hg merz as an architecture firm is specialised in the modification and enlargement of historically important buildings. Working with listed sites and linking structural, conservational and museal requirements has been, besides exhibition and museum design, part of the core business for over 30 years.

Museums and exhibitions negotiate the relationship between the own and the other. They nurture the yearning for the here and now as well as for far away places and long gone times. Confrontation with the foreign creates identity. A museum is the mediator in this process - it gives presence to various opinions, value systems, aesthetic concepts, complex technologies and historic developments. The objective of our work thereby is to inspire people and make them think, to foster comprehension without losing sight of the element of pleasure. We tell stories and make objects talk, we create sensually perceptible connections and unfold a great many of worlds for the visitor to dive into and leave their everyday life behind. The original exhibit is the centre of our work. Its cautious scenical framing creates a simultaneously intellectual and emotional access to the multiple semantic levels of the exhibit.

Much like in the museum, when working with historical buildings and places the original object is in the centre. Architectural structures contain different layers of time. The restoration of listed sites requires to uncover these stacked layers of time, to conserve them and to showcase them in the context of the present time. The aura of a building is generated by the different periods that it represents at the same time. Turning historical places into places of today, regardless of whether they conserve their original functions or take on new ones, means to respect their past and to strengthen their aura. They are relics of history, silent witnesses of the passing time. Their restoration and their modification is but a step in a constant process of transformation. This step embraces all stages in the life of a building and reveals their timeliness for the present perception and use.

Offices:
Berlin | Stuttgart

Scope of services: 
Modification and enlargement of listed sites, museum design, visual communication

As founder and CEO of hg merz, Prof. Dr.-Ing. h.c. HG Merz has been curating exhibitions, designing museums, developing general project plans for cultural institutions and advising clients and architects internationally for over 30 years. Making history and events accessible and comprehensible is hereby not only his objective but also the Leitmotif of the restoration and enlargement of historically significant architecture. HG Merz is assisted by his interdisciplinary team and a close international network of experts in the fields of architecture, science, art and design. HG Merz has been teaching at university for over twenty years and gives lectures and workshops in Germany and abroad. He has been a juror for international competitions and publishes in the fields of museum/exhibition and construction in existing contexts.