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Schaich, Jörg

As of 2011, Jörg Schlaich is the founder and president at Schlaich Bergermann & Partner.

Jörg Schlaich was born in 1934 in Remstal-Stetten. Growing up, he worked as a joiner, providing him with the skills and experience he would later use in engineering projects. From October 1953 to 1955, he pursued architecture and civil engineering studies concurrently at the Technical School in Stuttgart, interested in both the practical and artistic aspects. Enticed by the expertise in the complex mathematical analysis of thin concrete shell structures and scholarships, Schlaich completed his degree at the Technical University of Berlin in 1959. He continued his academic career at the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, USA 1959-60, earning his masters, and an external doctorate program at the Otto Graf Institute in Stuttgart researching large reinforced concrete slabs under the instruction of Fritz Leonhardt. [1]

Schlaich began his professional career with a Stuttgart-based contracting firm, Lubau, working in precast concrete construction. In 1963 he joined his professor’s consulting group, Leonhardt & Andrä, working on concrete communication towers and pursuing his interest in shell structures. In 1968, Schlaich was made project leader for the Munich Olympic Stadium, working with Gunter Behnisch, and after two years of working exclusively on this project, he was promoted to full partner. In 1974, he became a professor of reinforced concrete structures at Stuttgart University, where he developed the now widely accepted Strut-and-Tie Method. Schlaich and 18 of his colleagues left Leonhardt & Andrä in 1980, and he founded his own firm, now known as Schlaich Bergermann & Partner.

He introduced the “speichenrad” (spoked wheel) principle to structural engineering with the roof of the Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadion (now known as the Mercedes-Benz-Arena) in Stuttgart. Since then, his company has successfully employed it to numerous stadium projects around the world. [2] Along with Hartmut Scheef, Schlaich published a series of structural design documents in Concrete Box-girder Bridges. He is also the developer of the solar chimney, which he defines in his book, The Solar Chimney: Electricity from the Sun, as combining three technologies: “the simple glass roof hot air collector, the chimney, and wind turbines with generators”. The solar chimney allows for a cheaper, environment-friendly means of producing energy. [3] He has also recently published a retrospective of his work with Bergmann, including their independent projects, biographical essays, and detailed examinations of their most impressive work, Leicht Weit (Light Structures).

Jörg Schlaich has received six honorary doctorates and several awards, including the Werner von Siemens Ring and a Gustav Magnel Gold Medal from the Institute of Structural Engineers, London for the bridge on Auerbachstrasse.[4]

Selected Projects:


Solar Chimney Design


Hamburg Television Tower, Hamburg, Germany


Bridge Auerbachstrasse across Heilbronner Strasse, Stuttgart, Germany

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Written by Makenzie Kuntz

January 31, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Posted in Engineers