The works of architect and urban planner Albert Speer Jr.

Architecture

Architecture runs in the family

Albert Speer Jr., one of the most important German architects and urban planners, died unexpectedly on September 15, 2017 in Frankfurt. During his life, he worked on redesigning city centers of various German cities, but also developed entire satellite cities in China. He did not want to be compared to his father, the prominent Nazi architect.

Architecture

Building bridges

Albert Speer Jr. is closely tied to Frankfurt where he received his first major commission in 1972 from DG Bank. Later he was also involved in the construction of the European Central Bank (ECB) and designed the Museum Riverbank and the Holbeinsteg pedestrian bridge connecting the two sides of city center in the 1980s.

Architecture

Big plans for Frankfurt

In 1999, Speer Jr. presented the model of his "Urban Entertainment Center" in the former freight station at the Deutsche Bahn headquarters in Frankfurt. The media dubbed his uncompleted project a pipe dream in 2004, as its costs had already reached 50 million euros. The area is now a green residential area, but many of Speer's ideas were abandoned.

Architecture

Criminal court complex in Saudi Arabia

Wherever he designed buildings, Albert Speer dealt with the climate and the topography of the region. He planned energy-efficient, and as small as possible spaces, such as here for the Criminal court complex in Saudi Arabia (above). On the other hand, he was also criticized for working for totalitarian countries.

Architecture

A German city in Shanghai

West of Shanghai, this small town of 30,000 inhabitants made up of half-timbered houses was designed by Speer Jr. The houses in characteristic German style are modeled after the city of Weimar in central Germany. In total, there are seven satellite cities like this one around Shanghai designed by different architects in the style of their European homeland.

Architecture

The German look in Shanghai

Albert Speer Jr. popularized the contemporary German architectonic style in China, but also in Saudi Arabia, Libya or Nepal, where he was able to realize his vision of an "ideal city." He would never build skyscrapers in his satellite towns since he was worried about their sustainability and the people living in the area.

Architecture

Life-work balance

Not only in his satellite towns but also in the buildings themselves, Albert Speer Jr. always strived to create harmony between living and working spaces, just like in the office complex and residential building "Oval" in Frankfurt. Speer Jr. received many awards during his life, including the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2006.

Architecture

The Kranhäuser in Cologne

Fewer cars, shorter routes and vivid inner cities were always Speer's goals. In Cologne, he presented a master plan for the redevelopment of the city center in 2008, which included a museum island, green areas and a boulevard along the Rhine. As in many other cities, not everything was done according to his plans, but at least the redesign of the bank of the Rhine River in Cologne was completed.

To call Albert Speer Jr. a German architect would be an understatement. First and foremost, he was an urban planner who left a significant mark all over the world. He died on September 15, 2017.