This question is the focus of the exhibition. The architect himself provides insights during short talks; the working atmosphere of the practice is an example of how creativity is fostered, and finally, light is shed on the relationship between atmosphere and concept. The focus is always on the question as to whether, and how, concepts and ideas can create an atmosphere in practical and concrete situations, an atmosphere that encourages greater harmony in communal life. Architecture is only truly justified when it improves the lives of people.
It´s always the plain, simple things that shape people." The exhibition shows Prof. Gerber in a film interview about his origins and future, architecture and responsibility, concept and atmosphere.
On 13 October 2018, Eckhard Gerber will celebrate his 80th birthday. In his career spanning more than 50 years, Gerber, who was born in Thuringia, made his name with projects such as the conversion of the building of the former Union brewery into the “Dortmund U – Centre for Art and Creativity”, the State Broadcasting House for the MDR Magdeburg and the New Karlsruhe Trade Fair and Exhibition Centre. There is rarely someone who knows at such an early stage what he would do in life. “As a boy”, says Eckhard Gerber, “I already had a great love of handicrafts, and I was always fascinated by practical building”. And rarely did the provenance of an architect manifest so clearly in his oeuvre as it did with Eckhard Gerber, who was born on 13 October 1938 in Oberhain, Thuringia.
A characteristic feature of many Gerber buildings is the “manifestation of landscape elements in the architecture”. That, Gerber says, has much to do with his home village, Großenlupnitz near Eisenach, where Eckhard, the son of a vicar, grew up with his five siblings; “The village consisted of a main road lined with farmsteads on both sides, which formed a well-defined and enclosed public space. Behind the buildings was the open landscape. In this way, the farmsteads were the point of transition between the built urban/village space and the open landscape. It is exactly this situation that has inspired me in my projects to link urban and landscape spaces with each other.”
The Konzept+Atmosphäre exhibition is open from 23rd November 2018 until 3rd February 2019 in the Baukunstarchiv NRW at Ostwall 7, in 44135 Dortmund. Admission is free.
(opening times: Tues, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun from 2pm – 5pm, Thurs from 2pm – 8pm, Mon closed)