By Juan Maria Songel
One of many 20th century's most vital layout visionaries, German architect and structural engineer Frei Otto(b. 1925) made his mark with a chain of super-light tensile structures—such because the West German Pavilion for Montreal's Expo sixty seven and the Olympic Stadium in Munich (1972)—that are celebrated for his or her technical ingenuity and fabric potency. but regardless of Otto's achievements, rather little has been released on his paintings. A dialog with Frei Otto includes a accomplished interview with Otto in addition to his serious textual content Fundamentals of a destiny Architecture in its entirety. In his dialog with Juan María Songel, Otto talks freely approximately every little thing from his early connections to the Bauhaus to his techniques at the present country of engineering and structure. the newest in our Conversations sequence, this e-book additionally comprises photographs of Otto's most vital and recognized works.
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Additional info for A Conversation with Frei Otto
To tell you the truth, all stress analyses done so far have been imprecise. To say that stress in buildings can be calculated is not true, because these calculations are only approximate methods. Precisely calculating the stress does not make much sense because precision beyond 10 percent can’t be obtained. It actually isn’t really necessary anyway, because we don’t even know the loads. Who knows what the loads of wind or snow are? The current generation of Above and opposite: Interior of the pavilion for the Federal Garden Exposition in Mannheim, Germany, 1975 A Conversation with Frei Otto youth does not concern itself with loads; it takes them from a purely theoretical formula.
It was later when I studied Gaudí’s work. So I endeavored to learn how force diagrams are represented, that is, graphic statics. When you focus on these things, you realize that the same forms are independently present in graphic statics whether they are structures that work by compression, tension, or bending. The difference lies in the preceding sign. So the fact that identical vaults of hung forms can be generated through graphic statics is something that I already knew from my time in the prisoner camp, specifically towards the end of 1945.
It is something very logical, which is in the air, but it’s silly to carry it out too soon, before the right moment arrives. An invention always has to arise at the right time and place and with the right people; if all these conditions aren’t present, the invention fails. In your experience as a pilot you also mention the fuselage design for a one-person plane as a grid shell. Yes, I arrived at grid shells through building fuselages of gliders and not by constructing buildings. So I began to focus on grid shells, and when I started to concentrate on the inversion of forms, all of this seemed completely logical and automatic to me.
A Conversation with Frei Otto by Juan Maria Songel