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

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 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.

Shortlist Announced for Canadian Holocaust Monument

site of future National Holocaust Monument. Image Courtesy of Canadian Architect

Daniel Libeskind and David Adjaye, as well as four other shortlisted teams, are competing to design the National Holocaust Monument in . 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:

Exhibition: Daniel Libeskind’s Architectural Drawings

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 (, 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
Website: http://www.etgallery.co.il/exhibition/never-say-the-eye-is-rigid-architectural-drawings-of-daniel-libeskind/
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,

Libeskind’s Institute for Democracy and Conflict Resolution Abandoned

Libeskind’s Orion Building, Post Graduate Centre of London Metropolitain University, Holloway. Image © janis.photo

Following the news in 2010 that Daniel Libeskind was to design a “landmark” building for the UK’s , 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”.

Future Uncertain for Daniel Libeskind’s Maze Peace Centre

© Studio

After initially getting the go-ahead earlier this year, the design for the Maze Peace Centre in Northern Ireland, designed by Daniel Libeskind in collaboration with McAdam Architects, was dealt a major blow last week, when First Minister of Northern Ireland Peter Robinson retracted his support for the controversial building, saying that it would be wrong to continue with the build without achieving a consensus.

Read on after the break to find out more about the controversy.

Video: Jewish Museum in Berlin

Since its opening in 2001, the ever inspiring Jewish Museum in Berlin has experienced the addition of the Studio Daniel Libeskind designed Glass Courtyard in 2007, and The Academy which was recently completed and opened in 2013. With the museum as the focus and inspiration driving these two recent additions, Spirit of Space took this opportunity to provide us with another look at this emotionally moving masterpiece. From the very beginning, Libeskind believed the extension to the museum was about establishing and securing an identity within Berlin, which was lost during WWII. In cinematic form, their film attempts to express the uneasy sequential essence of Libeskind’s work.

Libeskind Selected to Design Ohio Statehouse Holocaust Memorial

via The Dispatch

 has been selected among two other renowned artists to design the Ohio Statehouse Holocaust Memorial in Columbus. The 18-foot tall memorial brushed stainless-steel memorial will be punctuated by the six-pointed Star of David and accompanied by a 40-foot walkway with words etched in limestone.

In Progress: Zlota 44 / Daniel Libeskind

© ORCO photo by Krzysztof Wierzbowski

Architects: Daniel Libeskind
Location: , Poland
Architect Of Record: Artchitecture SP ZOO
Area: 804,602 sq ft
Year: 2013
Photographs: ORCO photo by Krzysztof Wierzbowski, Courtesy of

Daniel Libeskind: The Art of Memory Lecture

Imperial War Museum North by Studio

A 1970 graduate of Cooper Union‘s architecture program, world-renowned architect Daniel Libeskind will be delivering ‘The Art of Memory’ lecture, a free event, on Tuesday, April 30th, at 6:00pm. The master planner for Ground Zero and the architect of one of Europe’s most visited museums, the Jewish Museum Berlin, will discuss the role that memory played in his work on those projects and others, such as the Danish Jewish Museum in Copenhagen, Denmark; the Imperial War Museum in Manchester, England; the Military History Museum in Dresden, Germany; and the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. He will also talk about the acute sense of responsibility he feels, when accepting commissions for projects addressing Jewish history, to create work that honors not only the harsh realities, but also the resilience of the Jewish spirit. For more information, please visit here.

Best Architect-Designed Products of Milan Design Week 2013

Tools for Life / OMA © Ilan Rubin

This week at the 52nd edition of the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in , over 2,500 exhibitors showcased an endless collection of the latest international and home-furnishing designs. Among them included a variety of elegant and intelligently designed items envisioned by some of our favorite architects. Continue after the break to scroll through a list of the best architect-designed featured at the Design Week 2013.

