At no other time have so many sports stadiums been built around the globe than in the past few decades. With every Olympic Games, World Cup, European or national championship event new sports complexes are erected, each one striving to better its predecessor. In most cases, a symbolic solitaire is sought - irrespective of structural issues and functionality - with unique characteristics honed by architectural »styling«. The architects von Gerkan, Marg und Partner (GMP) have been counteracting this trend towards promotional »branding« for decades - and have been more successful than all other architectural practices, at least with regard to competition projects tendered internationally. gmp are currently constructing or planning 23 stadiums simultaneously on four continents, each time starting from scratch to achieve the »optimum shape and structure« on the one hand, and to create a characteristic identity within the cultural context of each specific site on the other.
Taking examples from Cape Town to Brasilia, the exhibition on gmp¿s most recent sports stadiums at the Architekturmuseum der TU München
shows how state-of-the-art technology and the genius loci can best be integrated. GMP's aim is not to create an obvious metaphor at any price with little regard to structural tectonics. Instead, the motto for aesthetic structures of classical engineering always applies to their projects: "less is more". GMP's new stadiums, that range from projects for this year's World Cup in South Africa to the next World Cup in Brazil in 2014, highlight an architectural language derived from the logic of construction, function and a reference to the geographical site. The stance gmp have adopted contrary to the medial playground of formalistic vanity is presented and honoured with this exhibition by the Architekturmuseum der TU München.