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Architect and engineer Horst Berger to speak at UT Austin public forum

Horst Berger, designer of critically acclaimed structures such as the Denver Airport and the San Diego Convention Center, will speak at The University of Texas at Austin at a public forum at 4 p.m. on Thursday (April 6).

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AUSTIN, Texas—Horst Berger, designer of critically acclaimed structures such as the Denver Airport and the San Diego Convention Center, will speak at The University of Texas at Austin at a public forum at 4 p.m. on Thursday (April 6).

The speech will be in Chemical and Petroleum Engineering (CPE) Building 2.214 on the corner of Speedway and 26th Streets. Berger also will speak to faculty, students and the public at noon on Wednesday (April 5) in CPE 2.220.

Berger, known for his open air, light-flooded “tensile” structures, is a professor of architecture at the City College of New York and principal in Light Structure Design/Horst Berger. Born in Heidelberg, Germany, he practiced structural engineering in New York City for three decades as part of Geiger-Berger Associates and Horst Berger Partners. As a pioneer in the design of tensile — or tent — structures, Berger has designed other well known large scale buildings such as the Canada Place in Vancouver, and the world’s largest roof structure — the Haj Terminal at Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah International Airport.

His current book, Light Structures, Structures of Light: The Art and Engineering of Tensile Architecture, introduces the basic concepts and design methods of these structures in a readable, non-technical way. Berger sees architecture as the raising of technology to an art form to create the spaces which house human activity. “Tensile architecture achieves this with one integrated structural surface accomplishing all the things which, in conventional buildings, require the combination of many additive elements,” he said.

Berger’s visit is hosted by Dr. Katherine Liapi, an architectural engineering professor whose class will accompany Berger on a visit to the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion for the Performing Arts in the Woodlands, which Berger designed and completed in 1992. The pavilion serves as the summer home of the Houston Symphony and may be viewed at http://www.thewoodlandstx.com/pavilion.htm.

For more information contact Becky Rische at the College of Engineering (512) 471-7272 or Dr. Katherine Liapi (512) 471-4547.