Spotlight: Daniel Libeskind

Courtesy of Wikimedia

In the architecture world, few designers can claim to have such a clearly-defined style than Daniel Libeskind (born May 12, 1946). Much of Libeskind’s work is instantly recognizable for its angular forms, intersecting planes, and frequent use of diagonally-sliced windows, a style that he has frequently used to great effect in museums and memorials – but which seems equally adaptable to conference centers, skyscrapers and shopping malls.

A Guided Tour Of The 2015 Milan Expo

© Hufton+Crow

With 145 countries participating in the 2015 Expo, alongside input from international organizations, corporate partners and an extensive program organized by the Expo itself, there’s a lot going on in Milan right now. So much so, in fact, that it can be a little overwhelming to get a handle on all the sights that are worth your attention.

To help you out, we’ve put together a guided tour of the key pavilions that are turning heads, including the defining vistas of the expo grounds, the displays that are worth your time and the oddities that might entertain. From the Expo’s defining icon, the 30-meter-tall Tree of Life, to the exhibition on architecture’s favorite consumable (that’s coffee), and all the national pavilions in between, the things you need to see are here. Whether you’re planning to visit the Expo and want a quick and dirty way to ensure you’ve covered the highlights, or whether you’re simply hoping to live vicariously through the internet, this tour is for you.

Vanke Pavilion – Milan Expo 2015 / Daniel Libeskind

© Hufton+Crow

Architects: Daniel Libeskind
Location: Ingresso EXpo, Via Giorgio Stephenson, 107, 20157 Milano,
Architect In Charge: Yama Karim
Area: 1210.0 sqm
Year: 2015
Photographs: Hufton+Crow

Daniel Libeskind’s “Future Flowers” Represent Oikos at Milan Design Week

Courtesy of Oikos

Daniel Libeskind, together with Italian paint company Oikos, has transformed the Università Statale’s Pharmacy Courtyard into a garden of “Future Flowers” as part of the 2015 Milan Design Week. On view through May 24, the was inspired by one of Libeskind’s “Chamberwork” drawings. It features a series of intersecting red metal “blades” that represent a collection of Oikos paints developed by Libeskind.

The Life Of Dalibor Vesely: Teacher, Philosopher, Acclaimed Academic

Dalibor Vesely (1934-2015) at the AA, London, in 2013. Image © Valerie Bennett

Dalibor Vesely, a celebrated architectural historian, philosopher and teacher, died this week in London aged 79. Over the course of his teaching career, which spanned five decades, he tutored a number of the world’s leading architects and thinkers from Daniel Libeskind, Alberto Pérez-Gómez and Robin Evans, to Mohsen Mostafavi and David Leatherbarrow.

Vesely was born in in 1934, five years before the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia. Following World War II, he studied engineering, architecture, art history and philosophy in , Munich, Paris and Heidelberg. He was awarded his doctorate from Charles University () having been taught and supervised by Josef Havlicek, Karel Honzik, and Jaroslav Fragner. Although later he would be tutored by James Stirling, it was the philosopher of phenomenology Jan Patočka who, in his own words, “contributed more than anyone else to [his] overall intellectual orientation and to the articulation of some of the critical topics” explored in his seminal book, Architecture in the Age of Divided Representation, published in 2004.

LOBBY #2: Projecting Forward, Looking Back

© Cameron Clarke

From Vitruvius to Le Corbusier, words and writing have always played an essential role in architectural discourse. One could argue that crafting words is akin to orchestrating space: indeed, history’s most notable architects and designers are often remembered for their written philosophies as much as they are for their built works.

With the exception of a few of architecture’s biggest names, the majority of practicing architects no longer exploit the inherent value writing offers as a means for spatial and theoretical communication. This trend is exacerbated by the fact that many architectural schools place little emphasis on the once-primary subjects of history and literature, resulting in a generation of architects who struggle to articulate their ideas in words, resulting in an ever-growing proliferation of ill-defined “archispeak.”

LOBBY is an attempt from students of ’s Bartlett School of Architecture to reclaim the potency of the written word, presenting in their second issue an ambitious array of in-house research and external contributions. The theme is Clairvoyance, and the journal seeks to investigate the ways in which architects are forced to constantly grapple with the possibilities and uncertainties of designing spaces that exist in the intangible realm of the world-to-be.

In Residence: Daniel Libeskind

The latest installation of the In Residence series, Polish-born architect Daniel Libeskind welcomes NOWNESS into his Manhattan apartment, just five blocks north of Ground Zero.

“I love it in the evening, because you can see how beautiful New York is; every building is a sculpture,” says the architect. “They’ve got plumbing, so they’re not pure sculpture, but they are really abstract works of lives… In this condensed environment, there is so much richness.”

Video: Tour Through Mons International Congress Xperience with Daniel Libeskind

In light of the recent opening of Mons International Congress Xperience (MICX), Daniel Libeskind hosted a private tour through the conference center, explaining his thinking behind the building’s expressive form. The experience was captured on this short film by Spirit of Space with the intention to open the discussion up to a larger audience.

