Christopher Pendrich

Architecture and miscellany

Copyright 2013

Built with Indexhibit

GOING TO A TOWN: The Study of Spatial Typologies and a Speculative Proposal for a Museum of Gerhard Richter’s Work in Berlin

“I pursue no objectives, no system, no tendency; I have no programme, no style, no direction. I have no time for specialised concerns, working themes or variations that lead to mastery”
Gerhard Richter, Notes, 1966

Gerhard Richter is widely regarded as one of the most significant artists of the late 20th century. His practice is founded on “a belief in the capabilities of painting, and doubt about its potential” . Central to his working method is a mistrust of ideology and a strong sense of moral and intellectual detachment that stems from having lived under the Third Reich and the totalitarian government of the former GDR. In 1961, Richter moved from Dresden to Dusseldorf, via Berlin, a few months before the erection of the now dismantled wall that separated the eastern and western sectors of the city and brought into focus the fraught context of the Cold War. It is here in Berlin that we will pursue our research over the forthcoming year, during which we hope to engage with the possibilities of the architectural imagination.

We will start the year by developing an understanding of Richter’s oeuvre through available literature, his website - - and a visit to a major retrospective of his work that opens at Tate Modern on October 6th. We will also investigate the role and methodology of Richter’s Atlas both in relation to the production of his oeuvre and the manner in which a large body of information can be edited, categorised and understood.

A study will then be made of a range of spatial typologies as a means of interpreting the city and anticipating issues of entrance, route and the juxtaposition of room types. In November, we will travel to Berlin where we will undertake a rigorous analysis of the city’s structure and metabolism. Here you will be introduced to a series of sites in the city for which you will be asked individually to pursue the design of a large museum dedicated to Richter’s oeuvre. This project will be developed to a detailed scale, embracing curatorial, programming, spatial, constructional and servicing issues. Paramount to this endeavour will be the development of an understanding of the fundamental requirements of contemporary art space and a consideration of how these requirements might be refined or modified to enable the appropriate display of Richter’s compelling oeuvre.

All Gerhard Richter images are copyright and sourced from

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