Latvian-American architect who did most of his work in the metropolitan area of Detroit, Michigan. His designs included New York's Corning Museum of Glass, Minneapolis' Marquette Plaza, and Kansas City's Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.
He studied at the Technische Hochschule, Stuttgart, Germany, graduating in 1949. He was hired by Perkins and Will after coming to the United States, followed by a stint with Eero Saarinen.
He designed the National Library of Latvia in Riga.
He was raised in Latvia, but fled the country when the Russian army advanced at the end of the Second World War. His son, Sven Birkerts, became a famous literary critic.
He and Joseph Sunlight were both well-known architects.