Architect who inspired Google headquarters wins top prize day after death

KGO logo
Thursday, March 12, 2015
A drawing of Google's new headquarters.
A drawing of Google's new headquarters.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (KGO) -- A German architect who inspired the new Google headquarters has won his industry's equivalent of the Nobel Prize one day after his death.

The Pritzker Prize was awarded to Frei Otto for his pioneering work in lightweight structures.

His most famous project may be the pavilion at the 1972 Olympics in Munich. The building stretched like a sweep of giant spider webs.

It was webs, wings and soap bubbles that inspired Otto. He pioneered some of the most far-reaching feats of structural engineering ever completed.

That include's Google's new headquarters in Mountain View. Experts say many buildings of the past 50 years would not exist without Otto.

At one point, Frei Otto taught at the University of California Berkeley. He was 89 years old.