DANIEL LIBESKIND | World Of Wonders
We all aspire to live each day inspired, enlightened, and in high spirit. As we move about the world, the spaces we inhabit influence our well-being. When an architect believes in the miraculous qualities of the buildings he creates, we all benefit from his work by experiencing a space manifested with passion and love.
Daniel Libeskind is not only an architect, but a former music virtuoso, poet, professor, and artist, whose career took several turns before he completed his first building at the age of 52. Libeskind’s various areas of expertise make his designs uniquely his own. Daniel is interested in the world and the spirit, finding his way in life with his love and belief in drawing. Through his drawing, the architect creates art that is awe-inspiring and unexpected.
Born in Lód’z, Poland, in 1946, Mr. Libeskind immigrated to the United States as a teenager and settled in the Bronx with his family. He was interested in the arts from a young age and studied the accordion in Poland, continuing with music in New York and Israel on an American-Israel Cultural Foundation Scholarship. However, Daniel soon turned his attention to the fascinating world of architecture. He received his professional degree in architectural design from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in 1970 and a postgraduate degree in the history and theory of architecture from the School of Comparative Studies at Essex University in England.
Daniel briefly worked as an apprentice to several notable architects but found working for someone else unimaginative, he wanted to do things his own way. While living in Italy, the perfect opportunity was presented to the talented architect. He was invited to enter the Berlin City Edge competition to help design a conceptual architectural piece next to the Berlin Wall. His entry consisted of large models that were decorated with collages of cut paper and imagery, which contrasted with the other entries. Libeskind’s unique, inspired design won the competition, but the demolition of the wall made the project impossible to complete.
Despite what seemed to be a setback, he was not deterred from seeking success. Daniel entered another competition for The Jewish Museum in Berlin with a proposal that was very different from what was expected, and he won. This project was so important to him because of his Jewish background and life in Germany after the Holocaust. This would be his first major project to be received with great recognition, followed by even greater acclaim after winning the tender for the reconstruction of the former World Trade Center site in New York, which he entitled Memory Foundations.
It was during this period that Daniel and his wife Nina moved their Studio Libeskind from Berlin to New York. Daniel is full of admiration for the people who work with him, that like his projects are from all over of the world. They are his family of interconnected interests. Nina is able to look into someone eyes and immediately connect with them to tell if they are meant to be part of this unique family. Their studio is without hierarchy, it’s more like a creative lab than a traditional design studio. Everyone can rise to whatever level they aspire to.
Daniel’s creative process starts on site with an abstract drawing exercise. He likes to engage with a sense of the place by experiencing the sights, sounds, and atmosphere himself. He researches the people who will use the space to gain a larger perspective. It is essential to him to evoke an emotion “for people to have the feeling of being alive in the space.”
Striving to be original, Libeskind is conscious of overcoming habits that can tie the mind to the past. Hence he is always looking to the future and continues to find inspirations towards the surprising in his designs.
“Being involved in the creative process is about joy and freedom, and the intertwining of both is the essence of living.”
When envisioning the future for Studio Libeskind, the architect revealed: “I wish a stranger from an unknown part of the world would ask me to build something unexpected or something very expected in a place that is new to me.”
This Fall, Daniel released his first monograph that explores his creative process through the lens of built projects. Libeskind opens the door to his unique creative process and his methods for discovering new directions in his work. He tells the stories behind his most important creations in words and sketches, plans and photography. Far more than a monograph, Edge of Order is an intimate portrait of art in action.
This year Daniel is remaking the iconic Swarovski Christmas Star at Rockefeller Center®. Libeskind’s Star is a brilliant showcase of Swarovski’s 120-year heritage of turning light into delight. The 900-pound star is 9-foot 4-inches in diameter and features 70 spikes covered in 3 million Swarovski crystals. “The new star for Swarovski at Rockefeller Center® is inspired by the beauty of starlight – something that radiates meaning and mystery into the world. There is nothing more fantastic, enigmatic, transcendental and wondrous than a star!” – said Libeskind.