La Dolce Vita

Urban planning is not his only passion. Albert Speer is 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 mean more to him than muscles on his arms.


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

The impatient man:

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

The sweeper,

who with long passes clears the way for his own moves, while others score the goals.

More curious than the proverbial cat

always seeking out new tasks and fields of action.

The professorial pragmatist

who advances scholarship without being a scholar.

The colleague,

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

The epicure,

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

The wanderer:

who goes crazy if his week doesn’t involve a flight somewhere.

The modest rascal:

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

The technophile,

who thinks computers and the Internet are great, but who never touches a keyboard and doesn’t like e-mails.

The speech writer,

who waits until the very last minute, then needs the biggest meeting room to prepare it, whines and is unsatisfied until the lecture, yet afterwards always revels in his audience’s acclaim.

The doctoral supervisor,

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


The husband,

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

The friend of the arts,

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

The swimmer,

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

The optimist workaholic,

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

The moderator,

who can 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 balks at gnawing a duck’s foot and washing it down with Mao-Tai.

The godfather:

The mood in the office is better when he’s there than when he’s not.

The wine aficionado,

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

The strategist,

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

The skier,

who takes to the slopes every year with his partners.