ARCH 463A: THEORIES OF REPRESENTATION

Todd Beyreuther 0437508 FINAL PAPER 9 March 06

2 3 . The dynamic layering of lines. A red line in the drawing may not have a physical presence in the built work. foll made no rift.” wandered t nothing rlicues all ing. symbols. zigs. law. The deeper meaning of these ‘expressions’ used in Daniel Libeskind’s drawings and models is the focus of this investigation. one immediately recognizes that his representations go beyond traditional architectural convention. obey ed no and more universal forces. n cted tings an re.INTRODUCTION During initial exposure to Daniel Libeskind’s architectural drawings and models. Instead the line represents an idea that might inform an ultimate architectural form. bigger ideas. za to nothin elements added up otational no space. but there is clearly more invoking this reaction. It is possible that the abstract quality of the representations create a separation from representation tradition. art cr ip (Jeffrey K f seriali no logic o ty or pro cess. d grids. In fact. While his representations are fascinating objects in themselves. There exists a power to the graphics and textures that connects architecture with greater concerns. constru “The gra c structu 10) no esoteri red ncounter. the reduction of his drawings and models extend beyond a notion of just craft and explores a deeper connection to his larger theoretical ideas. and text may appear irrational. hono paces of E tor. mean gs. Deciphering the purpose of the representations can be challenging. and cu icted noth g. owed sense. One might assume that Libeskind simply has interest in the craft of representation. one would surely miss their power without consideration of the greater meaning that they communicate. The S re cura rchitectu itic and a nis. The representative elements or ‘expressions’ shift the purpose of the drawings and models from the tangible to the theoretical. dep . however ultimately they express a powerfully rational order and meaning. they ad .

without the effort to get involved. his representations. Since his transition to professional practice. Marc Kirschbaum states in his UW architecture thesis.) demands exploration and further examination. This need provides a significantly different experience than the reading of conventional design drawings. reinforces the these works. and other artwork throughout his years in academia. especially competition submittals. Fur and only the will of a rea ir status as architecture. Possessing a background that touches on music.‘READING’ of the WORK Prior to winning the competition for the Jewish Museum in Berlin (1989–his first built project). lines. one will not get anything out of it. Libeskind produced and published drawings. Libeskind’s work (‘work’ will refer to all forms of representation—drawings. The observer is engaged to study and ‘read’ the work. have revealed his theoretical background. writings. philosophy. models. it hints also at a para llel to my own expe rience of what is called architecture—a kind of connection which to others might ap pear strange or mad but which is on the contrary one of the few conn ections which seems to me possi ble. Coun tersign. As graphics the sign. gradually reveals intent upon study. 120) (Peter Eisenman. and sp eculative elements are interw oven and combine d in a kind of for mal chaos. “[Libeskind drawings] do not appear on a level of easy-consumable postmodern art. etc. 1990 4 5 . collages. m writings. and even mathematics. The work transcends a mere technical graphic and communicates the design synthesis and process.” (Aldo Rossi.” What initially appears to be an ad-hoc layering of found materials. intimate with architecture ”Libeskind’s drawings are ther.” y could only represent arc not have. 123) “…his work. the will. Counter ich intellectual.. by the act. 16) berlin.. ma thematical. the work of Daniel Libeskind was mainly theoretical in nature. in wh über den linden: model (el croquis. montages. There exists a need to search Libeskind’s compositions for underlying ideas. naming the t as graphics they could ir having a significance tha for reading insists on the hitecture. and lettering (refer über den linden model on facing page). the act of reading der to name them so. The idea driving the composition is not obvious at first.

e. The thre e-dimensional would result artifact that could at best echo but coul d not contain. i.. or ntent of thes e drawings… ” (Peter Eisenm an. 17) since I conven ncounte “Ever ces of E Spa d. Peter Eisenman suggests it is an intriguing and counter intuitive notion that a realized building might be the representation of its drawings and models (quote below). Breaking Ground. 115) 6 7 .. itectur rchitec egan a al arch b tion r. working “All architects are prostitutes. Countersi gn. 120) “To insist th at these are draw ings. ce of horren d an ab s” I’ve ha e office ture. The ibeskin aniel L (D real physical documents fo form (wheth r er as a threedimensional constructed model or a building. the conventional hierarchical relationship of drawing to building reverses. the tradition al role of arch drawing) wou itectural ld disappoint us.THE ROLE OF REPRESENTATION In an essay about Daniel Libeskind in Countersign. The drawings exist as more than just an efficient set of working documents to produce a built project. signify the co represent.they’ ll do whatever it takes for the chan ce to build” (Daniel Libeskind citing Philip John son. 19) tours centre for contemporary art: model (el croquis. In Libeskind’s work..

