Society of Fellows

Obituaries

Gunnar Birkerts, RAAR 1976

Gunnar Birkerts, 1960s
Castle of Light, Riga, Latvia 1989-2012
Photo: David Oldham
Castle of Light, Riga, Latvia
Calvary Baptist Church, Detroit, Michigan 1974-77
Photo: Jason R. Woods
Corning Museum of Glass, 1976-1980
Photo:Corning Museum of Glass
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City 1991-1994
Photo:Crystal Clyburn
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Architect Gunnar Birkerts died of congestive heart failure on August 15, 2017.

He was born in Latvia in 1925 and died at his home in Needham, Massachusetts. He was 92. In the AAR’s Centennial Directory (1996) he gave his research/artistic interests as “subterranean urban systems.” He later wrote a book with that title. His long career is highlighted in an obituary by William Grimes in the New York Times. Earlier this year he was awarded the Library Building Award by the American Institute of Architects for his last building, the Latvian National Library in Riga that is known as the Castle of Light. See also the Chicago Tribune.