Daniel Libeskind~1. Jewish Museum Berlin

Ground Zero competition accepted the plan project of Daniel Libeskind as the final plan. This time, I investigate this architect, Daniel Libeskind, by disccussing Jewis Museum Berlin.

Libeskind was born in 1946, right after the end of World War II, in a city called Lodz, Poland. The city is only a few hundreds kilometers away from Berlin, Germany. In fact, Jewishーorigined family members of Libeskind were mostly killed in Holocaust during the war. Libeskind's father survived Holocaust and Libeskind was born.

Holocaust--which forced to define the existence of someone without his/her intention, and whose memory still prevents them from freeing from the past. Such memory keeps unhealed scars to all Jewish and German people. The space of those memories still remain today without being erased from their mind. Those who live today, how do we face such space filled with invisible but remaining memories of the past? And how do we translate and transform the recognition of those memories for today and the future? Libeskind's projects are not the answer but the question to be shared by all of us.

After the birth of Libeskind, his family moved to Israel. Libeskind studied music in Israel, but later he acquired the US citizenship. He kept studying composition after coming to the US, but later he moved away from music and studied architecture at Cooper Union, New York. His office was established in London, but now he moved back to New York after the prize.

It is an unbelievable coincident, but Jewish Museum Berlin that Libeskind designed was opened on September 11, 1999. For this museum competition, he presented a concept with "Between the Lines." What kind of concept was it?

Jewish Museum, Berlin.From the courtyard, looking at the exterior wall facing to the courtyard and the sky

"Between the lines."
”I call it this because it is a project about two lines of thinking, organization and relationship. One is a straight line, but broken into many fragments; the other is a tortuous line, but continuing indefinitely.”

In the drawing above, several themes are illustrated as metaphors.
The space containing those memories is always affected by various energies. The process of finding the souces of such energies collies with each other, or bounces back, or merged together. Libeskind keeps picking up some themes with a bold influence from there, and at the same time, he seeks for the way to rpresent the fact of such invisible existence that can not be described in words.

In this drawing, the relationship betwee two lines--one with a straight but paused line and the one with meandering but continuous line--represents the ideas of "thought/construction/relationship." On top of those lines, Star of David is overlayed as a matrix to represent the fact of Holocaust and the memories that fill this space. Star of David is deformed and decayed by the direction of those people who left this place and those who were taken away from here.

"Architectural Alphabet."

Also in a drawing, "Architectural Alphabet" shown above, Libeskind tried to construct a series of new alphabetical letters for a new language as a sequncing and continuous spatial possibility that represents those constant external influence to a space and the internal reactions of a space against them. This new letters is utilized as the elements of 3 dimensional, physical body of the buildinig.
The constructed Jewish Museum as a "program project" declines to stabilize itself as it keeps representing those hidden energy and memories of this place. It appears as the space filled with constantly transforming energy and notion of the time. The end point that all the visitors reach is the concrete void with the hight of 90 feet, sank under the top light coming down from the ceiling--it absorbs the visitors, or diffuses our mind into the notion of time and space...

Interior space. Left photo shows the path between the lines with a "staircase of sequence" with the elements that run into this space as structures. Right photo is hte last path leading toward "Holocaust Void"

Interior. Various "memories" and the constantly transforming space reappears on the ground, walls and ceilings

Project plan. It is drawn as a diagram, and the comments and annotations also represents the invisible energies of this site

The constructed phsical body is freezed as a volume, but its mass is constantly under the influences of transformation. It stands up at this very moment, but it also sways and vibrates as it reveals the memories of the past and the vector to the future. It is a physical entity, but it also exists as the reflection appears in our mind.

Plan of the main building. A spaced enclosed by the deformed David star and those two lines, a space filled with invisible, dense memories appears as they get engraved

Jewish Museum Berlin whole view. The Baroque style building next to the museum is "Kollegienhaus," a courthouse built during Prussian period. Libeskind used it as an entrance gate for the Jewish Museum



Ground Zero proposal~4th year~

It has been about 3years since the project plan by Daniel Libeskind was selected as the winner for Ground Zero rebuilding program competition.

Libeskind's plan was highly received with great hope in order to rebuild and reinvent World Trade Center, while the interest in how the project would be carried out in terms of its memorial and histlrical aspect of this project was still in focus. His plan, centered around the memorial tower named "Freedom Tower" with the hight of 1776 feet had much stronger will to grasp the future vision, compared to those banal plans submitted right after the terrorist attack.

Early plans of Ground Zero. The plan is just based on the typological variations of existing New York skylines, and those plan don't have the power and sensitibity to commemorate the memory of the event. Those banal plans were denied by New York City authority and the city ordered to start over the competition.

The second competition was open to more international architects. Ground Zero project is not just the local them of New York and the US but global concern to fight back against terror through culture and community. Thus the participation of larger, wider variety of people with more diverse plans is the key itself for the future of Ground Zero. Can architecture be the useful language to the approach toward memories of Ground Zero and the vision and hope to the future?

I will investigate through the concept presented by Daniel Libeskind, and some other plans developed by participants.

The selected plan by Daniel Libeskind. This plan has been greatly modified and the original concept does not appear to be present.


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