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ARCH IIIrd YEAR, 1120100277

Daniel Libeskind is a practitioner of deconstructive architecture incorporating

overhangs, diagonals, and other "indescribable" shapes in his architecture. Born in
Poland in 1946, he became an American citizen in 1965, studied music in Israel,
and received his B.Arch. under the guidance of John Hejduk and Peter Eisenman
at the Cooper Union in New York and a postgraduate degree in History and Theory
of Architecture at Essex University in England. Libeskind is an international figure
in architecture and urban design, well known for introducing, through a
multidisciplinary approach, the complex ideas, emotions and a new critical
discourse into architecture. His practice extends from building major cultural
institutions such as museums and concert halls, to urban projects, stage design,
art installations, and exhibitions.
His philosophies about architecture is that it tells a story about the world, our
desires and dreams. Architecture, and the buildings, are much more than a place,
they are destinations meant to evoke emotion and to make you think about the
world we all live in. buildings and urban projects are crafted with perceptible
human energy and that they speak to the larger cultural community in which they
are built.
Libeskind explains how his work has developed in the introduction of his book The
Space of Encounter:
The work has developed in unexpected directions through a practice that does not
mimic existing procedures, but instead attempts to break through into the
excitement, adventure, and mystery of architecture. By dropping the designations
form, function, and program, and engaging in the public and political realm,
which is synonymous with architecture, the dynamics of building take on a new
Libeskinds 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 museums 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.
Upon completion of Between the Lines, Libeskind reflects on his process:
The task of building a Jewish Museum in Berlin demands more than a mere
functional response to the program. Such a task in all its ethical depth requires the
incorporation of the void of Berlin back into itself, in order to disclose how the past

continues to affect the present and to reveal how a hopeful horizon can be opened
through the aporias of time.
Design characteristics: Classification





Design characteristics: Angular

Definition: essentially consists of complicated composition of hybrid volumes
with acute angles.





According to Libeskind, there are three basic ideas that formed the foundation for
the Jewish Museum design:
First, the impossibility of understanding the history of Berlin without
understanding the enormous intellectual, economic, and cultural contribution
made by its Jewish citizens. Second, the necessity to integrate physically and
spiritually the meaning of the Holocaust into the consciousness and memory of
the city of Berlin. Third, that only through the acknowledgement and incorporation
of this erasure and void of Jewish life in Berlin, can the history of Berlin and Europe
have a human future.
The museum provides an active interplay between the mental, visceral, and
emotional states of being of the visitor. The reactions of those who enter the
museum will be connected to their own view of history. The museum is not a
beginning, or an ending; it is the continuation of history.
The entire structure has been cladded chiefly with titanium-covered zinc. The base
of the complex runs in a broken, zigzag pattern, creating a floor plan that
resembles the Star of David, which Jews were forced by the Nazis to wear
displayed prominently on their clothing. Its accessible only via an underground
passage from the Berlin Museum's baroque wing. Throughout the length of the
museum runs a space known as the Void, which is a path of raw, blank concrete
walls. Visitors can see the Void, but they cannot enter it or use it to access other
parts of the museum; in this way it suggests both notions of absence and paths
not taken. Angular slices of window allow light that creates a disorienting, almost
violent feeling throughout the structure, while at the same time an adjacent
sculpture garden creates a sense of meditative silence. All three of the
underground axes intersect, symbolizing the connection between the three
realities (holocaust, emigration, continuity) of Jewish life in Germany. Because the
spatial experience is so powerful, many felt that the building might better serve as
a memorial without any installations. Therefore, Libeskind remodelled the building
somewhat to facilitate its museum function.
Simply stated, the museum is a zigzag with a structural rib, which is the Void of
the Jewish Museum running across it. And this Void is something which every
participant in the museum will experience as his or her own absent presence

Libeskind describes the museum in his own terms:

It is not a collage or a collision or a simple dialectic, but a new type of organization
which is organized around a centre which is not, around what is not visible. And
what is not visible is the richness of the Jewish heritage in Berlin, which is today
reduced to archival and archaeological material, since physically it has
Libeskind employs the very principles of deconstructive thought into his project.
Libeskind creates a new type of organization in which the organizing principle is
the non-existing center.
Libeskind attempts to create understanding of existence in the experience of his
designs. He does this through abstractions, superimpositions of the basic
principles of the environment that humans create for themselves. This
architecture insists on its own laws, on an uncompromising uniqueness that is
reflected in its overall configuration and in every detail, in its materials and
structural type.
In conclusion, I will end with Libeskinds personal statement explaining this new
form of architecture expressed in his project Between the Lines:
To this end, I have sought to create a new architecture for a time that would
reflect an understanding of history, a new understanding of museums, and a new
realization of the relationship between program and architectural space.
Therefore, this museum is not only a response to a particular program, but an
emblem of hope.
Libeskind has received many awards and has designed projects worldwide fame,
including the Jewish Museum Berlin, the Denver Museum, the Royal Ontario
Museum (Toronto), the Museum of Military History in Dresden, the master plan
of the Area Cero, Dancing Towers in Seoul, South Korea, and 9/11 Memorial in
New York.
Many of Daniel Libeskind projects are currently under construction, including
CityLife which recently got completed, as a rehabilitation project of the old
amusement park district of Milan, which includes a new urban park, as well as
residential, cultural, shopping and office, Zlota-44 a residential skyscraper in
Warsaw (Poland) projected to get completed by 2017, and New York Tower which
is meant to replace the old World Trade Center because of 9/11.

1. Schneider, Bernard. Daniel Libeskind Jewish Museum Berlin. Munich and
New York: Presetel-Verlag, 1999.
2. Daniel Libeskind and The Contemporary Jewish Museum: New Jewish
Architecture from Berlin to San Francisco
3. Libeskind, Daniel. The Space of Encounter. New York: Universe Publishing,
4. Daniel Libeskind, Radix-Matrix: Architekturen und Schriften by Daniel
Libeskind (1994)