Enfant Terrible

Renowned architects and their buildings
presentet by RegJo-Magazine

Georg-Maria Hagemeyer, born in 1961, is an enfant terrible of the architectural profession. His unconventional methods polarize his critics, but also his colleagues in the so-called “architectural establishment”. However, as Hagemeyer himself says of present-day architecture,“ The opposite of good architecture is architecture which follows the path of least resistance”.

His element is the realm of emotions rather than rationale. A quotation from a fellow-architect, Daniel H. Burnham, who propagated the “Chicago Style” around the early 1900s, takes pride of place on the wall of his office and provides a sort of procedural guideline for colleagues: “Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood, and probably themselves will not be realized”.

Hagemeyer, whose offices in Goettingen keep him in touch with his roots from student days (he studied art history at Goettingen University), and whose offices in Wiesbaden are his portal to the mondaine world, has been successful at a national level, and has received a number of prizes and awards.

His sphere of activity is equally diversified: he conjured up the Market Hall in Goettingen eight years ago out of a poky and dilapidated courtyard complex; he has built stores and doctors‘ surgeries; he has even designed furniture and lighting. As regards the latter,  internationally renowned manufacturers meanwhile produce various patented Hagemeyer lighting concepts under license.

The German National Museum of Architecture acknowledged Hagemeyer’s achievements in detail recently, calling his style “pragmatic Avantgarde” and stressing above all the “dramaturgical quality” of his projects. When asked about his style, Hagemeyer is reticent. “I have no personal style, and I have no intention, like some architects, of letting myself be restricted to any particular “office style”, although this would, from Hagemeyer’s point of view, make project work easier. He regards it as sheer presumptuousness for an architect “to use his projects and clients to ratify his own design style”. For him, a design evolves solely out of the essential needs of the client and application, which makes all his designs “custom-made”.

“RegJo-Magazin” I / 1997

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