With deep gratitude I bid farewell to a longtime friend and companion. Behind us lie six decades of designing together – in our shared student pad and, since 1965, in our office. What started as a two-man enterprise with a small ad in the Hamburger Abendblatt became a global company.
I am proud of what Meinhard and I, with our partners and staff, created. Proud of buildings appreciated in Germany and beyond. We always made a stand for good architecture. Very often we succeeded. Our working style changed only slightly over the more than fifty years of partnership. Loosely based on Gen. Moltke’s ‘Marching separately, defeating together,’ it had us producing designs separately, but we always discussed major issues with each other. We were of one mind in our approach to design, so could act on the same principles both conceptually and in terms of content, discussing genius loci, functional purpose, social quality, and dignified architecture. To the very last, we had a bond grounded on inspirational cooperation. I will sorely miss this exchange.
We also shared the experiences of our generation, from World War II to German reunification. We were fortunate to start in peacetime and live in a democracy. In architecture and urban design we were free to produce solutions for shaping the environment at different levels. We felt equally committed to passing on our experience to younger generations, so our work as university professors and in gmp was particularly important to us. Meinhard’s creative thinking will stay alive and flourish, in particular at the Academy for Architectural Culture.