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Gunter Behnisch, Munich Olympics architect, dies

Gunter Behnisch, the architect behind the groundbreaking tent-like roof of the 1972 Munich Olympic Games’ main stadium, has died aged 88

The founder of Stuttgart-based practice Behnisch Arkitekten worked with Frei Otto on the iconic, undulating structures which architect and critic Dennis claimed ‘led to the pioneering of purely mathematical computer-based procedures for determining their shape and behaviour’ (The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Architects and Architecture).

Born in 1922 in Lockwitz near Dresden, Behnisch became a U-boat commander during the Second World War. However he always denied that time spent in the claustrophobic underwater confines of the submarine resulted in his subsequent ‘open, airy style of architecture’.

In recent years his practice, which also had offices in California and Massachusetts, designed a number of high-profile schemes including the Berlin Akademie der Künste (Academy of the Arts) on Pariser Platz in front of the Brandenburg Gate and the award-winning Ozeaneum German Oceanographic Museum.


Readers' comments (2)

  • a real genius in my view, the world would be a less exhilarating place without his buildings. i've been following his plans for decades.

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  • Agreed. His work cannot be described - only felt as an exhilaration of the heart. Truly innovative and unique. I hope his practice continues to live up to his legacy. The world shall not see his like again.

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