Video: Olympiapark München / Frei Otto

Pritzker laureate Frei Otto was best known for his tensile structures. A prime example Otto’s ingenuity, the 1972 Olympic Stadium in Munich was a collaborative work with Gunther Behnisch that connected the park’s main programs – the natatorium, gymnasium and main stadium – with a whimsical, lightweight canopy structure that mimicked the “rhythmic protrusions” of the Swiss Alps. Watch the Spirit of Space short film above to see the project in its current state and learn more about the pioneering structure, here.

AD Classics: Munich Olympic Stadium / Frei Otto & Gunther Behnisch

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Often mentioned as a pioneer in lightweight tensile and membrane construction, yet overshadowed in the discipline of architecture, along with Gunther Behnisch collaborated to design the 1972 Munich Olympic Stadium in Munich, Germany.  With the having already been held in Berlin in 1936, Otto and Behnisch took the second games in Germany as an opportunity and a second chance to show Germany in a new light.  Their goal was to design a structure that would emulate the games motto: “The Happy Games” as more of a whimsical architectural response that would overshadow the heavy, authoritarian stadium in Berlin.

More of the 1972 Olympic Stadium in Munich after the break.