Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Daniel Libeskind... did he choose the right profession?

Felix Nussbaum Haus. Osnabrück, Germany.

Berlin Jewish Museum. Germany.

London Metropolitan University Graduate Center. UK.

Denver Art Museum extension. USA

Michael Lee-Chin Crystal. Toronto, Canada.

Starchitects... Some are admired... Others, on the other hand, face a huge wave of hatred and criticism despite being commissioned with significant buildings and constantly being sought after. One of those starchitects is Daniel Libeskind.

I like Libeskind designs, they look intriguing... however I don't think they qualify as architecture... they are more like sculptures... I have visited his Jewish Museum in Berlin and bought a book about it... all the pictures in the book are taken before any exhibit or item was placed in the museum... the pictures show blank walls with weird window shapes and empty floors... and it looked amazing... but when I visited it I felt like it was not designed to accommodate the exhibits... I felt like the exhibits were vandalizing the building... and that's what wrong with Libeskind buildings in my opinion... they don't serve the purpose of the building but act as sculptural objects...

You can see how his sculptures evolve as well in the above picture... they started as zigzag buildings with abstract windows and evolved into "crystals" with scattered windows. I guess this raises the question whether Libeskind should have became a sculpturer instead of an architect??


Anonymous said...


What do you consider architecture?
To me the Jewish Museum is a building for experiencing spaces. I don't just read as a museum.
The spaces are the museum, and not whats in it.
materials, windows, lines...when all these are put together you get to experince the Jewish Museum and all moments that is representing.

Bash Mohandis said...

Dear Anon,

When you said "the Jewish Museum is a building for experiencing spaces", that is exactly my point.
To me the museum was a memorial just like Eisenman's Holocaust Memorial not far away from it in Berlin. Both are about creating spiritual effects by manipulating spaces. But they will only be effective with these spaces clear from distractions. Imagine the exhibits in the museum hung on the concrete blocks of the Eisenman's memorial, do you think it would have the same effect.
I think that is exactly why all books and publications prefer to show the interior of the museum before all the exhibits were place there because it's much better that way.
So as a memorial it is a great piece of architecture but as a museum I am not sure though.

scott davidson said...

What an interesting blog, introduced by a thought-provoking photo. The unusual wall painting of the dwellings is also a strangely modern interpretation. Something like this hieroglyphic view of a park by Swiss painter Paul Klee, http://EN.WahooArt.com/A55A04/w.nsf/OPRA/BRUE-8LT475.
The image can be seen at wahooart.com who can supply you with a canvas print of it.