La Dolce Vita

Urban planning was not his only passion. Albert Speer was also a keen rower and skier, a wine connoisseur and a culture vulture, as well as a kind husband, friend, and colleague.

The rower in his skiff:

blisters on his hands meant more to him than muscles on his arms.


his motto was “life’s a risk”, and defeated do not faze him.

The impatient man:

who considered any sentence too long if it could be shortened.

The sweeper,

who with long passes cleared the way for his own moves, while others scored the goals.

More curious than the proverbial cat

always seeking out new tasks and fields of action.

The professorial pragmatist

who advanced scholarship without being a scholar.

The colleague,

with a reputation of 50 years of successful self-employment all over the world.

The epicure,

who prefered a plate of pasta to any gourmet menu, provided the noodles and a sauce met his exorbitant quality standards.

The wanderer:

who went crazy if his week didn’t involve a flight somewhere.

The modest rascal:

“Good day, the name’s Speer” is how he greeted even the most famous and intimidating politicians and captains of industry if they could further his cause.

The technophile,

who thought computers and the Internet were great, but who never touched a keyboard and didn’t like e-mails.

The speech writer,

who waited until the very last minute, then needed the biggest meeting room to prepare it, whines and was unsatisfied until the lecture, yet afterwards always reveled in his audience’s acclaim.

The doctoral supervisor,

who was just like a father should be: Never constrictive, guiding only where necessary, yet always expecting one to achieve useful results.

The “star architect”,


who enjoys the limelight, without having to be in the spotlight.

who enjoyed the limelight, without having to be in the spotlight.


The husband,

who had been happily married to Ingmar Zeisberg for over 40 years.

The friend of the arts,

who three days in a row always had a way of finding at least one interesting concert or opera production in different cities somewhere.

The swimmer,

for health’s sake took a plunge in cold water every day, although like in real life, he prefered it “nicely temperate”.

The optimist workaholic,

who with a “hello there”, energetic hand rubbing and “guys, I have another new project” could motivate a totally overworked team to embark on yet another adventure.

The moderator,

who could get mayors, real estate developers, soccer icons, CEOs, building contractors, city councilors and others to forge new alliances.

The architect,

who always preferred being an urban planner, but who at all times ensured he had gifted architects at his side.

The university teacher,

who focused his students’ perspective on what was important: A cardinal error in the term project, an urban design of historic import, and the great Italian restaurant in the back alley.

The China wayfarer,

who for the greater good of sustainable development never balked at gnawing a duck’s foot and washing it down with Mao-Tai.


The godfather:

The mood in the office was better when he was there than when he was not.

The wine aficionado,

who was a believer that an Italian red goes with almost any meal, and if it doesn’t he just ate something else.

The strategist,

who valued feasible, viable results more than the mirage of glossy plans.

The skier,

who took to the slopes every year with his partners.