25. March 2010 – 02. July 2010 · 09:09 am

M8 in China

With “M8 in China”, the Werkstätten again landed another exhibit from Frankfurt’s German Museum of Architecture two years after its successful Gaudi exhibition. The work of eight small and flexible Chinese architectural firms were presented in displays and models. Most of the architects at these firms have studied abroad at Western universities, hold their own in competitions and forge international networks, and have thus turned their firms into quasi “testing grounds” for contemporary Chinese architecture. All eight firms are characterised by their orientation to regional typologies, their site-specific and sensitively-integrated creations, and their rediscovery of traditional manual art techniques. They thus differ considerably from the state-run design institutes which tend to erect mammoth buildings in the country’s megacities which, although spectacular, are worlds apart from China’s long traditional heritage. Among the architectural firms presented in the Deutsche Werkstätten’s own gallery in Hellerau was the Hangzhou-based firm of Amateur Architects which has garnered attention far beyond the country’s borders with its buildings made from salvaged bricks. Meanwhile, the Beijing standardarchitecture firm creates buildings majestically coupling regional context and judicious use of material with modern spatial concepts.

Duration: 25 March until 2 July