They can be devastating lines.” Any architect. and the ethical responsibility for these decisive lines. and rendering of the spaces between. or lines of faith. text. They are never random. Libeskind claims that lines are inherent to a site. they would be an indication that in their making. Alone. the lines of his drawings and models have little or no literal meaning. or any city planner who’s dealing that end in total closure and demise. Even if lines were to be graphic. The lines are only understood for their architectural substance when arranged with other lines to inform the spatial characteristics of the site. 1997 (The Spaces of Encounter. lines of hope and of spirit. “…one is not free just to invent the lines or to treat them as purely independent phenomena. has the responsibility of knowing the general trajectory. Foster. The impact of this aspect of his work is seen later is his approach to built work where the lines organize the realized architectural ideas (images below).LINES A consistent characteristic of a Libeskind composition is the use of lines to reveal design and thought process.. They are inevitably the lines along which the future will move. 165) berlin jewish museum: model (Countersign. 95) 8 9 . uozo. Countersign. Their presence may be historical or cultural in nature—it may speak to present uses or influences to the site or even predict future ‘trajectories’ (quote on the facing page). (Daniel Libeskind.. with the future. japan. there is someth ing that precedes this making and something which has already been distorted into its own future. … Perhaps the invisible lines are not solely abstract lines that you can not see. Meaning is applied to the arrangement of lines with texture. a future which might remain invisib le to those who are not sensitive to what they are handling. especially in the axonometric explorations of the Micromegas drawings (image on facing page). 13) “A spatial order develops from the mesh of signs within every drawing…” (Kurt W. el croquis. The lines serve as placeholders that represent the process of Libeskind’s thinking. 16) outside line: pavilion. 121) “micromegas—the architecture of end space”: drawing (countersign. Libeskind creates architectural explorations of lines in his early art.

the muse of comedy my Urania. the ce Terpsichore. the mus the muse without history. 110) 1 www. the arrangement of lines relates to the nine muses of Greek mythology that “preside over the arts and sciences. e of mutability and flexibility. it is up to the designer to find and respond to these lines.”1 These lines trace human action and define what the site should consist of.LINES: EXAMPLE A project emphasizing the arrangements of lines is the competition submittal for the Tours Centre for Contemporary Art (shown on this spread). the muse of astrono e at the 0 point. the muse of song rumental accompaniment muse of serious song to an inst Polyhumnia. the muse of epic poe history and historical poetry Clio. 111) tours cen 108) tre for co ry art: ntempora site plan (el croqu is. The lines are inherently part of the site.” (el croqu is. 109) competition. In both plan drawing and model. “The urb an schem e dissem inates th the site a e archite nd beyon cture acro d it thro ss the en ugh the M connecto tire surfa use Line rs to tim ce of s which b e. the muse of and tragedy Melpomene. the muse of poetry try accompanied by the flute Euterpe. These ecome th Muse Lin e structu es constit which re ral ute a ma invest th trix of fr e City w ith a sen acture li nes se of won der and relationsh ip. present. the ‘Zero Time Muse’ the mus Libeskind adds a tenth muse.eliki.com The Nine Muses: Erato. Although one would typically expect certain building or site elements to align with these lines. Libeskind does not always reveal if the lines directly relate to physical alignments or connections. The arrangement and visibility of lines in the drawings and models establish an architectural order. tours centre for contemporary art: model (el croquis. In the model created for the Tours Centre for Contemporary Art it is not directly obvious how the lines relate to the final form. the muse of lyric poe try and science Calliope. selected for 2nd phase 10 11 . the tours centre for contempory art: model (el croquis. the muse of dan Thalia. it is evident that they connect more with ideas and process than final form. not necessarily what exists in the current site.

