Distinguished architect, planner, and teacher Professor Otto Koenigsberger died in hospital at Hampstead on 3 January after a long illness. He was 90. With his death, a link with the pioneer founders of the modern movement in architecture is lost.
He was taught at the Technical University, Berlin, by Hans Poelzig and Bruno Taut, alongside fellow students such as Julius Posener and Walter Segal. Forced out of Germany by the Nazis he went first to Cairo, where he undertook important research on Ancient Egyptian architecture, before going to India in 1939. Initially he served as chief architect, Mysore State, before his appointment as the first post-independence Minister of Housing by Nehru's government.
In 1952 he arrived in Britain. He worked as an advisor on Basildon New Town and a researcher at the School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London University. With his interest and vast experience in tropical architecture Maxwell Fry invited him in 1957 to run the Architectural Association Tropical School of Architecture. After Bill Allen left the aa in 1966 Koenigsberger took over as caretaker principal and was instrumental in persuading Council to appoint John (Michael) Lloyd as the next principal.
After the aa's aborted attempt to join Imperial College, and in an attempt to retain the autonomy of the Tropical School, it was renamed dpu (Development Planning Unit) and became part of ucl. Koenigsberger became the head and the first appointed ucl professor of development planning, pioneering community 'action' planning and acting as a consultant on many un and governmental missions. With his dpu colleagues, he organised workshops and planning courses throughout the Third World. Among his many publications were a classic manual on tropical housing, an aa paper on tropical roofs, and a number of technical and discussion papers. He was an active member of the aa Quarterly board and editor-in-chief of Habitat International.
Koenigsberger was a great and sympathetic teacher and a sound scholar who will be missed as much in the world of academe as he will be in the developing world.
The funeral takes place today, Thursday 14 January, at Golders Green Crematorium.
Paul Drake - Ahrends, Burton & Koralek partner and director
Paul Drake, who joined abk in 1962 and later became a partner and director, died after a short illness towards the end of last year, writes Richard Burton.
Paul, a pivotal figure in the practice until he retired in 1996, was involved with many of its key projects, such as the Berkeley Library in Dublin and the Chichester Theological College in the 1960s, the Cummins factory building in the late 1970s, the John Lewis department store in Kingston in the 1980s and the Dublin Dental Hospital which opened in October 1998.
Paul was wonderful with people. He synthesized complex architectural issues, held teams together in good spirit and always felt the fine nuances of the social dimensions of our professional lives. He was loved by many for his unforgettable qualities.