ART

LIBESKIND%2C+DANIEL

LIBESKIND, DANIEL
LIBESKIND, DANIEL
POLAND
born May 12, 1946 in Łódź, Poland) is an American architect who rocketed to fame in 2003 after receiving a commission to create the master plan for the reconstruction of the World Trade Center. His architecture uses a language of skewed angles, intersecting geometries, shards, voids and punctured lines to communicate feelings of loss, memory, angst, ennui, cloudiness, and absence, all while addressing the placidity and hopelessness of the immediate situation. Most of his works are museums and galleries.

One of the leading contemporary architects of today, Daniel Libeskind is the son of Holocaust survivors and became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1965. He is a 1965 alumnus of the Bronx High School of Science. He studied music in Israel and became a virtuoso accordion performer before pursuing an architecture degree in New York City's prestigious Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in 1970. In 1972, he graduated from Essex University with a postgraduate degree in History and Theory of Architecture. Since 1989 he has lived in Berlin with his wife Nina and their three children, Lev, Noam, Rachel.

He is married to Nina Libeskind, daughter of former Canadian federal New Democratic Party leader David Lewis and sister of former Ontario NDP leader and United Nations ambassador Stephen Lewis.

Libeskind's early credentials were academic and esoteric.

In the 1980s he was head of the Architecture Department at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. The academic life gave way when he won two high-profile design competitions. The first was in 1989 to build the Jewish Museum in Berlin. The museum was to take more than 10 years to build and did not open until September 2001.

The second major competition Libeskind won during this period was for the Imperial War Museum North in Greater Manchester, England, which he won in 1997 and which was also completed in 2001.

Both of the museums have striking off-centered placement of simple geometric box structures. They also caught the eye of New York Governor George Pataki.