May was the month of when Miami became be the world center of design. With Maison & Objet Americas  on May  and a lot of design events happening around Miami Beach, there was one which stand out because it’s the most important architecture award – The Pritzker prize.

The Priktzer Award Cerimony, which recognized and celebrated the work  of Frei Otto, was held at New World Center in Miamin Beach on May 15th.  It’s the first time it has been bestowed in the Miami area, which is a hotbed for Pritzker Architecture Prize winners’ work.

The 2015 Priktzer Award ceremony in Miami Beach 5

The japan pavilion at expo 2000 in Hannover

image © Hiroyuki Hirai / courtesy of atelier Frei Otto warmbronn


The 89-year-old was well known for pioneering lightweight and flowing roof designs for stadiums and other structures, including roof canopies designed for the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.

The jury selected Frei Otto as the laureate earlier this year, before his sad passing, and traveled to his home and studio near Stuttgart to deliver the news in person. Learning that he had received the award, Mr. Otto said:

‘I am now so happy to receive this Pritzker prize and I thank the jury and The Pritzker family very much. I have never done anything to gain this prize. My architectural drive was to design new types of buildings to help poor people, especially following natural disasters and catastrophes. So what shall be better for me than to win this prize? I will use whatever time is left to me to keep doing what I have been doing, which is to help humanity. you have here a happy man.’

The 2015 Priktzer Award ceremony in Miami Beach 4

Frei Otto practiced a holistic and collaborative approach to architecture, working with environmentalists, biologists, engineers, philosophers, historians, naturalists, artists, and other architects. A distinguished teacher and author, otto pioneered the use of modern lightweight tent-like structures for many uses, which appealed to him due to their economical and ecological values. He believed in making efficient, responsible use of materials, and understood that architecture should have a minimal impact on the environment.

The 2015 Priktzer Award ceremony in Miami Beach 3

Large umbrellas at the federal garden exhibition, 1971, Cologne, Germany

image © Atelier Frei Otto warmbronn



The 2015 Priktzer Award ceremony in Miami Beach 2

The 1967 international and universal exposition in Montreal, Canada

image © Atelier Frei Otto warmbronn



The 2015 Priktzer Award ceremony in Miami Beach 1


Diplomatic club heart tent, 1980, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

image © Atelier Frei Otto warmbronn

Miami, of course, has become a hotbed for work by Pritzker Prize winners lately, of course, with new buildings either coming or already here by eight of them (Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Richard Meier, I. M. Pei, Rem Koolhaas, Renzo Piano, and Norman Foster) but the city has also become something of a personal favorite of the Pritzker family itself, which owns the Hyatt and Thompson Hotel chains, both of which are making investments in major new hotels there. Not to mention that Zaha Hadid lives in Miami part time, and Richard Meier, who owns a unit at the Surf Club, soon will too. The ceremony was held on May 15th, which was also the last day of Maison & Objet Americas 2015.