Gruber + Popp Matrix


At the beginning of a planning process, architects are often confronted with clients who already have set ideas and images in their minds. The architect’s job, together with the client, is to decipher the requests that lie behind these images, develop a building design and turn those ideas into architecture. An essential source of inspiration in Gruber + Popp’s work is dealing with clients’ requests. In order to do so, they developed their own methodology. They use a digital communication platform to structure the planning process, a so-called “matrix”. This interactive tool links users, designers and clients to the architects and provides the opportunity to add demands, proposals, requests and pictures. At the same time, the architects upload their suggestions for others to discuss and are able to react to questions. This platform works similarly to an online social network allowing continuous dialogue between all parties that have access to it.

Based on this foundation, the architects are able to detect possible conflicts at an early stage, take action and work on solutions. Such an interactive interface enables transparent and comprehensible communication between participants, thus contributing to effective and secure planning. Of course, throughout the entire planning process, early demands and requests need to be reevaluated. Clients’ requests not only influence the design process and thereby refine the architecture, but also help the client or user feel more connected to the building. The exhibition shows the structure of communication and the resulting architecture of three exemplary projects: a single-family home; the complete refurbishment of a school; and a converted industrial power plant. The continuous development of the communication tools plays an important role, starting from the first list of basic analogue questions to using the interactive communication platform Matrix.

Doris Gruber and Bernhard Popp founded their firm with offices in Berlin and Munich in 1992. Their area of expertise is in building conversion. They are currently working on restructuring power stations in Berlin, as well as redeveloping school buildings in Munich.