Prof. Dörte Gatermann

Born in Hamburg in 1956, Dörte Gatermann grew up as the daughter of an architect and assumed responsibility early on following the loss of her mother. Curiosity and a passion for research led to awards from “Jugend forscht” in the area of biology and behavioural research. In the end, Dörte Gatermann decided to study architecture, first in Braunschweig. After completing her undergraduate work, she moved to Aachen to study under Gottfried Böhm, for whom she executed all drawings in addition to her work at the Chair for History in Architecture and Monument Preservation. In 1981, Böhm called upon his student, who had yet to complete her diploma, to join his office. Following initial competitions and at 25 years of age, she was appointed project manager for the Züblin House in Stuttgart, a mega project with a budget of DM 50 million. At the same time, in 1984, Dörte Gatermann founded her own practice with her husband Elmar Schossig in Cologne. The architects were able to quickly establish themselves with interesting projects. The two children, born in 1985 and 1989, were raised jointly. Dörte Gatermann served for nine years on the board of the BDA (Association of German Architects). In 1991 she launched the “Kölner Stadtmodell” and in 2002 the Internet platform In addition to aesthetics, ecology and efficiency in building, Dörte Gatermann is partic-ularly interested in public uses of buildings beyond their primary user profile. However, her principal focus has remained design that integrates all aspects of life. This topic also characterised her work as a juror and at symposia. In 2002 she was appointed chair of “Design and Building Studies” at the TU in Darmstadt. Her work with the emerging generation of architects and workshops with artists and external experts, some closely and others loosely associated with the field, led to a wide range of projects. These included the “Hall of Fame” for women, a project she had initiated with some deliberation as the only female professor in her department. She also designed much of the exhibition architecture for photographer Bettina Flitner’s travelling exhibition “European Women”. In 2007, the architect resigned from her position at the university: although captivated by the task, new circumstances meant that it did not give her the space to focus on her uppermost priority: design and building in practice.

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