Apr 16–May 15, 2015

Constructing Culture

Architecture connects Cultures
Blumenstrasse 22, 80331 Munich
Mon–Wed 9:30 am–7 pm, Thu+Fri 9:30 am–7:30 pm, Sat 9:30 am–6 pm

The exhibition "Constructing Culture - Architecture connects Cultures" presents two international cultural buildings of KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten, including the Great Mosque in Algiers, whose construction work began in 2012. Like no other project, the Great Mosque in Algiers, which in the future will be the world’s third largest Great Mosque, represents collaboration that transcends countries, culture, and religion. It was designed on behalf of the Algerian state by German architects, and is being built by a Chinese con-struction firm. Other projects include the National Library of China in Bei-ing, the Jiangsu Provincial Art Museum in Nanjing, and the Tianjin Art Museum.

The sequence of rooms in the exhibitions traces the chronology of the work performed outside Germany by KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten. The first (and largest) room showcases the projects in Asia. The National Library of China in Beijing (completion in 2008) marked the company’s international breakthrough. With this in mind, the Beijing office was founded over 10 years ago. In the following years the exhibition buildings in Nanjing (2010) and in Tianjin (2012) were completed. The next two rooms display exhibits about the Great Mosque in Algiers. The building site in Algiers is currently buzzing with activity. Alongside German architects and domestic Algerian workers there are around 1,200 construction workers from the China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC), a state-run general contractor, working there.

A total of 44 atmospheric, in some cases bizarre photographs illustrate the different settings and building sites, as well as the relevant cultural context in which these structures emerged. Models, samples of materials, and more in-depth information provide an opportunity to address individual aspects in greater depth. Quotations by Jürgen Engel that are printed on the exhibition walls exemplify the approach, the architectural deliberations, and the design concepts, on which the cultural edifices are based.