Yesterday in Paris, Roger Taillibert architect of Montreal’s Olympic Stadium passed away. He was 93 years old.
Roger Taillibert studied Egyptian art at the École du Louvre and the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris before becoming a specialist in sports constructions.
He said he preferred the curves in his buildings to arouse emotions.
As well as the stadium designed to host the 1976 Olympic Games, he also designed the Parc des Princes in Paris, sill very much in operation, hosting the home games of Paris-St-Germain and used extensively during he 2016 European soccer championships. It also hosted the 1984 European Championship Final in which Michel Platini inspired France defeated Spain 2-0.
Having completed over 500 projects over his 70-year career, Tallibert always defended vehemently the design of the Olympic Stadium, a building which has been popularly criticized over its 43 years.
“It is an exceptional stage from the point of view of the construction. It’s recognized around the world,” he said again last February.
The stadium was also designed to accommodate the Montreal Expos. He had imagined a stadium with a huge concrete tower and a retractable roof. Taillibert also designed the velodrome and the adjacent Olympic pool.
The French architect was chosen by Mayor Jean Drapeau, without a call for tenders, to design the facilities for the 1976 Games. This was the first time in the history of the modern Games that a host country used the services of a foreign architect.
Taillibert retained a link with Quebec through maintaining a house in Saint-Sauveur, devoting himself to painting in recent years.
More than forty years after its construction, the Olympic Stadium, loved by some, less enthusiastically acclaimed by many others, remains standing as an overtly recognizable Montreal monument and landmark.
Roger Taillibert, born Châtrés-Sur-Cher, France, 21 Jan 1926, died Paris, 3 October 2019.