Albert Speer Junior, the eponymous son of Adolf Hitler’s chief architect, has died, aged 83
Born in Berlin in 1934, the German architect and urban planner set up his own practice in 1964. The firm later became Albert Speer & Partner (AS&P) and now employs 200 staff in offices in Frankfurt and Shanghai.
The architect’s most celebrated work includes the successful Qatar 2022 World Cup bid and the Central Axis of Beijing, a scheme designed while serving as lead designer for the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Throughout his architecture career Speer Junior repeatedly distanced himself from his father, who was the Nazi’s chief architect and, for most of the Second World War, the Reich Minister of Armaments and War Production.
Nevertheless connections were frequently drawn between the two and in 2007 The Sunday Times pointed to similarities between Speer Junior’s Beijing Axis scheme and a boulevard designed by his father for pre-war Berlin.
The design was compared to Hitler’s unfulfilled vision for the capital of the Third Reich, which included a 5km-long axis sweeping past ostentatious rail stations and municipal buildings.
At the time his practice strenuously rejected any link, pointing out that the masterplan was a ’not only AS&P’s design [but] a mixture of all the competition entries‘ for the 2008 Olympic city.
‘Often abroad, especially in England, this comparison is made. Albert Speer Jr is not happy about this,’ said an AS&P spokesman in 2007.
He added: ‘Speer Jr started work as an architect after his father had stopped working. It is unusual for people in Germany to compare them.’
Speer Junior was also responsible for the design of Expo 2000 in Hanover, the Shanghai International Automobile City, and was part of the architectural firm involved in Munich’s bid for the 2018 Winter Olympics.
He died in Frankfurt on Friday (15 September) following an operation on a broken hip.