Daniel Libeskind

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is architect-daniellibeskind.jpgborn May 12, 1946. Łódź, Poland


Daniel Libeskind (born May 12, 1946) is a Polish-American architect, artist, professor and set designer. Libeskind founded Studio Daniel Libeskind in 1989 with his wife, Nina, and is its principal design architect.[1]

He is known for the design and completion of the Jewish Museum in Berlin, Germany, that opened in 2001. On February 27, 2003, Libeskind received further international attention after he won the competition to be the master plan architect for the reconstruction of the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.[2]

Other buildings that he is known for include the extension to the Denver Art Museum in the United States, the Grand Canal Theatre in Dublin, the Imperial War Museum North in Greater Manchester, England, the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the Felix Nussbaum Haus in Osnabrück, Germany, the Danish Jewish Museum in Copenhagen, Denmark, Reflections in Singapore and the Wohl Centre at the Bar-Ilan University in Ramat-Gan, Israel.[3] His portfolio also includes several residential projects. Libeskind’s work has been exhibited in major museums and galleries around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Bauhaus Archives, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Centre Pompidou.[4]

1 Personal life
2 Career
3 Criticism
4 Work
4.1 Completed
4.2 Under construction
4.3 Proposed or in design
4.4 Libeskind design products
5 Recognition
6 Bibliography
7 References
8 External links
Personal life

Libeskind’s addition to the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto (2007).
Born in Łódź, Poland, Libeskind was the second child of Dora and Nachman Libeskind, both Polish Jews and Holocaust survivors. As a young child, Libeskind learned to play the accordion and quickly became a virtuoso, performing on Polish television in 1953. He won a prestigious America Israel Cultural Foundation scholarship in 1959 and played alongside a young Itzhak Perlman. Libeskind lived in Poland for 11 years and can still speak, read, and write the Polish language.[5]

In 1957, the Libeskinds moved to Kibbutz Gvat, Israel and then to Tel Aviv before moving to New York in 1959.[6] In his autobiography, Breaking Ground: An Immigrant’s Journey from Poland to Ground Zero, Libeskind spoke of how the kibbutz experience influenced his concern for green architecture.[7]

In the summer of 1959, the Libeskinds moved to New York City on one of the last immigrant boats to the United States. In New York, Libeskind lived in the Amalgamated Housing Cooperative in the northwest Bronx, a union-sponsored, middle-income cooperative development. He attended the Bronx High School of Science. The print shop where his father worked was on Stone Street in Lower Manhattan, and Libeskind watched the original World Trade Center being built in the 1960s.[8] Libeskind became a United States citizen in 1965.[9] Libeskind met Nina Lewis, his future wife and business partner, at the Bundist-run Camp Hemshekh in upstate New York in 1966. They married a few years later and, instead of a traditional honeymoon, traveled across the United States visiting Frank Lloyd Wright buildings on a Cooper Union fellowship.[10] Nina now serves as COO for Studio Daniel Libeskind. She is the daughter of the late-Canadian political leader David Lewis and the sister of former Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations Stephen Lewis.

In 1968, Libeskind briefly worked as an apprentice to architect Richard Meier. In 1970, he received his professional architectural degree from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art; he received a postgraduate degree in History and Theory of Architecture at the School of Comparative Studies at the University of Essex in 1972. The same year, he was hired to work at Peter Eisenman’s New York Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies, but he quit almost immediately.[11] He is both a U.S. and Israeli citizen.[12]

Nina and Daniel Libeskind have three children: Lev, Noam, and Rachel.[13]

Libeskind began his career as an architectural theorist and professor, holding positions at various institutions around the world. From 1978 to 1985, Libeskind was the Director of the Architecture Department at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.[14] His practical architectural career began in Milan in the late 1980s, where he submitted to architectural competitions and also founded and directed Architecture Intermundium, Institute for Architecture & Urbanism. Libeskind has lived, among other places, in New York City, Toronto, Michigan, Italy, Germany, and Los Angeles,[10] and has taught at numerous universities across the world, including the University of Kentucky, Yale University, and the University of Pennsylvania.[9] Since 2007, Libeskind has been a visiting professor at the Leuphana University Lüneburg in Lüneburg, Germany.

