Daniel Libeskind is one of the architects of our time who are changing our perception of the world. His works, recognized worldwide, testify to his innovative and contemporary ideas..
Architecture is one of the most visible and enduring forms of expression spanning the length of human history. Most historical civilizations are identified by architectural remains: the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, the Golden Pavilion in Japan or the Taj Mahal in India.
Architect Daniel Libeskind aims to create buildings that will go down in history. The Jewish Museum in Berlin was his first major international success. Some other notable works include the Grand Canal Theater in Dublin and the Imperial War Museum North in England. His latest big project is the Freedom Tower in New York.
The beginnings of Daniel Libeskind
Daniel Libeskind was born in 1946 in Poland. In 1959, the young man arrived with his family in New York. He first studied at the Bronx High School of Science. He later enrolled in the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art to take classes in architecture. In 1972 Daniel Libeskind briefly worked for the famous architect Richard Meier.
He quickly felt stifled by what he saw as a conformist attitude in the offices of the architects he worked for. Daniel Libeskind did not want to imitate the design ideas and architectural theories of others. Rather, he wanted to develop his own ideas and encourage other young architects to think independently. So he decided to pursue his career in teaching. The architect has taught at the University of Kentucky and at universities in Toronto and London. At 32, he accepted the post of director of the prestigious Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Detroit.
In 1985 Daniel Libeskind moved to Milan to found his own small school – Architecture Intermundium. He wanted the school to offer an alternative to the traditional school. But also, he wanted to teach a different way of working in an office … “School was between two worlds, the purely practical world and the academic world.” Daniel Libeskind was the only teacher in his school of a dozen students.
Daniel Libeskind after the success
A few years later, in 1989, he founded Studio Daniel Libeskind with his wife Nina Lewis. The son of Polish Jews and Holocaust survivors, he devoted much of his illustrious career to commemorating his legacy. How could he have done this? He made it through visually dynamic buildings, often with a striking angularity that seemed to defy gravity..
His work is often described as deconstructivist. It is a postmodern style of architecture characterized by fragmentation and distortion. His design of the Imperial War Museum North, with its three intersecting parts inspired by shards of a shattered globe, is a case in point..
In addition to buildings, Daniel Libeskind also applied his visionary aesthetic to large-scale sculptures, furniture and interior installations. We present below a selection of his most famous and poignant contributions to the field of architecture..
1. Frederic C Building. Hamilton
Inspired by the rugged peaks of the Rocky Mountains, the Frederic C. Hamilton Building at the Denver Art Museum is an extension of Gio Ponti’s original institution building in 1971. The titanium structure, which opened in 2006, houses art from Oceania and Africa, as well as the museum’s collection of modern and contemporary art.
2. Denver Art Museum Residences
Directly across from the Denver Art Museum addition is another design by Daniel Libeskind. It is a seven-story building with luxury condos called the Residences du Musée. The whole structure with a pointed geometric facade that complements the Frederic C. Hamilton Building is in metal and glass. On one side, it surrounds the parking lot of the complex. On the other hand, it offers lovely views of the city.
3. Bord Gáis Energy Theater (or Grand Canal Theater)
Completed in 2010, the Bord Gáis Energy Theater in Dublin is an angular glass and steel structure that houses a 2,000-seat performing arts center. The building is part of the Grand Canal Commercial Complex. This includes a large esplanade designed by Daniel Libeskind and flanked by two other of his projects, a five-star hotel and an office building..
4. Jewish Museum Berlin
Libeskind’s international reputation as an architect was solidified when in 1989 he won the competition to build an addition to the Berlin Museum that would house the city’s collection of objects related to Jewish history. Despite a decade of opposition through local politics, the building itself was completed in 1999 and opened as a museum in 2001.
Daniel Libeskind, who lost most of his family in the Holocaust, worked to convey multiple levels of meaning. The base of the complex unfolds in a zigzag pattern, creating a floor plan that resembles the Star of David that the Nazis forced Jews to wear prominently on their clothing. Throughout the museum runs a space known as the Void which is a path of rough and white concrete walls. Visitors can see the void, but they cannot enter or use it to access other parts of the museum. In this way, he suggests both notions of absence and unsuccessful paths. The angular slices of the windows allow the light to create a disorienting and almost violent sensation throughout the structure while an adjacent sculpture garden creates a feeling of meditative silence.
Since the space experience in the museum is so powerful, many felt that the building could serve better as a memorial without any installations. Controversy swirled around this proposal until, in 2000-01, Daniel Libeskind somewhat remodeled the building to facilitate its function as a museum..
5. The Crystal of Michael Lee-Chin
Dubbed the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, this steel-clad addition to the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto was completed in 2007. The stunning structure includes an exhibition space, an atrium that serves as an entrance for visitors, a gift shop and three crystal-shaped restaurants. Studio Libeskind also renovated ten additional galleries in the old museum building as part of this project.
