Oswald Mathias Ungers

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Oswald Mathias Ungers (12 July 1926 – 30 September 2007) was a German architect and architectural theorist, known for his rationalist designs and the use of cubic forms. Among his notable projects are museums in Frankfurt, Hamburg and Cologne.

Oswald Mathias Ungers
Born 12 July 1926
Kaisersesch, Germany
Died 30 September 2007 (aged 81)
Cologne, Germany
Nationality German
Occupation Architect
Buildings Messe Torhaus, Frankfurt
Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne


Oswald Mathias Ungers was born in Kaisersesch in the Eifel region. From 1947 to 1950 he studied architecture at the University of Karlsruhe under Egon Eiermann. He set up an architectural practice in Cologne in 1950, and opened offices in Berlin in 1964, Frankfurt in 1974 and Karlsruhe in 1983.

He was a professor at the Technical University of Berlin from 1963 to 1967 and served as the dean of the faculty of architecture from 1965 to 1967. In 1968 he moved to the United States, where he became the chair of the department of architecture at Cornell University from 1969 to 1975. In 1971 he became a member of the American Institute of Architects. He was also a visiting professor at Harvard University (1973 and 1978) and the University of California, Los Angeles (1974/75). He returned to Germany in 1976, becoming a visiting professor at the University of Applied Arts Vienna (1979/80) and a full professor at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (1986).

Oswald Mathias Ungers died on 30 September 2007 from pneumonia. He was married to Liselotte Gabler (1926–2010) and had one son (Simon Ungers) and two daughters.

Selected projects

Proposed or under construction
  • In 2000, he won an architectural competition to redesign the Pergamon Museum in Berlin. His controversial plan proposes large alterations to the building complex which has remained unchanged since 1930. The rebuilding is scheduled to end in 2010.

Museum of Contemporary Art in Hamburg

Badische Landesbibliothek Karlsruhe

Badische Landesbibliothek in Karlsruhe


Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven

Frankfurt Deutsches Architektur Museum.20130603

Deutsches Architekturmuseum in Frankfurt

Berlin-kreuzberg familiengericht 20050918 897 part

Domestic relations court in Berlin-Kreuzberg


  • Entwerfen mit Vorstellungsbildern, Metaphern und Analogien. Anmerkungen zu einem morphologischen Konzept, in: Architektur 1951-1990, Stuttgart, 1991
  • Morphologie. City Metaphors, König, 1982
  • Die Thematisierung der Architektur, 1983, published by Technische Universität Dortmund and Walter A.Noebel, Niggli Verlag, 2009, ISBN 978-3-7212-0698-2
  • The Dialectic City, Skira Editore, 1997

External links

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