‘Future of Cities’ Daniel Libeskind Lecture

Courtesy of Washington University in

Taking place this coming Tuesday, April 2nd at 6:30pm, Daniel Libeskind, one of the most celebrated architects working today, will be delivering the ‘Future of Cities’ lecture as part of the Assembly Series at Washington University in St. LouisHis presentation, sponsored by the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts and the Architecture Student Council, is free and open to the public and will take place in Graham Chapel. Well known for his Jewish Museum in the museum’s radical, strikingly asymmetrical design, is a true icon for the city and the country of Germany. He has received numerous awards including the 2001 Hiroshima Art Prize – an award given to an artist whose work promotes international understanding and peace, never before given to an architect. Fore more information, please visit here.

‘Never Say the Eye Is Rigid: Architectural Drawings of Daniel Libeskind’ Exhibition

© Michele Nastasi

Opening March 11, and on view until April 30, Rome’s Ermanno Tedeschi Gallery (Via del Portico d’Ottavia 7) will offer Never Say the Eye Is Rigid:Architectural Drawings of Daniel Libeskind, the city’s first of architectural drawings by the world-renowned architect. The includes 52 original drawings from eight diverse Libeskind projects in Germany, Italy, Poland, United Kingdom and the , including the architect’s signature work, the Jewish Museum Berlin (2001), and Memory Foundations, Ground Zero (2003), the master plan for the World Trade Center site. More information on the exhibition after the break.

Libeskind Shortlisted for Ohio Statehouse Holocaust Memorial

Ohio Statehouse via Google Maps

Daniel Libeskind is among three semi-finalists competing to design the Ohio Statehouse Holocaust Memorial in Columbus. The privately funded memorial will be built south of the Ohio Statehouse on the grassy 10 acre Capitol Square, just east of the Scioto River.

As stated in the competition brief, “The memorial itself must help everyone who visits and works in the Statehouse understand not just the history of the Holocaust, but also the fact that today we must continue to stand against evil. Artists are asked to create a piece that will serve as a permanent memorial in remembrance of all victims of the Holocaust (1933-1945) and those Ohioans who participated in the liberation of the death camps during World War II. The memorial should provide enlightenment on man’s inhumanity to man and inspire people to think and act differently in the face of discrimination, hatred, antiSemitism and genocide.”

The three semi-finalists are:

Daniel Libeskind’s Academy of the Jewish Museum Berlin Opens Today

Exterior Rendering; Courtesy of

It’s been nearly twelve years since visitors first experienced the emotionally charged design of Daniel Libeskind’s Jewish Museum Berlin. Since then, the museum has become an world-renowned icon whose public and education programs have more than doubled in size. With an ever-expanding archive and library, it was decided the museum should be supplemented by an additional facility.

Today, alongside museum officials, Daniel Libeskind celebrates the opening of the Academy of the Jewish Museum Berlin. The facility was created from a former Flower Market (Blumengrossmarkt), whose shell undergirds the new structure. It’s 25,000 square foot, one story space now houses a library, archives and education center, along with additional office, storage and support space.

A sneak peak and the architects’ description after the break…

Germany’s Leuphana launches Online-University with Urban ThinkTank

Germany’s Lüneburg is venturing into global online learning with the launch of the Leuphana Digital School, a “cost-and-barrier-free” academic platform that offers collaborative web-based learning led by distinguished scholars and experts.

So-called social learning systems are radically changing the field of academic education and setting new standards for the communication of knowledge. Internationally distinguished scientists from the Columbia University , the Arizona State University, the London School of Economics, the Goldsmiths University of London, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the ETH Zurich, the Collegium Helveticum and the University of Zurich, the Sun Yat-Sen University Guangzhou and the City University Hong Kong, as well as leading experts from politics, media and economy will be advising students participating in Leuphana’s online-University, starting with the prototype course: “ThinkTank – Ideal City of the 21st Century”.

Renzo Piano is not an architect

© Renzo Piano Building Workshop

Well, according to the UK’s Architects Registration Board (ARB) he isn’t.

Last week, received an email from the ARB asking them to refrain from calling Renzo Piano and Daniel Libeskind an architect, since “they are not registered with the ARB they are not entitled to be described as such”.

The statement said: “BD referred to two eminent individuals as architects – neither of whom are on the UK register. This is one of a number of peripheral areas, and architects often contact us when they are concerned about the use of the title ‘architect’ in the press although no breach of the legislation in fact occurs.”