Hpp, Hentrich-Petschnigg & Partner: Buildings and Projects, 1988-1998

Hpp, Hentrich-Petschnigg & Partner: Buildings and Projects, 1988-1998

Hpp, Hentrich-Petschnigg & Partner: Buildings and Projects, 1988-1998

Hpp, Hentrich-Petschnigg & Partner: Buildings and Projects, 1988-1998

Synopsis

HPP were the first German company to build a skyscraper in 1957. Since then they have become synonymous with sleek office buildings renowned for their outstanding construction. The author highlights their achievements during the last 10 years.

Excerpt

Gerhard Feldmeyer

Our firm dates back to 1935, when it was founded by partners Helmut Hentrich and Hans Heuser. After Heuser died in 1953, Hentrich established an office with Hubert Petschnigg. in 1969 the joint office of H & P was extended to include other partners and subsequently operated under the name of hpp Hentrich- Petschnigg & Partner. in 1972 the office adopted the legal form of a limited partnership and assumed its present name of hpp Hentrich-Petschnigg & Partner kg. in 1974 the overall management was extended to include the long-term partners Hans- Joachim Stutz and Rüdiger Thoma as partners with personal liability. Since 1992 the over all management has consisted of Rüdiger Thoma, until his death in 1997, and Hermann Henkel, both as personal liability partners, and Hans-Joachim Stutz and Michael Zotter. Helmut Hentrich and Hubert Petschnigg are members of the advisory board.

HPP's operating principle of architects working in groups of ten to twenty in various locations, with each group under the supervision of a partner or a project partner, insures a close involvement with each project that fosters a personal architectural expression. However, rather than creating an immediately identifiable formal signature, this approach instead results in an undogmatic discourse that enables content to function as the overriding factor in determining the character of each project.

Hpp reaches solutions both according to a shared architectural philosophy developed over the span of its existence and through the specific analysis of the task at hand. Both of these approaches facilitate a creative process that is neither an arbitrary adherence to precedent nor subject to the vagaries of pure formalism.

Any design begins by raising questions which lead to abstract ideas for solutions. Such a preliminary phase is prone to the danger of focusing too heavily on subjective attitudes. Only a conscious awareness of the parameters of historical context and the programmatic demands of the project itself will lead to appropriate solutions.

We almost always plan and build in the context of organically evolved urban structures. Hence, our buildings represent one element within a greater whole; their function is to serve and enrich at the same time. Without this sensitivity to context, nothing new of any lasting significance can arise. At the same time, this stage of the creative process also encourages a sense of responsibility vis-à-vis our own oeuvre.

The integrity of material and detail is our continuing concern. But detail does not consist only of a technical component; it also becomes a part of our architectural vocabulary, and makes a building speak in much the same way a historical facade achieves layers of meaning through ornamentation. Detail lends proportion and scale to a building and gives it an identity extending beyond its symbolic impact.

People today are showing increasing concern that technology and resources be used in harmony with nature. Changeability, adaptability, and flexibility have become constants. To this end, hpp will continue to approach subjects with a view beyond the whims of formal fashion.

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