Acclaimed modernist architect Gunnar Birkerts dies at 92

Acclaimed modernist architect Gunnar Birkerts dies at 92

August 17th, 2017 by Associated Press in National Obituaries

NEEDHAM, Mass. (AP) - Gunnar Birkerts, an internationally acclaimed modernist architect who designed buildings including the Federal Reserve Bank in Minneapolis, the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York, and the University of Michigan Law Library, has died. He was 92.

His son, Sven Birkerts, says his father died Tuesday of congestive heart failure at his home in Needham, Massachusetts.

Birkerts was born in Riga, Latvia, but fled during World War II. He made his way to Stuttgart, Germany, where he began studying architecture. In 1949, Birkerts emigrated to the United States and worked for several architecture firms in the Midwest before he and a colleague, Frank Straub, founded Birkerts and Straub in 1962. He eventually went on to lead his own firm, Gunnar Birkerts and Associates, in suburban Detroit.

Birkerts was widely known for his use of light in his designs.