Libeskind completed his first building at the age of 52, with the opening of the Felix Nussbaum Haus in Osnabruck, Germany in 1998.[15] Prior to this, critics had dismissed his designs as “unbuildable or unduly assertive.”[16] In 1987, Libeskind won his first design competition for housing in West Berlin, but the Berlin Wall fell shortly thereafter and the project was cancelled. Libeskind won the first four project competitions he entered including the Jewish Museum Berlin in 1989, which became the first museum dedicated to the Holocaust in WWII and opened to the public in 2001 with international acclaim.[17] This was his first major international success and was one of the first building modifications designed after reunification. A glass courtyard was designed by Libeskind and added in 2007. The Academy of the Jewish Museum Berlin also designed by Libeskind was completed in 2012. LiBeSkInd

Libeskind is perhaps most famous for being selected by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation to oversee the rebuilding of the World Trade Center,[18] which was destroyed in the September 11, 2001 attacks. He titled his concept for the site Memory Foundations. He was the first architect to win the Hiroshima Art Prize, awarded to an artist whose work promotes international understanding and peace. Many of his projects look at the deep cultural connections between memory and architecture.[19]

Studio Daniel Libeskind, headquartered two blocks south of the World Trade Center site in New York, is currently working on more than forty projects across the world. He has designed numerous cultural and commercial institutions, museums, concert halls, convention centers, universities, residences, hotels, and shopping centers. The studio’s most recent completed projects include Haeundae Udong Hyunai I’Park in Busan, South Korea, Academy of the Jewish Museum Berlin in Berlin, Germany, modifications and additions to the Bundeswehr Military History Museum in Dresden, Germany and Reflections at Keppel Bay in Singapore.

In addition to his architectural projects, Libeskind has worked with a number of international design firms to develop objects, furniture, and industrial fixtures for interiors of buildings. He has been commissioned to work with design companies such as Fiam,[20] Artemide,[21] Jacuzzi,[22] TreP-Tre-Piu,[23] Oliviari,[24] Sawaya & Moroni,[25] Poltrona Frau,[26] Swarovski,[27] and others.[28]

Libeskind’s design projects also include sculpture. Several sculptures built in the early 1990s were based on the explorations of his Micromegas and Chamberworks drawings series that he did in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The Polderland Garden of Love and Fire in Almere, Netherlands is a permanent installation completed in 1997 and restored on October 4, 2017.[29] Later in his career, Libeskind designed the Life Electric sculpture that was completed in 2015 on Lake Como, Italy. This sculpture is dedicated to the physicist Alessandro Volta.

Libeskind has designed opera sets for productions such as the Norwegian National Theatre’s The Architect in 1998 and Saarländisches Staatstheater’s Tristan und Isolde in 2001. He also designed the sets and costumes for Intolleranza by Luigi Nono and for a production of Messiaen’s Saint Francis of Assisi by Deutsche Oper Berlin. He has also written free verse prose, included in his book Fishing from the Pavement.[30]

While much of Libeskind’s work has been well-received, it has also been the subject of often severe criticism.[31] Critics often describe Libeskind’s work as deconstructivist.[32] Critics charge that it reflects a limited architectural vocabulary of jagged edges, sharp angles and tortured geometries,[33] that can fall into cliche, and that it ignores location and context.[34] In 2008 LA Times critic Christopher Hawthorne wrote: “Anyone looking for signs that Daniel Libeskind’s work might deepen profoundly over time, or shift in some surprising direction, has mostly been doing so in vain.”[35] In 2006, in the New York Times Nicolai Ouroussoff stated: “his worst buildings, like a 2002 war museum in England suggesting the shards of a fractured globe, can seem like a caricature of his own aesthetic.”[33] In the UK magazine Building Design, Owen Hatherley wrote of Libeskind’s students’ union for London Metropolitan University: “All of its vaulting, aggressive gestures were designed to ‘put London Met on the map’, and to give an image of fearless modernity with, however, little of consequence.”[36] William JR Curtis in Architectural Review called his Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre “a pile-up of Libeskindian clichés without sense, form or meaning” and wrote that his Hyundai Development Corporation Headquarters delivered “a trite and noisy corporate message”.[34]

In response, Libeskind says he ignores critics: “How can I read them? I have more important things to read.”[37]

The following projects are listed on the Studio Libeskind website. The first date is the competition, commission, or first presentation date. The second is the completion date or the estimated date of completion.


