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A Day After His Death, Frei Otto Awarded Pritzker Architecture Prize

Architect Frei Otto is known for the large-scale roofs on the sports facilities for the 1972 Munich Olympics.
Atelier Frei Otto Warmbronn
Architect Frei Otto is known for the large-scale roofs on the sports facilities for the 1972 Munich Olympics.

German architect Frei Otto is this year's winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, a day after his death at age 89.

The prize's jury, in its citation, said Otto had developed "a most sensitive architecture that has influenced countless others throughout the world."

Frei Otto in 2006.
Shizuo Kambayashi / AP
/
AP
Frei Otto in 2006.

"The lessons of his pioneering work in the field of lightweight structures that are adaptable, changeable and carefully use limited resources are as relevant today as when they were first proposed over 60 years ago," the jurors said. "He has embraced a definition of architect to include researcher, inventor, form-finder, engineer, builder, teacher, collaborator, environmentalist, humanist, and creator of memorable buildings and spaces."

Otto's works are often designed in collaboration with others. His most notable projects include the cable net structure at German Pavilion at Expo 67 in Montreal, the large-scale roofs for the 1972 Munich Olympics and the Mannheim Multihalle in 1974.

Past winners of the Pritzker, architecture's most prestigious award, include Shigeru Ban in 2014 and Toyo Ito in 2013.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Krishnadev Calamur
Krishnadev Calamur is NPR's deputy Washington editor. In this role, he helps oversee planning of the Washington desk's news coverage. He also edits NPR's Supreme Court coverage. Previously, Calamur was an editor and staff writer at The Atlantic. This is his second stint at NPR, having previously worked on NPR's website from 2008-15. Calamur received an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri.