Sir Ove Arup


Sir Ove Arup (1895 – 5 February 1988) is widely considered to be the foremost engineer of his era. He founded our firm in 1946 and pushed the boundaries of what design and engineering can achieve. Ove became most famed for his work on the extraordinary Sydney Opera House, which remains one of the world's most iconic structures.  

Ove combined a philosophical and artistic as well as practical approach to business and is remembered as an eminent bridging figure between the aesthetics and the constructional aspects of building design. He believed that there are no natural boundaries between architecture and engineering, and that a collaborative spirit can overcome these – leading to a practice called ‘Total Architecture’

In a long and varied career Ove took on many roles, as a consultant, contractor, civil and structural engineer, educational theorist, lecturer and author. His technical achievements include groundbreaking use of precast concrete and structural glue, and as a philosopher, he maintained a considerable written output for over fifty years.

The organisation that bears his name is perhaps his greatest achievement. From 1946 onwards, our firm grew from its London origins to become renowned worldwide, with Arup offices in the Americas, Australia, East Asia, Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Ove Arup foresaw the value of an organisation independently owned by its members, able to pursue its own path. Today, the spirit of our founder is still very much in evidence, with the aims and values contained with his Key Speech remaining the firm’s guiding principles.