How is this terrific news related to Urbia Group? Very simply, as the award's jury said in its citation, Frei Otto "has embraced a definition of architect to include researcher, inventor, form-finder, engineer, builder, teacher, collaborator, environmentalist, humanist, and creator of memorable buildings and spaces." It is his fully integrated work-ethos that is essential for Urbia Group as well. Frei Otto's unique way has become visible for many, when he was co-creator of the Olympic venues of Munich, Germany, in 1972, for me the finest piece of the country's post war architecture. The way, in which his array of translucent canopies connects the venues with the landscape reveals Frei Otto's deep respect for nature. How different is this expression of Olympian spirit compared to more recent assemblies of powerful yet disconnected architectural brand statements displayed in Beijing or London?
Frei Otto knew about being honoured by the Pritzker Prize a few days before he sadly passed away on Monday, 9 March 2015. As the New York Times reports he replied in his typical, humble way by stating "I've never done anything to gain this prize. Prizewinning is not the goal of my life. I try to help poor people, but what shall I say here - I'm very happy." Can a life as architect end better? We'll keep Frei Otto in our minds on our quest to help people in the face of Climate Change.