Jewish Museum Berlin, 1999

Imperial War Museum North, 2001

London Metropolitan University, London, 2004

The Ascent at Roebling’s Bridge, Covington, Kentucky. 2008

Westside interior, 2008

Military History Museum – Dresden, 2010

Złota 44, Warsaw

“The Wings” – sculpture in Munich
1989–2001 Jewish Museum Berlin – Berlin, Germany
1995–1998 Felix Nussbaum Haus – Osnabrück, Germany
1997–2001 Imperial War Museum North – Greater Manchester, England, United Kingdom
1998–2008 Contemporary Jewish Museum – San Francisco, California, United States
2000–2003 Studio Weil – Majorca, Spain
2000–2006 Extension to the Denver Art Museum, Frederic C. Hamilton Building – Denver, Colorado, United States
2000–2006 Denver Art Museum Residences – Denver, Colorado, United States
2000–2008 Westside Shopping and Leisure Centre – Bern, Switzerland
2001–2003 Danish Jewish Museum – Copenhagen, Denmark
2001–2004 London Metropolitan University Graduate Centre – London, England, United Kingdom
2001–2005 The Wohl Centre – Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel
2002–2007 Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, extension to Royal Ontario Museum and renovation of ten of its existing galleries – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
2003–2005 Tangent, Facade for Hyundai Development Corporation Headquarters – Seoul, South Korea
2004–2005 Memoria e Luce, 9/11 Memorial – Padua, Italy
2004–2007 Glass Courtyard addition to the Jewish Museum Berlin – Berlin, Germany
2004–2008 The Ascent at Roebling’s Bridge, residential condominium building – Covington, Kentucky, United States
2005–2009 MGM Mirage’s CityCenter, retail and public space on the Las Vegas Strip – Paradise, Nevada
2004–2010 Grand Canal Square, Grand Canal Theatre and Commercial Development – Dublin, Ireland
2010 Wheel of Conscience monument, M.S. St. Louis Memorial, Pier 21 – Halifax, Canada
2001–2011 Military History Museum – Dresden, Germany
2002–2011 Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre at the City University of Hong Kong – Hong Kong
2006–2011 Reflections at Keppel Bay, high-rise and low-rise villa apartment blocks – Keppel Bay, Singapore
2007–2008 18.36.54 private residence – Connecticut, United States
2007–2011 Haeundae I Park Marina, skyscraper complex – Busan, South Korea
2009 Libeskind Villa – prefab smart house – Rheinzink GmbH & Co. KG Global Headquarters, Datteln, Germany
2010–2012 Jewish Museum Berlin Academy in the Eric F. Ross Building, academy – Berlin, Germany
2009–2013 Kö-Bogen, Königsallee, Düsseldorf, Germany
2012–2015 Mons International Congress XPerience, Mons, Belgium
2002-ongoing World Trade Center master plan – New York City, New York
2013-2014 Ohio Holocaust & Liberators Memorial, Columbus, Ohio
2014–2015 Life Electric, sculpture – Como, Italy
2015 Vanke Pavilion, sculpture – Milan, Italy[38]
2015 Future Flowers, sculpture – Milan, Italy
2015 Milan Expo Gates, sculpture – Milan, Italy
2010–2015 Vitra Tower – Sao Paulo, Brazil
2013-2016 Lotte Mart – Songdo, South Korea
2005–2016 L Tower and Sony Centre for the Performing Arts Redevelopment – Toronto, Canada
2013-2016 Corals at Keppel Bay, Singapore
2012-2016 Sapphire, – Berlin, Germany
2007-2017 Złota 44, residential tower – Warsaw, Poland
2011–2017 Main building and auditorium, Leuphana University of Lüneburg – Lüneburg, Germany
2015–2017 Odgen Centre for Fundamental Physics at Durham University, Durham[39]
2014-2017 National Holocaust Monument – Ottawa, Canada
2011-2018 Zhang Zhidong Museum – Wuhan, China
