Daniel Libeskind: Counterpoint

Architecture Department Fall 2009 Lecture Series

Daniel Libeskind 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 to convention centers, universities, housing, hotels, shopping centers, and residential work.

Born in postwar Poland in 1946, Libeskind studied music in Israel 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.

Libeskind built work portfolio is extensive including the Jewish Museum of Berlin, Germany; the Tangent, an office tower for the Hyundai Development Corporation, in Seoul, Korea; the Frederic C. Hamilton building, extension to the Denver Art Museum; and Westside, the largest shopping and wellness center in Europe in Bern, Switzerland. Several of Libeskind’s projects are currently under construction including a grand piano design for Schimmel. After winning the World Trade Center design competition in February 2003, Libeskind was appointed as master plan architect for the site in New York City, which is now under construction.

Libeskind has taught and lectured at many universities worldwide, holding 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.

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 other publications. In September, 2004, Libeskind published his memoir, Breaking Ground. In November, 2008, an extensive monograph of his work, Counterpoint, in conversation with Paul Goldberger, was published.