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  1. ArchDaily
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  3. Spotlight: Daniel Libeskind

Spotlight: Daniel Libeskind

Spotlight: Daniel Libeskind
Denver Art Museum. Image © Bitter Brecht
Denver Art Museum. Image © Bitter Brecht

In the architecture world, few designers can claim to have a more 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 used to great effect in museums and memorials—but which he has equally adapted to conference centers, skyscrapers, and shopping malls.

Denver Art Museum. Image © Bitter Brecht Jewish Museum, Berlin. Image © Mal Booth Dresden’s Military History Museum. Image © Bitter Bredt, Courtesy of Studio Daniel LIbeskind Mons International Congress Xperience (MICX) / Studio Libeskind + H2a Architecte & Associés. Image © Hufton+Crow + 18

© Bundeswehr / Mandt <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Festakt_zur_Neuer%C3%B6ffnung_des_Milit%C3%A4rhistorischen_Museums_der_Bundeswehr_-_Daniel_Libeskind.jpg'>via Wikimedia</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en'>CC BY 2.0</a>
© Bundeswehr / Mandt via Wikimedia licensed under CC BY 2.0

Born in Poland shortly after the end of the second world war, Libeskind's parents were Jewish survivors of the Holocaust. As a child, Libeskind was a talented musician, but after his family moved to New York when he was 13, Libeskind set out on the path toward architecture. He received a degree in architecture from The Cooper Union in 1970 and a postgraduate degree from the School of Comparative Studies at Essex University for History and Theory of Architecture.

Jewish Museum, Berlin. Image © Guenter Schneider <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:JewishMuseumBerlinAerial.jpg'>via Wikimedia</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY 3.0</a>
Jewish Museum, Berlin. Image © Guenter Schneider via Wikimedia licensed under CC BY 3.0

In his early career, Libeskind was a theorist and professor, however his career as a practicing architect began in the late 1980s, as he started entering competitions while living in Milan. He finally started his own firm in Germany soon after winning the 1989 competition to design the Jewish Museum in Berlin, which—after a decade-long development period—became a runaway critical success and the platform for a hugely successful career.

Dresden’s Military History Museum. Image © Bitter Bredt, Courtesy of Studio Daniel LIbeskind
Dresden’s Military History Museum. Image © Bitter Bredt, Courtesy of Studio Daniel LIbeskind

Libeskind transferred his firm's headquarters to New York City in 2003, following his appointment as masterplanner for the redeveloped World Trade Center site. Through projects such as these, Libeskind has established himself as one of the world's foremost architects in projects which deal with tragedy and loss. Yet this has not prevented him from finding success in more commercially-driven markets; Libeskind has even established an industrial design studio, Studio Libeskind Design, which has developed products for clients in over ten different countries since 2012.

Jewish Contemporary Museum San Francisco. Image © Fernando Herrera
Jewish Contemporary Museum San Francisco. Image © Fernando Herrera

Besides the Jewish Museum in Berlin and the World Trade Center Masterplan, Libeskind's most well-known projects include the Extension to the Denver Art Museum, his extension to the Royal Ontario Museum and the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester, UK.

Mons International Congress Xperience (MICX) / Studio Libeskind + H2a Architecte & Associés. Image © Hufton+Crow
Mons International Congress Xperience (MICX) / Studio Libeskind + H2a Architecte & Associés. Image © Hufton+Crow

See all of Daniel Libeskind's completed projects featured on ArchDaily via the thumbnails below, and further coverage at the links below those:

Denver Art Museum. Image © Bitter Brecht Dresden’s Military History Museum. Image © Bitter Bredt, Courtesy of Studio Daniel LIbeskind Vanke Pavilion – Milan Expo 2015. Image © Hufton+Crow Westside Bruennen. Image Courtesy of Daniel Libeskind Grand Canal Theatre. Image © Ros Kavanagh The Ascent at Roebling’s Bridge. Image © Bitter Brecht Mons International Congress Xperience (MICX) / Studio Libeskind + H2a Architecte & Associés. Image © Hufton+Crow Jewish Museum, Berlin. Image © Guenter Schneider <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:JewishMuseumBerlinAerial.jpg'>via Wikimedia</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY 3.0</a> Jewish Contemporary Museum San Francisco. Image © Fernando Herrera Felix Nussbaum Museum. Image © Bitter Brecht Reflections. Image Courtesy of keppel bay pte ltd-a Vitra. Image © Ana Mello V&A Spiral. Image © Balmond Studio & Studio Libeskind Ogden Centre. Image © Hufton+Crow National Holocaust Monument (Ottawa, Canada). Image © doublespace photography + 18

TED Talk: Daniel Libeskind's 17 words of architectural inspiration

Daniel Libeskind's Jewish Museum Berlin Photographed by Laurian Ghinitoiu

Video: Jewish Museum in Berlin

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

Rising from Tragedy: A Conversation with Calatrava, Childs, and Libeskind by Andrew Caruso

Video: Daniel Libeskind on Masterplanning Ground Zero

Daniel Libeskind On the Poetics of Memory and Time in Architecture

AD Classics: 1988 Deconstructivist Exhibition at New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

Studio Libeskind's Military Museum Through the Lens of Alexandra Timpau

In Residence: Daniel Libeskind

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

Video: Daniel Libeskind on the "Jungle" of New York City

Daniel Libeskind Discusses "Building Memory"

Daniel Libeskind on Immigration, New York City, and 'the State of the World'

Daniel Libeskind to Receive the 2011 Medal of Honor from AIA New York

References: Studio Daniel LibeskindWikipedia

Cite: Connor Walker. "Spotlight: Daniel Libeskind" 12 May 2018. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/505040/happy-birthday-daniel-libeskind/> ISSN 0719-8884
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