2017-2018 MO Museum – Vilnius, Lithuania
Under construction
2004–2020 CityLife (Milan), masterplan – Milan, Italy
2015-2019 CityLife (Milan), Tower – Milan, Italy[40]
2012-2021, Lotte Mall Songdo & Officetel, Songdo, South Korea
2013-2019 Century Spire, Manila, Philippines
2017-2020 Verve, Frankfurt, Germany
2017-2020 East Thiers Station, Nice, France
2017–2023 Tampere Central Arena – Tampere, Finland
Proposed or in design
2009–? Archipelago 21, masterplan – Seoul, South Korea
2009–? Harmony Tower, Seoul, South Korea
2009–? Dancing Towers, Seoul, South Korea
2008–? New York Tower, New York City, United States
2012-2020 Amsterdam Holocaust Memorial – Amsterdam, Netherlands
2018 – Great Synagogue of Vilna restoration, Vilnius, Lithuania[41]
2017-2022 Occitanie Tower, Toulouse, France
2014-2020 Downtown Tower-k18B, Vilnius, Lithuania[42][43]
2018-2020 Sumner Houses – Brooklyn, New York
2019-2024 Ngaren: The Museum of Humankind – Kenya
Libeskind design products
2007 Royal Ontario Museum Spirit House Chair, Nienkamper, Toronto, Canada
2009 Tea Set, Sawaya & Moroni
2009 Denver Door Handle, Olivari
2011 eL Masterpiece, Zumtobel Group, Sawaya & Moroni
2012 Torq Armchair and Table, Sawaya & Moroni
2012 Zohar Street Lamp, Zumtobel Group
2012 The Idea Door 1 & 2, TRE-Più
2013 The Wing Mirror, Fiam
2013 Flow, Jacuzzi
2013 Paragon Lamp, Artemide
2013 Nina Door Handle, Olivari
2014 Ice Glass Installation[44]
2016 Water Tower, Alessi
2016 Gemma Collection, Moroso
2016 Swarovski Chess Set, Swarovski
2017 Cordoba light, Slamp
2017 Dining and side Table, Citco
2019 Boaz Chair, Wilde + Spieth
First architect to win the Hiroshima Art Prize, awarded to an artist whose work promotes international understanding and peace (2001)[45]
In 2003, he received the Leo Baeck Medal for his humanitarian work promoting tolerance and social justice.
AIANY Merit Award for the National Holocaust Monument, Ottawa, Canada (2018)
MIPIM/The Architectural Review, Future Project Award for L’Occitanie Tower in Toulouse, France (2018)
CTBUH Urban Habitat Award for the World Trade Center Master Plan (2018)
AIA National Service Award for the World Trade Center Master Plan (2012)
Fellow for the American Institute of Architects (2016)
RIBA Regional Award for Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics at Durham University (2017)
Received an Honorary Doctorate of Architecture from the University of South Florida.
Doctor Honoris Causa of the New Bulgarian University from 2013 in recognition of his influence on the contemporary architectural research and practice
First recipient of honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Art (DFA) from University of Ulster in recognition of his outstanding services to global architecture and design (2009)[46]
MIPIM award in Best Urban Regeneration Project for KoBogen (2014)
FIABCI Prix d’Excellence Award, Residential for Reflections at Keppel Bay (2013)
European Museum Academy Prize for the Military History Museum (2013)
Gold medal for Architecture at the National Arts Club (2007)
RIBA International Award for Wohl Centre at Bar-Ilan University (2006)
RIBA International Award for the Imperial War Museum North (2004)
RIBA Award for the London Metropolitan University Graduate Centre (2004)
Appointed as the first Cultural Ambassador for Architecture by the U.S. Department of State (2004)[47]
Honorary member of the Royal Academy of Arts in London, England (2004)
Man of the Year Award from the Tel Aviv Museum of Art (2004)
