German architect Frei Otto, who died on March 9 2015, has been awarded the 2015 Pritzker Architecture Prize, considered the Nobel Prize of architecture. The award is assigned to a living architect whose work in the art of architecture has made a significant contribution to humanity and to the built environment. The members of the Pritzker Prize committee managed to notify Frei Otto a few weeks ago, and his death created an unprecedented case, with the result that the winner was named a few weeks ahead of the official announcement.
The Pritzker Prize committee emphasised that Frei Otto was a visionary, utopian, ecological architect, a pioneer in use of lightweight materials, respectful of natural resources and a generous partner of architects, engineers, historian, naturalists, biologists, environmentalists and artists; he brought a holistic, collaborative approach to the practice of the architecture profession.
His principal works include the roofs on sports facilities such as the Olympic Park in Munich, built for the 1972 Olympic Games (with Behnisch + Partner and others), the German pavilion at the Expo 67 and the Japanese pavilion at Expo 2000 in Hannover, Germany, built with architect Shigeru Ban, winner of the 2014 Pritzker Architecture Prize.
Images courtesy of Pritzker Prize