»urban upgrade – strategies for urban compaction«
Exhibition: June 23 – July 7, 2006
Savignyplatz, Else-Ury-Bogen 600, 10623 Berlin
When, nine years ago, we showed the first Gruentuch Ernst exhibition, only very few of the competition designs and other projects presented had been implemented. The monograph about this remarkable team of architects published in 2004, however, presented all of them as finished buildings that have stood the test of reality. Looking at the subsequent output of close on three years up to the present day, one sees many added outstanding works which made another exhibition inevitable if one wants to keep pace with Armand Gruentuch’s and Almut Ernst’s dynamic creativity. Throughout they have never lost sight of their architectural ambitions and responsibility towards their fellow human beings, the city and the environment.
Despite the fact that these projects are very different with regard to building tasks and contexts, all of them are the result of a design process that is characterized by spontaneity and reflection, by intuition and rational analysis, by innovation and a programmatic approach. Analyzing the design task and searching for alternative functional, formal, conceptual and cultural models have always been the first steps of every design process.
It is Gruentuch Ernst’s conviction that reactivating and redensifying inner-urban areas is the most important societal and design task architecture and urban design are faced with today, and they have applied this conviction in their work. Their projects – from innovative to totally unconventional, yet always seminal solutions – have contributed to the functional mix, the diversity and compactness of urban spaces in the field of tension between historic and contemporary architectures.
‘urban upgrade – strategies for urban compaction’ is the title of the exhibition. It defines a new complexity for urban centres and novel responses to current needs – as well as the way to improving working and living conditions. Gruentuch Ernst rely on the strategies of transformation, integration, implantation and extension. The different projects are arranged in these categories and range from the restructured Chemnitz main railway station via a multi-generation house in Berlin and a police station in Bernau to the urban design for Penang in Malaysia with which the office won international recognition – a global upgrade.
Kristin Feireiss, Hans-Jürgen Commerell
A catalogue in German and English has been published for the exhibition.
Editors: Kristin Feireiss, Hans-Jürgen Commerell
Exhibition graphics: Bettina Kubanek