Christoph Sattler is a prolific German architect who has been professionally active since the early 1970s. Most of his more prominent buildings are in southern Germany or Berlin. Although he is known for a number of large high-profile residential developments, he has also attracted widespread critical and public attention with public buildings and structures such as the Seeparkturm (tower in a park) in Freiburg, the Kupferstichkabinett (‘museum of graphic art) in Berlin, various underground stations such as those of Am Hart (Munich) and Mendelssohn-Bartholdy-Park (Berlin) and several art galleries including the controversial Gemäldegalerie in Berlin. He studied for several years during the 1960s in North America as a post-graduate student. During that period he was employed with the firm of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
Christoph Sattler was born in Munich which was administered as part of the US occupation zoneafter 1945. In cultural, social and political terms Bavaria (of which Munich is the capital) was heavily influenced by the United States during the so-called Wirtschaftswunder years through which he grew up. He was born into a prosperous family that had come through the twelve Nazi years unburdened by Nazi political connections, in the judgment of the military occupiers. Christoph Sattler was a Godchild of the high-profile priest-intellectual, Romano Guardini, and was indeed christened with “Romano” as his middle name, in celebration of that connection.
In 1952 he was entrolled at the German school in Rome. (His father, having switched careers, had recently accepted a senior diplomatic posting to the newly re-established West German embassy in the city.) In 1957 he enrolled at the Technical University of Munich: here he studied Architecture with a number of eminent teachers, including Johannes Ludwig, Josef Wiedemann and Franz Hart. He obtained practical experience with the architects Rudolf Schwarz (1960) and Peter C. von Seidlein.
Sattler moved to Chicago in 1963 where he studied at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Between 1963 and 1965 he was taught by Myron Goldsmith and Ludwig Hilberseimer, also working during 1964 for Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Afrter receiving his Master of Science (M. Sc.) degree in 1965 he returned to West Germany where between 1966 and 1973 he worked in the planning department of Neue Heimat (NH), a Hamburg-based non-profit housing and construction enterprise belonging to the German Trade Union Confederation.