At times. rs. music influences not only the development of theoretical ideas integrating the two disciplines. what sic. archite music? cture has always weight. what could be could leave less of more a trace in actual On the other hand experience than .” between architectu re and (Daniel Libeskind . of course.I was Bremen is anoth nic hall in sical interception “The philharmo pursuing as mu sic of a metaphor—mu tion. Relying on the line structure of clefs. Libeskind has also used blank music sheets for notes. 51) bremen philharmo nic hall: site plan (el croquis. but also his method of physical representation. Libeskind often connects architecture and design to music. I believe. For Libeskind. first prize. “I believe that th e relationship be tween these two conceptual nor sim fields is neither so ply practical. The Spaces of En (Daniel Libeskind bremen philharmonic hall: sections/elevations (el croquis. with public activ th ity.MUSIC & ARCHITECTURE Due to his strong background as a musician (he performed the accordion professionally when he first arrived to the United States—including a performance at Carnegie Hall with Isaac Stern and Zino Franciscati). sketching. 29) 12 13 . with matte been associated wi r.” noise strongly co sical interception ploration of a mu engage in the ex counter. 148) competition. When one ato the city…it is po temporary innov to the objects of nnected . If lely one thinks of mu immaterial. or even competition entries (refer to the Berlin Jewish Museum entry below) . I think that led many people these two polariti both in Europe an es have d in the Orient to about which tak come to certain co es precedence—it nclusions is usually a race music. and that I am at’s of course win in a competi of the city. The Spaces of En counter.. 142) was very lucky to er project that I . Libeskind literally includes musical graphics in drawings or model form (such as sheet music for texture) to explicate design synthesis.. 54) . 1995 be eum: compe rlin jewish mus tition entry (Bet ween the Lines. and th or to more conmusic hn Cage interested in the if one listens to Jo idered not a metaphor ich could be cons the city—but it is to can hear that wh ssible.

Jewish concentration camp prisoner lists. 106) tours centre for contemporary art: model (el croquis.MODELS Libeskind often layers his models with multiple materials. rivets. as are clear or translucent plastics. “A spatia l order d evelops fr om the m (Kurt W. and nails. 147) libeskind stud io: (el croquis. etc. 121) bremen philharmonic hall: model (el croquis. The application of these textures and hatching is selective and normally expresses the areas created by the lines. 109) competition. Metals or metallic finishes are common. selected for 2nd phase 14 15 . esh of sig ns within …” Foster. C ountersig n. phone books. Cardboard and wood often have applied texture coatings or rubbings directly to their faces to demonstrate fenestration and other details (refer to the Berlin Jewish Museum model on the facing page). Texture and hatching is commonly achieved with found printed paper such as newspaper. Some unique qualities of his models include frequent use of exposed fasteners such as screws.

“ dow a co ctur re a win hite gs a n rc awi in a s dr ing ) ind’ raw d 120 esk n of Lib ign. hatching. 17) (Libeskind. I oft e us arts and h th ts p ive i y: ug rat g or ular thro nar ildin ral ocab v tu bu But itec ned of a etc. which in the public and political cture.” Encounter. or section drawing. “By dropping the designa and engaging ‘function’. The Spaces of d uate e sit l st b ura mu tect ngs rchi awi fa is a dr xt o nse d’s onte is se skin c e n th ent Lib atio g in “… pres sent win s the epre Dra in es it g. ters ditio un tra . Co man isen er E (Pet alexanderplatz project: photomontage (el croquis. Drawings. Libeskind’s drawings and photo montages exhibit an expressive layered quality utilizing hatching and dark shadow rather than texture for definition. arch -defi alls. second prize 16 17 . and ‘program’. realm. e of tion s. despite being a dimensionally limited media. 114) competition. tions ‘form’. do itiqu ven n cr e. al r with hiev iter win t ac en l dra e of . s as well w u this al. 91) tours centre for contemporary art: roof plan (el croquis.DRAWINGS and MONTAGES In a similar manner as the models. The ‘expressions’ (now in the form of line weight. He communicates through abstract layers of applied information that conventionally is communicated in smaller scale vicinity plans or in written design statements. building plan. stat ors. and printed text) connect Libeskind’s urban responses to a specific site. still communicate the dynamic design synthesis present in the models and montages. the is synonymous with archite on a new dynamics of building take dimension.