Goethe Medal for cultural contribution by the Goethe Institute (2000)
Time Magazine Best of 1998 Design Awards for the Felix Nussbaum Haus (1998)
Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1996)
Venice Biennale First Prize Stone Lion Award for Palmanova Project (1985)
National Endowment for the Arts Design Arts Grant for Studies in Architecture (1983)
American Institute of Architects Medal for Highest Scholastic Achievement (1970)
Daniel Libeskind: Countersign (1992) (ISBN 0-8478-1478-5)
Daniel Libeskind Radix-Matrix (1997) (ISBN 3-7913-1727-X)
Jewish Museum Berlin (with Helene Binet) (1999) (ISBN 90-5701-252-9)
Daniel Libeskind: The Space of Encounter (2001) (ISBN 978-0789304834)
Daniel Libeskind (2001) (ISBN 0-7893-0496-1)
Breaking Ground (2004) (ISBN 1-57322-292-5)
Counterpoint (2008) (ISBN 1-58093-206-1)
In the Unlikeliest of Places: How Nachman Libeskind Survived the Nazis, Gulags, and Soviet Communism (2014) Annette Libeskind Berkovits; Foreword by Daniel Libeskind (ISBN 978-1-77112-0661)
Edge of Order (2018) (ISBN 978-0451497352)
Libeskind, Daniel (2004). Breaking Ground. New York: Riverhead Books. p. 88. ISBN 1-57322-292-5.
Rochan, Lisa (February 28, 2003; updated April 16, 2018). “Libeskind shows genius for complexity”. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved July 5, 2019.
Studio Daniel Libeskind, 1. “Projects”. Archived from the original on May 11, 2008. Retrieved June 12, 2008.
Studio Daniel Libeskind. “Exhibitions”. Archived from the original on May 11, 2008. Retrieved July 29, 2008.
Marek, Michael (February 18, 2010). “Architect Libeskind took unusual path to an international career”. Deutsche Welle. dw.com. Retrieved July 5, 2019.
“Hiroshi Sugimoto-Daniel Libeskind: The Conversation” (press release). Royal Ontario Museum. May 22, 2007. Archived from the original on April 2, 2012. Retrieved July 5, 2019.
Breaking Ground: An Immigrant’s Journey from Poland to Ground Zero By Daniel Libeskind
Libeskind, Daniel (2004). Breaking Ground. New York: Riverhead Books. pp. 11, 10, 35. ISBN 1-57322-292-5.
Studio Daniel Libeskind. “Studio Daniel Libeskind: Daniel Libeskind”. Retrieved June 12, 2008.
Davidson, Justin (October 8, 2007). “The Liberation of Daniel Libeskind”. New York Magazine. pp. 56–64.
Libeskind, Daniel (2004). Breaking Ground. New York: Riverhead Books. p. 41. ISBN 1-57322-292-5.
See, Frequent Flyer. When the Wife is a Lucky Charm, Don’t Leave Home Without Her. The New York Times, Tuesday, August 9, 2011, p. B6.
Jewish Museum Berlin. “Jewish Museum Berlin – Daniel Libeskind”. Archived from the original on October 13, 2007. Retrieved February 25, 2009.
“History – Cranbrook Academy of Art”.
Yu, Myung-hee (2007). Daniel Libeskind. OPUS 1946-present. South Korea: I-Park. p. 34. ISBN 978-1-57322-292-1.
Pearman, Hugh (July 27 – August 1, 1998). “Walls hold back the forgetting”. Zeitgeist. pp. 26–27.
Hooper, John; Connolly, Kate (2001-09-08). “Empty museum evokes suffering of Jews”. the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-07-19.
“Voices on Antisemtisim interview with Daniel Libeskind”. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. 2007-09-13. Archived from the original on 2010-12-01.
“Leading architect Daniel Libeskind talks on how buildings are associated with commemoration”. Oxford Brookes University.
“Fiam – Daniel Libeskind”. Fiamitalia.it. Archived from the original on 2017-04-18. Retrieved 2017-03-13.
“daniel libeskind structures paragon table lamp for artemide”. Designboom.com. Retrieved 2017-03-13.
