Influential postwar architect Fritz Eller dies at 91 | Arts | DW | 06.06.2018
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Influential postwar architect Fritz Eller dies at 91

Originally from Austria, Fritz Eller was one of Germany's most important postwar architects. He helped shape the look of many cities in West Germany, designing such buildings as the state parliament in Düsseldorf.

Fritz Eller, one of the pioneering architects of the postwar era in Germany, died in Aachen on May 31 at the age of 91. His Düsseldorf office announced his death on Wednesday.

Eller was influential in the still-young Federal Republic, designing a number of important skyscrapers in the 1950s. His works include the Dreischeibenhaus office building and the state parliament building, or Landtag, of North Rhine-Westphalia, both in Düsseldorf.

Born on February 28, 1927 in Tyrol, Eller studied architecture in Graz. On the advice of a professor, he set out for Germany with fellow students Erich Moser and Robert Walter to help shape the reconstruction there. The trio won several design competitions for new construction projects at large companies like BASF, Thyssen and Bayer.

Deutschland Sitzung des NRW-Landtags in Düsseldorf (picture-alliance/dpa/F. Gambarini)

Eller was known for his work on the state parliament building of North Rhine-Westphalia in Düsseldorf, completed in 1988

Shaping Germany's postwar identity

Eller's work helped cities and companies across Germany, especially in the Ruhrgebiet region, in their search for a new identity, shaping the way they were seen. In the 1950s and 1960s, Eller received awards for his designs for the Europa Center in Berlin and the Ruhr University in Bochum.

Cologne's Chocolate Museum (picture alliance/Arco Images GmbH)

Eller designed Cologne's Chocolate Museum, aka the Imhoff-Stollwerck Museum

In 1988, he completed the state parliament in Düsseldorf, followed shortly after with the conversion of a factory into the Ludwig Forum for International Art in Aachen.

From 1962 to 1992, Eller taught at the faculty of civil engineering at RWTH Aachen University.

He was the recipient of the Order of Merit of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.

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