24) competition. p (the ori nd tilts th rough Lu “The cam e camp a h goes th tude whic e site of th lar lati f the war cuts th a particu the end o proposal al axis at arch. positive response to Libeskind’s project persuaded the city to reconsider the program. 1 allenberg 5 Raoul W . Barracks of Sachsenhausen. or otherw ise domesticating the site. the rehabilitation of the physical and mental spirit: the dawn of a new Mourning… ” alizing the site with (Daniel Libeskind .S. Ornienburg.COMPETITIONS: EXAMPLE Although this investigation is a general overview of competition type work . X “Mournin g”. My ilt on axia p) was bu e camp on cam tion of th ncentrati re orienta inal SS co g e enti beck. a place where those who are trying to reb uild Germany can find a workplace. 91) “The program quite capturing of the character of the evil history of the site and the successful expression of the ‘hope incision’ as a positive intervention to the site. The competition called for an urbanization intervention of a former SS concentration camp that includes 10. 199 ibeskind (Daniel L X “Mourning”. the quietude of contem plation. ibilities fo ade it bec poss ever m e no more . The program proposed to reuse all of the existing buildings. disclose. At tr th m m the cen n because mous dea away fro senhause ith an infa from Sach ociated w as ass e marched marched Lubeck w ers were They wer g them. and em ployment future. These qualities are created not only with material choices. to reveal. Its aim is to bring peop le to this place.000 units of new housing to be built. and remem ber. At the same tim e it must be a place for hope. 26) emphatically reject s triviany plan for placin g housing on it. The Spaces of Encou nter. At right is a photo of the model and a drawing of the site plan. the urbanization of the former S. but also in the ghost rendering of the buildings that once occupied the site. One only needs to imagine how less effective a monotone cardboard model would be to realize the importance of Libeskind’s ‘expressions’. Daniel Libeskind disagreed with the appropriateness of the specified program and therefore submitted his alternative ideas even though he knew that he would be disqualified. This model is another example of a representation that invokes examination and a curiosity of history and also a hope of what can come through architecture. Because it is a model. Even though the first prize was given to another architect. 1992. of prison s inatin convoy thousand r exterm ause the in 1945. They n ” there wer a big ship cision’… wned in be dro e ‘hope in Lubeck to I called th to what roposed bed…I p was bom 9) Lecture. Sachsenhausen Urban Design: model (el croquis. the depth and material change of the incision emphasizes its power as an intervention to the otherwise ravished and evil quality of the rest of the model. Rather it suggests a land use that com bines an ecological interven tion and invention with an economic base for the city of Oranien burg. Berlin. special prize 18 19 . Sachse nhause lity. is one project that deserves special comment regarding the power of representation. the growth of new nature. The power in these representations lies in the Design n Urban : site plan (el croqu is.

or possibly a reality inherent to the political process involved with securing large scale public work? Don’t let the David Childses of the world win Daniel! “As arch itectural drawings instrumen gradually tal for act became m ual const ore techn ruction— ical—chie distinguis they lost hed many fly an attract of them in ive quality the past. photo montages (presumably some were digital manipulations–refer to the ‘Drawings and Montages’ spread) were used with images from the models. In a digital rendering of the World Trade Center site (below). that that of ex ploration and fanta (Kurt W. especially in his competition work. As Libeskind joins mainstream representation culture by utilizing the computer. fully rendered 3D computer models are common. 123) world trade ce nter site: digita l rendering (bre aking ground. the perspective view includes lines and text on the ground plane communicating additional information—although rather limited in nature compared to previous physical drawings and models. Although the designs are still recognizable as Libeskind’s work. 125) 132) 20 21 . Is this absence a result of the change in media. The absence of the abstract quality in Libeskind’s recent representations raises questions. C ountersig n. Of recent. It is harder to find published work of his physical models. a change in representational strategy.” Foster. digital media is creeping into the work of Daniel Libeskind. it is possible that his representations (refer to the rendering of the Royal Ontario Museum and the swimming facility on the facing page) will turn away from the unique craft qualities or the layered expressions that he has achieved in the past. the use of digital rendering and “photoshopped” human figures approach the common practice of designers trying to achieve realism as opposed to the abstract communication of design ideas or processes. During some early built work. the layering of ‘expressions’ common to his physical models is apparent in some current work. royal ontario museum: digital rendering (breaking ground. Despite the use of the computer.CHANGE As with most architects. 121) sw y: digital rend imming facilit ering (breaking ground. sy.

. University of Washington.BIBLIOGRAPHY el croquis 80. The University of Michigan College of Architecture + Urban Planning. Prestel-Verlag. 1990 Libeskind. New York. 1995 Libeskind. 1999 Libeskind. Jewish Museum Berlin. Daniel. Daniel Libeskind 1987-1996. Munich. New York. Cecil. 1997 22 23 . 1981 Libeskind. New York. Between Zero and Infinity. Unfolding. Daniel. Countersign. Daniel. Daniel. Daniel. Madrid. 2000 Libeskind. Netherlands Architecture Institute. London.l. Universe Publishing. From Theory to Architectural Gesture: A Stroll with Daniel Libeskind. Daniel & Balmond. Daniel. Riverhead Books. Academy Editions. el croquis. Master of Architecture thesis. 2004 Libeskind. 2002. Architectural Association. 1995 Raoul Wallenburg Lecture. Rotterdam. Marc. 1983 Libeskind. London. s. Breaking Ground. Libeskind. Daniel. The Space of Encounter. Rizzoli International Publications. London. Chamber Works. 1996 Kirschbaum.

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