“Jacuzzi® and Daniel Libeskind together at Fuorisalone 2013”. Jacuzzi.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-03-13.
“Idea”. – TreP-TrePiù (in Italian). Archived from the original on 2015-07-23.
“Olivari B. – Daniel Libeskind”. archive.is. 16 June 2013. Archived from the original on 16 June 2013.
“Sawaya & Moroni”. Sawayamoroni.com. Retrieved 2017-03-13.
“Poltrona Frau”. Pfgroupcontract.com. Retrieved 2017-03-13.
“Articles – Daniel Libeskind | Atelier Swarovski”. atelierswarovski.com. Retrieved 2018-07-19.
“Daniel Libeskind Exhibits Six New Design Objects At Salone Del Mobile”. Architizer.com. 2013-04-12. Retrieved 2017-03-13.
“Daniel Libeskind: Polderland Garden of Love and Fire (1997)”. landartflevoland.nl. Retrieved 2018-07-19.
Davies, Colin. “Fishing From the Pavement – Book Reviews”, “The Architectural Review”, April 1998
Kyle MacMillian. “Pro-Libeskind forces fire back”. The Denver Post. Retrieved 2017-03-13.
Erbacher, Doris and Kubitz, Peter Paul. “‘You appear to have something against right angles”, The Guardian, October 11, 2007
Nicolai Ouroussof (2006-10-12). “A Razor-Sharp Profile Cuts Into a Mile-High Cityscape”. The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-03-13.
Curtis, William JR (2011-09-21). “Daniel Libeskind (1946- ) | Thinkpiece”. Architectural Review. Retrieved 2017-03-13.
“Slash and yearn”. Articles.latimes.com. 2008-06-04. Retrieved 2017-03-13.
Hatherley, Owen (2013-11-07). “Whatever happened to student housing? | Analysis | Building Design”. Bdonline.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-03-13.
“Daniel Libeskind: ‘I’m not interested in building gleaming streets for despots’ – News – Architects Journal”. 20 June 2013. Archived from the original on 20 June 2013.
Rago, Danielle (2015-05-26). “Detail: The Tiles of Studio Libeskind’s Vanke Pavilion”. Architect Magazine.
“Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics, Durham – RIBAJ”. ribaj.com.
“Libeskind Tower: now under construction after the completion of Isozaki and Zaha Hadid’s projects”. Archived from the original on 2017-11-07. Retrieved 2017-11-06.
“Peres invited to advise on restoration of Vilnius synagogue”, Times of Israel.
“Downtown Tower – Libeskind”. Libeskind. Retrieved 2018-10-06.
“K18B – A-Class Office and Radisson RED Lifestyle Hotel Complex – Vilnius MIPIM2018”. Vilnius MIPIM2018. Archived from the original on 2018-10-07. Retrieved 2018-10-06.
“Lasvit – glass installations, sculptures and design lighting”. Lasvit.com. Retrieved 2017-03-13.
Hiroshima City. “General Description of the Hiroshima Art Prize”. Archived from the original on September 19, 2008. Retrieved August 3, 2008.
University of Ulster Honours World-Leading Architect Daniel Libeskind Archived 2012-04-05 at the Wayback Machine University of Ulster News Release, November 11, 2009
“Document not found”. 10 July 2011. Archived from the original on 10 July 2011.
External links
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Daniel Libeskind.
Official Studio Libeskind homepage
Daniel Libeskind papers, 1968–1992 Research Library at the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, California
Libeskind Residences as part of CityLife (Milan) project
Libeskind Tower as part of CityLife (Milan) project
Daniel Libeskind at TED Edit this at Wikidata
Architecture in the 20th Century Liebeskind in conversation with Richard Weston and Melvyn Bragg, first broadcast 25 March 1999 on BBC4’s ‘In Our Time’.
Unbuilding Walls Libeskind interviewed by Graft Architects.