6. London Metropolitan University Graduate Center
Designed with embossed stainless steel panels that seem to liven up the facade of the building, the London Metropolitan University Graduate Center is home to diverse spaces. These are conference rooms, offices and a café. The building, completed in 2004, features windows that create a striking visual dynamic with the specific geometry of the exterior and the overall silhouette of the structure..
7. Imperial War Museum North
Designed to mimic the fragments of a shattered globe, the UK’s Imperial War Museum North was completed in Manchester in 2001. It is dedicated to exhibits that examine how war has affected the lives of British citizens since 1914. three “pieces” of the building, completely covered with aluminum, symbolize earth, air and water, each housing a different wing of the museum.
8. Contemporary Jewish Museum
Completed in 2008, the Contemporary Jewish Museum in downtown San Francisco has a geometric shape clad in blue steel. The building emerges from a brick building that was once a power station. The steel part, which contains exhibition, performance and event spaces, is designed to mimic the Hebrew letters “chet” and “yud”, spelling out “chaim” or “to life”.
The 36 diamond-shaped windows illuminate the top floor of the cube known as “Yud” which hosts sound and performance exhibits. The other section of the museum, an oblique rectangle known as “Chet”, holds the narrow lobby, an education center and part of an upstairs gallery.
9. Tangent Building in Seoul, South Korea
Commissioned by the Hyundai Development Corporation, the facade of the Tangent Building in Seoul, South Korea was completed in 2005 to connect the structure to a public square. Daniel Libeskind designed the facade with a bold graphic mix of balconies and louvers, as well as an inclined vector that emerges from the ground and seems to cut through the building.
10. The Vanke Pavilion in Milan
The Vanke Pavilion in Milan was completed in 2015 as a temporary structure with exhibition spaces for Expo Milan in the same year. Inspired by elements of Chinese culture, the building forms a slightly twisted abstract form clad in metallic ceramic tiles. After the Expo, the tiles and steel parts of the building were all recycled.
The concept of the Vanke Pavilion incorporates three ideas drawn from Chinese food culture. These are the “shi-tang” – a traditional Chinese dining hall, the landscape – the fundamental element of life and the dragon which is metaphorically linked to agriculture and livelihood.
11. Felix Nussbaum Haus
The Felix Nussbaum Haus in Osnabrück, Germany, is an extension of the city’s cultural history museum dedicated to the homonymous Jewish artist. Completed in 1998, the timber and steel building has an interior designed with steep intersections, confined spaces and dead ends. All of this is meant to evoke the persecution of Nussbaum during WWII.
12. Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in London
Lined with eighteen towers, the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in Libeskind opened in summer 2001. With an origami-shaped design, it is clad in aluminum foil to reflect the surrounding landscape. The temporary structure, located on the Lawn of the London Gallery, provided space for conferences, parties and coffee beneath its overlapping angular segments.
13. The L Tower in Toronto
The L Tower in Toronto, Canada has a striking silhouette that slopes gently before narrowing at the top. The skyscraper, clad in shiny glass with blue mullions, is home to nearly 600 condos and sits next to the city’s iconic Sony Center for the Performing Arts. The two are connected by a public square. The 58-story building also has recessed balconies for panoramic city views.
14. Bundeswehr Military History Museum
The German city of Dresden is home to the Bundeswehr Military History Museum. It is a classic building that is visually cut in half by the addition of Libeskind in 2011. The breathtaking glass and steel exhibition space includes an observation deck at its top that offers a panoramic view of the city.
15. The project for the World Trade Center site
In 2003, Daniel Libeskind won an international competition to reconstruct the site of the World Trade Center in New York. During the competition phase, many debates took place. They concerned the question of whether a new, larger structure should be built or whether the site would not be left as a form of memorial..
Daniel Libeskind’s plan approached these two visions thoughtfully. It combined a glass tower, designed to be the second tallest tower in the world (called the “Freedom Tower” or the Freedom tower), with a hanging garden, memorial, or open memorial area that would represent the “footprints.” »Of the two fallen towers and six other towers.
His design has been accepted by both the architectural community (the Lower Manhattan Development Cooperation) and the general public. But commercial and safety concerns eventually won out over the original design. Other political and practical considerations ultimately influenced the modification of the tower.
The Freedom Tower: some interesting details
Its construction began on September 11, 2004. The date is symbolic, but the laying of the foundation stone by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the governors of the states of New York and New Jersey was made some time ago. months ago. Construction of the tower was completed in 2009. The cost of constructing the tower is estimated to be over $ 1 billion. This cost is estimated without counting the amount of more than $ 1 billion spent on the costs of studies and specialists (engineers, architects, lawyers, etc.)