Art and Culture  Obituaries  Awards 

Frei Otto, 1925-2015

Natural Innovation

Alejandro Bernabeu 

Estadio Olímpico de Múnich (1972)

Nature has made Frei Otto’s winning of the Pritzker Prize of 2015 unexpectedly coincide with his death at the age of 89. He was a free thinker, coherent and integrating nature and technique. Few architects have wielded such a degree of transversal influence in decades. Frei Otto is the author of some major projects of the second half of the 20th century, such as the German Pavilion at the Montreal Expo of 1967, the Olympic Stadium in Munich (1972), the Pavilion of Mannheim (1975), and more recently, the Japanese Pavilion at the Hannover Expo of 2000, in collaboration with Shigeru Ban. These four projects are highly illustrative of the work of the German architect: unique and light in form, innovative and efficient in their structural approaches (hanging roofs – the theme of his doctoral thesis, published in 1954 – in the case of Montreal and Munich; and lattice sheets or shells in Mannheim and Hannover)...

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