The building, an important new landmark in the Belgium city of Mons, is described by Libeskind as “an expression of contrasting geometric forms.” Aside form providing function and “lively” spaces for auditoria and conference use, the building aims to be “a hinge between the old city and the new.”

Mons International Congress Xperience (MICX) / Studio Libeskind + H2a Architecte & Associés

© Hufton + Crow

Architects: Studio Libeskind, H2a Architecte & Associés
Location: Avenue des Bassins, 7000 , Belgium
Owner: City of Mons
Area: 12500.0 sqm
Year: 2015
Photographs: Hufton + Crow

Video: Daniel Libeskind on Masterplanning Ground Zero

“Its an adventure, because it’s a highly political, highly emotional, highly complicated process, to get something built on the site which is about memory,” explains Daniel Libeskind. “It’s a day that changed the world… and architecture responds in constructing something that has sense for people, that has spirit.”

In this latest installment by the Louisiana Channel,  recounts his involvement and intentions behind the Ground Zero master plan. Rejecting the idea of building mega structures and exploiting the site’s real estate, Libeskind focused his efforts on the people of New York and using architecture as a means for healing.

Watch the video about to hear Libeskind’s story.

Daniel Libeskind Reflects On Designing Buildings With ‘Emotional Weight’

Canadian National Holocaust Monument, . Image © Government of Canada

In an interview with Shaunacy Ferro for FastCo DesignDaniel Libeskind looks back over his built works and discusses the significant ‘emotional weight’ imbued in many of his projects, from the Jewish Museum in Berlin to his masterplan for Ground Zero in . When asked why he continually returns to projects such as Holocaust memorials – with the Canadian National Holocaust Memorial currently underway in Ottawa - Libeskind stated: “It’s not something that I choose very lightly, because it’s very difficult, but I believe that it’s very important.” For him, creating these monuments is part of the act of doing “something that moves us beyond just the darkness and gives us something positive. [...] Even when it comes to the memory, you can’t just dwell on the irreversibility of the tragedy. You have to have something hopeful.”

Diagram: Canadian National Holocaust Monument. Image © Government of Canada

AD Classics: Jewish Museum, Berlin / Daniel Libeskind

Read the article in full here.

Mies. TV: Alternative Coverage of the 2014 Venice Biennale

Courtesy of Mies. TV

In June of this year seven architecture students came together to film the vernissage of the Venice Biennale. Undaunted by the unrelenting Venetian sun and the prospect of being faced by some of the world’s greatest living architects and curators, the team – spanning four nationalities – spent three days feverishly talking to anyone and everyone (in between pasta and espresso breaks). Having built up a comprehensive picture of the opening days of the Biennale in a series of short, uninhibited filmed interviews, Mies. TV proudly presents their alternative, slightly shaky coverage of the 2014 Venice Biennale.

Watch short interviews with the likes of Jacques Herzog (Herzog + de Meuron), Daniel Libeskind, Patrik Schumacher (Zaha Hadid Architects), Sir Peter Cook (CRAB Studio), Wolf D. Prix (Coop Himmelb(l)au), Sam Jacob (FAT), and ArchDaily’s very own Editor-in-Chief – David Basulto - after the break.

Drawings from Famous Architects’ Formative Stages to be Exhibited in St. Louis

Zaha Hadid, The World (89 Degrees), 1984. Image Courtesy of Kemper Art Museum

As a student of architecture, the formative years of study are a period of wild experimentation, bizarre use of materials, and most importantly, a time to make mistakes. Work from this period in the life of an architect rarely floats to the surface – unless you’re Zaha Hadid or Frank Gehry, that is. A treasure trove of early architectural drawings from the world’s leading architects has recently been unearthed from the private collection of former Architectural Association Chairman Alvin Boyarsky. The collection is slated to be shown at the Kemper Art Museum, Washington University, St. Louis, as a part of the exhibition Ambience: Alvin Boyarsky and the Architectural Association from September 12th to January 4th, 2015.

Take a look at the complete set of architects and drawings for the exhibition after the break.

A Prize for Promise: GAGA’s Hunt for the New Hadid

Post-Graduate Runner-up, GAGA 2013. Rob Taylor – Golden Temple of Trash

A few years ago London’s Architectural Association held an exhibition called First Works: Emerging Architectural Experimentation in the 1960s & 1970s, which wonderfully gathered together early projects from a host of the most famous names in architecture. In both Zaha Hadid’s gorgeously animated plan/perspectives of the Taoiseach’s Residence and Daniel Libeskind’s intensely unstable drawings of Micromegas, you can already sense a lifetime of formal exploration ahead for the pair; and yet who would ever guess the unique tectonic language to come from the anonymously mundane drawings of the Sequoyah Educational Research Centre by Morphosis?

When I set up the Global Architecture Graduate Awards (GAGAs) at The Architectural Review in 2012, it was with the insight that, at its best, the work produced at the start of a career can be its most daring and projective. At that fertile threshold between the academy and practice, uncertain graduates can be years ahead of more assured and mature colleagues in the creative risks they are willing to take.

