Daniel Libeskind

05 Jan 2018

Whilst most of us abandoned our architectural aspirations the moment the Lego set was mangled by the dog Daniel Libeskind has gone on to become one of the world’s most eminent architects and one of Łódź’s proudest exports. Born here in 1946 to Dora and Nachman Libeskind, both Polish Jews and Holocaust survivors, Libeskind displayed an early inclination for the accordion rather than architecture, a talent that earned him a scholarship in 1959 to play alongside a then-unknown Itzhak Perlman at the America Israel Cultural Foundation. Shortly afterwards the Libeskind family put Poland in their rearview as they left for New York City on one of the last immigrant boats.

It was there that Libeskind shelved the accordion and turned to the trade that would make him famous. In 1970 he graduated from Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art followed by a postgraduate degree from the University of Essex in history and theory of architecture. It wasn’t all work for Libeskind, however, as he met wife and business partner Nina while at Camp Hemshekh in upstate New York in 1966 and married her several years later. As architecture devotees the couple decided to forsake the traditional honeymoon and instead traveled the United States visiting various Frank Lloyd Wright structures on a fellowship.

Following school Libeskind held a variety of jobs, including being an apprentice to architect Richard Meier and a brief stint at the New York Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies. While employed as the head of the architecture department at the Cranbrook Academy of Art Libeskind won the first four design competitions he entered, including his proposal for the Felix Nussbaum Haus in Berlin. This museum housing the works of the German-Jewish painter who died in the Holocaust was completed in 1998 and would be his first finished building (for those keeping track, that means Libeskind didn’t see a building constructed until age 52).


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Over a year ago
I'm saddened to see Warsaw disfigured by a vulgar Daniel Libeskind design. Orco property Group should have quit while they had the chance and the building was stalled. Now the city is another casualty of the dreaded "Libeskind Effect".
Over a year ago
Lodz is just the latest city to get fooled into thinking Daniel Libeskind is a good architect. He was stopped from destroying London's V&A Museum. In New York he was fired from the Ground Zero Project. (Denver Toronto and Dublin were not so lucky.) Thankfully here in Boston his project died to to lack of interest and a growing awareness that Libeskind is something of a self-promoting con man. If Poland wants Libeskind they are welcome to have him 100 of the time. Just keep him out of the rest of the world.
Over a year ago
Martin Heitz
Your story reads like one of Daniel Libeskind's own lopsided Press Releases. The truth is somewhat different. Libeskind's Museum work in Denver and Toronto are almost universally despised. (His Toronto museum made the list of the World's Top 10 Ugliest Buildings.) Libeskind's lack of technical skill showed up in Denver and his design was so bad it leaked for three years requiring his roof to be replaced at a cost of millions of dollars. So when Daniel's own wife decided to build out the Libeskind's home in New York she hired another architect best known for his cozy traditional designs. Libeskind's reputation tanked in the US and now he's a developer hack churning out projects of no architectural significance.
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