Liverpool architects and others across the UK are sure to be pleased to learn that German architect Frei Otto – best known for his work on site at Munich’s 1972 Olympic Games – has been posthumously awarded the 2015 Pritzker Prize.
The 40th laureate of the prize and the second from Germany, Otto learned that he would be receiving the prize in January but he sadly died before it could be presented to him.
He is renowned for his work on the roofing of the Munich Olympic Park main sports facilities, as well as the German pavilion at the 1967 International and Universal Exposition, a series of tent structures in the 50s for the German Federal Exhibitions and the Japan Pavilion at Expo 2000 in Hannover.
Otto was famed for his more lightweight, open work, which contrasted sharply with the heavy stone masonry architecture preferred by Germany’s National Socialists.
Lord Peter Palumbo, chair of the jury for the Pritzker Architecture Prize, described Otto as a universal citizen whose loss will be felt throughout the world of architecture.
“Time waits for no man. If anyone doubts this aphorism, the death yesterday of Frei Otto, a titan of modern architecture, a few weeks short of his 90th birthday, and a few short weeks before his receipt of the Pritzker Architecture Prize in Miami in May, represents a sad and striking example of this truism,” he remarked.
Past laureates include Oscar Niemeyer, Gordon Bunshaft, Tadao Ando, Aldo Rossi, Richard Rogers, Shigeru Ban and Wang Shu.