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Icons of Architecture: Daniel Libeskind

Friday 14 May 2010

An American architect in London

Icons of Architecture: Daniel Libeskind by WAN Editorial
Icons of Architecture: Daniel Libeskind by WAN Editorial Icons of Architecture: Daniel Libeskind by WAN Editorial Icons of Architecture: Daniel Libeskind by WAN Editorial Icons of Architecture: Daniel Libeskind by WAN Editorial
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13/05/10 T Dryden Architect, London
What a pair of fools. They are blathering about Libeskind being inspired by the rock crystals in Toronto's museum and they can barely figure out they are actually looking at a slide of the equally capricious Denver museum. Libeskind has always been a clown, but I expected some semblance of insight and intelligence from Murray.
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13/05/10 Jonathan, Boston
Libeskind says about the Jewish Museum Competition: "All these architects were there taking pictures of the site. I was the only one of these 400 architects who did not bring a camera to record the site." Libeskind always has to debase the occasion by dissing other architects. Maybe if he bothered to record a site now and then he might learn to respect the site's pre-existing context. What a jackass.
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11/05/10 Edmond Tyler, Edinburgh
Libeskind more or less gave the usual pre-rehearsed speech he churns out unthinkingly for these things. What's odd is that he so easily managed to make a complete fool out of Peter Murry who just sat there mesmerized by Libeskind's irrelevant and meaningless gobbledygook.
10/05/10 Robert, New York
Libeskind contradicts himself every second sentence. One minute he's all for the process of participation (as at WTC). The next sentence he's against the involvement of Larry Silverstein, or the Port Authority bureaucrats, etc. This is typical Libeskind doublespeak. He's so full of it he should have a sewage treatment plant hooked up to his mouth.
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05/05/10 Lamar, Leeds
I've lost all respect for Peter Murray. I thought he could at least see through Libeskind's pretentious crap.
05/05/10 Darryl, New York
I wonder if Peter grilled him on those monumental screw-ups in Denver and Toronto? In his end of the aughts review, Philip Kennicott described Danny's ROM as "The Worst Building of the Decade". Tough stuff, but it sounds about right.
05/05/10 Darcie Myers, Camden
He's become a parody of a sitcom architect, all flailing arms, spittle-spraying claptrap and nonsensical gibberish pretending to be architectural theory. But look at the facts: He's gone from museum commissions (most of which he screwed up so badly it let people realize what a clown he really is), to developer hack work in Small Town USA, to cheap glitz in Las Vegas or mega crap in China where they haven't cottoned on to him yet. And good riddance to him too.
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05/05/10 Juan Lagarrigue, Woody Creek,CO
Once again, look at his sponsors, he's wise enough to surround himself with the wealthy and powerful of the world, that's a big treat for an architect with a lot of ego...they build his stuff, even if it's all bogus and rococo.
04/05/10 Michael Carroll, Atlanta
OMG, Libeskind still gets an audience! London I thought you were much more savvy....don't you get it he sold out big time, all that theory and nowhere for it to go.
04/05/10 Mike, SRQ
When will this be available to see?? Is is pay per view??

Icons of Architecture now available to watch online, via computer or iphone 

Daniel Libeskind is arguably one of the world’s most passionate, enthralling starchitects; undeniably controversial, he regularly polarises the architectural world with his outlandish and abstract designs. Who better than this iconic visionary to kick off WAN’s new interview series, 'Icons of Architecture’? WATCH VIDEO NOW .

Michael Hammond, Editor in Chief at WAN, said: "Our goal with the series is to use an intense, one on one interview process rather than the formal lecture approach commonly used in such events, to expose the inner architect".

The evening did not disappoint.

London’s Royal Geographical Society was chosen as a venue in an effort to promote the intimacy of this event. Steeped in history, the grand building provided an elegant backdrop for the evening. As the vibrant mixture of students, architects and intellectuals filed into the auditorium, the air was abuzz with the anticipation of listening to the controversial Libeskind being gently unpicked by the widely revered, Peter Murray.

Murray’s outstanding knowledge of the subject matter immediately set an extremely high benchmark for the evening and had the audience riveted from the outset. No stone was left unturned and Libeskind responded in quick, classic style when pressed, discussing such thorny issues as litigation at Ground Zero and driving wedges through military museums in Dresden. No-one was safe once the fireworks started and the quote of the evening was probably the reference to Rafael Viñoly who, when caught by a camera playing piano after losing the WTC project was said to be, “filling the void in his career with music…”

Most agreed that placing Murray with Libeskind made the perfect combination.

Another measure of success of the evening was the thunderous applause at its conclusion, followed quickly by the crush (is this a London thing?) for copies of Libeskind’s book, CounterPoint. Fights even broke out over the last few copies.

Catching feedback from the bar afterwards we soon noted a common thread from visitors. Many said their perceptions of the iconic architect had shifted during the evening, some noting that they now understand Libeskind better as a person rather than just as an architect, and how this new understanding had altered their appreciation of his work.

Hugh Merrell of Merrell Publishers Limited, said: "I was very keen to attend the Libeskind event because my exposure to his buildings has been limited to seeing the Imperial War Museum North and following the furore that surrounded the V&A Spiral. I have, of course, seen photographs of the Jewish Museum, Berlin, and the Denver Museum but, as we all know, photographs only ever go a certain way to explain a building. To be honest, I have not particularly liked his buildings and so I came to the event very much as a sceptic. However, I was so taken by his rampant enthusiasm for content and culture that I came away as something of a convert. I very much now consider him to be an historicist."

The question on everyone's lips at the end of of the evening was simply, "who's next?"

Icons of Architecture is now available to watch on video, via computer or iphone. CLICK HERE TO VIEW. We hope you enjoy it and look forward to hearing your comments.

WAN Editorial

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