VIDEO: Daniel Libeskind on Drawing, Architecture’s Forgotten Fundamental

In this video from our friends at Spirit of Space, Daniel Libeskind talks about his installation for the Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale, entitled ‘Sonnets in Babylon’. The installation deals with drawing, an act that Libeskind believes is “the foundational art, and the mystery and the magic of all buildings and cities.” To Libeskind, drawings are akin to religious materials, communicating meaning without the use of a fixed language and each with its own power to shape the way we understand the world around us. At the end he gives a hint as to why he is so attached to drawings: ”I drew for many years before I even built a building. But I based those buildings that I built on the drawings I made… Every is also a tool for the future.”

Daniel Libeskind on Italy, Design, & the State of Architecture Today

Rendering of the CHAU 43 residential project in Berlin, whose facade will be clad in Libeskind’s titanium ceramic porcelain tile.. Image Courtesy of Studio Daniel Libeskind

In this interview with Daniel Libeskind, originally featured on Metropolis as Q&A: Daniel Libeskind on Italy, Product Design, and the State of Architecture Today, talks to Libeskind about his perspective on Italian culture, its influence on his career, and his most recent foray into product design.

When you talk to Daniel Libeskind, no single question has a simple answer. From his days as a young musical prodigy (he played the accordion) to his directorship at Cranbrook Academy, not to mention his voracious passion for literature, the fascinating episodes of his life all come together, informing his approach to design and architecture. His career path is an unusual one. And while that is true for many architects, his is particularly interesting, where each twist and turn, no matter how ostensibly disconnected, seem to have always prepared him for his next step. Take his two highest profile jobs, the Jewish Museum in Berlin and the master plan for Ground Zero. The two are intrinsically linked—the museum’s official opening to the public in 2001 was originally scheduled on September 11. The project had taken 13 years of political maneuvering to realize. Similarly, Libeskind’s World Trade Center site master plan was marred by a decade of delays and alterations, which threatened to blot out his original design intentions. One monumental task after the other, eerily similar in challenging circumstances, both offering the architect a rare opportunity to helm projects richly entrenched in emotion, symbolism, and historical significance.

Now as his career moves beyond these two important projects, the architect’s connection to is beginning to play a pivotal role in his work. He moved there after his time at Cranbrook, when he was looking for new career challenges. Libeskind has been back in America since he was commissioned the Ground Zero project, but he recently opened up a studio in Milan, where he, his wife, and son oversee the firm’s forays in product design.

I caught up with Libeskind at his Lower Manhattan office overlooking Ground Zero to talk about Italy and his involvement in upcoming design fairs there, Milan Design Week and the Venice Architecture Biennale.

Inside the Homes of Eight Famous Architects

Shigeru Ban’s Tokyo house. Image © Hiroyuki Hirai

Originally published in Metropolis Magazine as “Inside the Homes and Workspaces of 8 Great Architects“, this article shows the spaces occupied by some of the best-known architects in the world. Documented for an exhibition that will be featured at the Milan Design Week 2014, the images give a glimpse inside the private worlds of some of our favorite designers.

It’s a cliche that architects have messy workspaces. From chaos comes creation, so the phrase goes. But an upcoming exhibition at this year’s Salone del Mobile intends to dispel the myth. Where Architects Live will present glimpses into the personal spaces of eight significant architects: Shigeru Ban, Mario Bellini, David Chipperfield, Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas, Zaha Hadid, Marcio Kogan, Daniel Libeskind and Bijoy Jain of Studio Mumbai.

Curator Francesca Molteni interviewed each of the designers in their private homes and came away with one finding: architects are actually quite tidy. The studios are all pristinely ordered; books are neatly stowed away, figurines and objets astutely displayed, and table tops swept clean. The photographs below are part of the exhibition materials, produced with the help of scenographer Davide Pizzigoni, which faithfully document the physical environments in images, video, and audio. These will be used to recreate the architects’ “rooms” at Salone del Mobile in April.

Where Architects Live is not limited to satisfying our curiosity about what these architects’ homes look like. Richard Rogers’ affirmation that “a room is the beginning of a city” resonates with the project’s aim in trying to articulate its subjects’ personal tastes and obsessions, and how those are reflected in their architectural work.

Read on to see more images of the inside of architects’ homes and studios

Museum Round Up: The Box is Back

Clyfford Still Museum. Image © Jeremy Bittermann

In a recent article for the Denver Post, Ray Rinaldi discusses how the box is making a comeback in U.S. museum design. Stating how architecture in the 2000’s was a lot about swoops, curves, and flying birds – see Frank Gehry and Santiago Calatrava - he points out the cool cubes of David Chipperfield and Renzo Piano. We’ve rounded up some of these boxy works just for you: the Clyfford Still Museum, the Kimbell Art Museum Expansion, The St. Louis Art Museum’s East Building, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien’s Barnes Foundation, and Shigeru Ban’s Aspen Art Museum. Each project begins to show how boxes can be strong, secure, and even sly. Check out more about the article here.