/2014

Deadline: 05/11/2014

>> read more


Details on office layouts
Drew Plunkett & Olga Reid

Editions du Moniteur
€ 55.00
192 pages
ISBN 9782281116847

>> read more

Urban Design for an Urban Century: Shaping More Livable, Equitable, and Resilient Cities
Lance Jay Brown & David Dixon

€ 68.00
336 pages
ISBN 978-1-118-45363-6

>> read more

Improving the Earthquake Resilience of Buildings
Takewaki Izuru, Moustafa Abbas & Fujita Kohei

€ 135.15
324 pages
ISBN 978-1-4471-4143-3
>> read more

© 2014 Archi-Europe
Responsible Editor: Jacques Allard
Chief Editor: Marie-Claire Regniers

Not yet a member of Archi-Europe? Subscribe here!
To unsubscribe from Archi-News, click here.