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 Prague in 1934, five years before the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia. Following World War II, he studied engineering, architecture, art history and philosophy in Prague, Munich, Paris and Heidelberg. He was awarded his doctorate from Charles University (Prague) 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.
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 London’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.
“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.”
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.”
“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, Daniel Libeskind 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.
In an interview with Shaunacy Ferro for FastCo Design, Daniel 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 New York City. 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.”
Read the article in full here.
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.
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 Drawing 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 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.
In this video from our friends at Spirit of Space, Daniel Libeskind talks about his installation for the Venice 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 drawing is also a tool for the future.”
Daniel Libeskind, international artist and architect, turns 67 today. His work, which is recognizable for its angular form and use of intersecting planes, consists of over twenty completed buildings – and many more under construction - across the globe.
Originally a musician, Libeskind received a degree in architecture from Cooper Union in 1970 and a postgraduate degree from the School of Comparative Studies at Essex University for History and Theory of Architecture. He started his own firm in Germany soon after winning the 1989 competition to design the Jewish Museum in Berlin. Firm headquarters transferred to New York City in 2003, following his appointment as master planner for the redeveloped World Trade Center site. He is perhaps most well-known for this project. Libeskind has also established an industrial design studio, Studio Libeskind Design. This Milan-based office has developed products for clients in over ten different countries since 2012.
Some of Libeskind’s more famous works include German retail and office building Kö-Bogen; luxury residential complex Reflections at Keppel Bay in Singapore; and the Grand Canal Theatre in Dublin, Ireland. We invite you to look at the full list of his featured works after the break.
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, Paul Clemence 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 Italy 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.
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
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.
Daniel Libeskind and David Adjaye, as well as four other shortlisted teams, are competing to design the National Holocaust Monument in Canada. Planned to be built in a prominent site in the heart of Ottawa, near the Canadian War Museum, the $4.5 million monument is expected for completion in 2015.
The jury, made up of internationally renowned art and design professionals, a representative from the National Holocaust Monument Development Council and a Holocaust survivor, chose the following six teams as finalists:
On October 23, 2013, Tel Aviv’s Ermanno Tedeschi Gallery will open its newest show, “Never Say the Eye Is Rigid: Architectural Drawings of Daniel Libeskind”. The exhibition, in collaboration with the Ermanno Tedeschi Gallery (Milan, Turin, Rome ,Tel Aviv), which brings together 52 original drawings will include depictions of the architect’s signature work, the Jewish Museum Berlin (2001), and his 2003 master plan for Ground Zero in New York City.
The exhibition arrives in Tel Aviv after opening at the Ermanno Tedeschi Gallery in Rome and in Turin. From Tel Aviv the show will travel to the Ermanno Tedeschi Gallery in Milan then travel to London and to New York City (location and dates to be announced). The exhibition in Tel Aviv will show some sketches exposed in Italy and other new projects.
The sketches reflect a wide range of styles and techniques and range from almost-classical line drawings to highly expressive watercolors and free-flowing ink sketches. All of the works reflect a connection between the philosophical ideas underlying the project depicted and that project’s unique aesthetics – its particular color, mood, posture and tension. From the extremely large scroll depicting the Ground Zero master plan to the intimate sketches of the Jewish Museum Berlin, the drawings offer a rare and intriguing glimpse into Mr. Libeskind’s approach to some of his most famous projects. For more information click here.
Title: Exhibition: Daniel Libeskind’s Architectural Drawings
Organizers: Ermanno Tedeschi Gallery Tel Aviv
From: Wed, 23 Oct 2013
Until: Mon, 23 Dec 2013
Venue: Ermanno Tedeschi Gallery, Tel Aviv
Address: Lilienblum 3, Tel Aviv, Israel
Following the news in 2010 that Daniel Libeskind was to design a “landmark” building for the UK’s University of Essex, it has been announced that the plans have been abandoned. What was known as the Institute for Democracy and Conflict Resolution (IDCR) “was intended to become the ‘anchor’ to a new Knowledge Gateway research park at the university’s Colchester Wivenhoe Campus”.