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Daniel Libeskind

(1946 - )


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Daniel Libeskind, B.Arch. M.A. BDA AIA is an international figure in architectural practice and urban design. He is well known for introducing a new critical discourse into architecture and for his multidisciplinary approach.  His practice extends from building major cultural and commercial institutions - including museums and concert halls- to convention centers, universities, housing, hotels, shopping centers and residential work.  He also designs opera sets and maintains an object design studio.

Born in postwar Poland in 1946, Mr. Libeskind became an American citizen in 1965.  He studied music in Israel (on the America-Israel Cultural Foundation Scholarship) and in New York, becoming a virtuoso performer.  He left music to study architecture, receiving his professional architectural degree in 1970 from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York City.  He received a postgraduate degree in History and Theory of Architecture at the School of Comparative Studies at Essex University (England) in 1972.

In 1989, Mr. Libeskind won the competition for the Jewish Museum Berlin, which opened to the public in September 2001 to wide public acclaim.  The city museum of Osnabrück, Germany, The Felix Nussbaum Haus, opened in July 1998.  In July 2002, the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester, England opened to the public. Atelier Weil, a private atelier/gallery, opened in Mallorca, Spain in September 2003.  The Graduate Student Centre at the London Metropolitan University opened in March 2004, and the Danish Jewish Museum opened in Copenhagen in June 2004.  Tangent, an office tower for the Hyundai Development Corporation, opened in Seoul, Korea in February 2005. Memoria e Luce, a 9/11 memorial in Padua, Italy opened on September 11, 2005, and  the Wohl Centre, Bar Ilan University, Tel Aviv, Israel opened in October, 2005. Most recently,  the  Frederic C. Hamilton building, Extension to the Denver Art Museum, alongside the Denver Museum Residences, in Colorado, opened  in October  2006, the Extension to the Royal Ontario Museum, Canada, opened in June of 2007, and the Glass Courtyard, an extension to the Jewish Museum Berlin, which covers the original Courtyard, was completed in the Fall 2007.

Several of Mr. Libeskind’s projects are currently under construction, including: Westside, the largest shopping and wellness center in Europe in Bern, Switzerland; the Military History Museum in Dresden, Germany; the Ascent at Roebling’s Bridge, a residential high-rise in Covington, Kentucky; the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, California; the Grand Canal performing Arts Centre and Galleria in Dublin, Ireland; City Center, a retail complex, on the Las vegas Strip in Nevada; Zlota 44, a residential high rise in Warsaw, Poland and a grand piano, designed for Schimmel Pianos, is currently in production. Upon winning the World Trade Center design competition in February 2003, Daniel Libeskind was appointed as master plan architect for the site in New York City.  Memory Foundations is now under construction.

Mr. Libeskind has many other projects in design and planning, such as the New Center for Arts and Culture in Boston, Massachusetts; the redevelopment of the Hummingbird Centre - the L Tower, for the Performing Arts in Toronto, Canada ; the redevelopment of the historic Fiera Milano Fairgrounds in Milan, Italy,  New Songdo City, in Incheon, South Korea; a waterfront, residential development, Reflexions, in keppel bay, Singapore; Rejuvenation, a center for children in the Katrina-ravaged area of Gulfport, Mississippi; Editoriale Bresciana Tower in Brescia; and Orestad Downtown Master Site Plan, in Copenhagen, Denmark, which is a 5 km development zone.

Mr. Libeskind has taught and lectured at many universities worldwide.  He has held such positions as the Frank O. Gehry Chair at the University of Toronto, Professor at the Hochschule für Gestaltung, Karlsruhe, Germany, and the Cret Chair at the University of Pennsylvania, and the Louis Kahn Chair at Yale University.  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.  He was awarded the 1999 Deutsche Architekturpreis (German Architecture Prize) for the Jewish Museum Berlin; also the 2000 Goethe Medallion for cultural contribution; in 1996 the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Architecture and in the same year the Berlin Cultural Prize; in 1990 a membership in the European Academy of Arts and Letters; in 1997 an Honorary Doctorate from Humboldt Universität, Berlin; also in 1999 an Honorary Doctorate from the College of Arts and Humanities, Essex University, England; in 2002 an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Edinburgh and an Honorary Doctorate from DePaul University, Chicago, and most recently in 2004, an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Toronto.  Two of Mr. Libeskind’s buildings won RIBA Awards in 2004, the London Metropolitan University Graduate Centre and the Imperial War Museum North, the latter of which was also nominated for the Stirling Prize.  Also in 2004, Mr. Libeskind was appointed the first Cultural Ambassador for Architecture by the U.S. Department of State, as part of the CultureConnect Program.

Daniel Libeskind’s work has been exhibited extensively in major museums and galleries around the world and has also been the subject of numerous international publications in many languages.  His buildings have appeared on the covers of Time Magazine, Newsweek, Architectural Record, and the Wall Street Journal, among others.  Mr. Libeskind’s ideas have influenced a new generation of architects and those interested in the future development of cities and culture.  In September, 2004, Riverhead Books (Penguin Group) published his memoir, Breaking Ground.  The foreign language editions were published in January/February of 2005, encompassing more than 90 countries.


Sources: Studio Daniel Libeskind

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