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Felix Nussbaum Haus, Osnabrück, Germany

Friday 06 May 2011

Déjà vu for Libeskind

Felix Nussbaum Haus by Studio Daniel Libeskind in Osnabrück, Germany
All images ©Bitter Bredt 
Felix Nussbaum Haus by Studio Daniel Libeskind in Osnabrück, Germany Felix Nussbaum Haus by Studio Daniel Libeskind in Osnabrück, Germany Felix Nussbaum Haus by Studio Daniel Libeskind in Osnabrück, Germany Felix Nussbaum Haus by Studio Daniel Libeskind in Osnabrück, Germany Felix Nussbaum Haus by Studio Daniel Libeskind in Osnabrück, Germany Felix Nussbaum Haus by Studio Daniel Libeskind in Osnabrück, Germany
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No. of Comments: 8

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02/06/11 Archie Phillips, Salt Lake City
Stupidity, Ugly, Pretentious, Painful: Do you all work for Prince Charles or are you simply unable to place a carefully conceived assymetrical opening into an assymetrical wall? I agree it would have been instructional to see the plan, but to criticize the building without hearing what the client expected is very short sighted.
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28/05/11 Dara, Raieswert
It's stupidity just for the sake of it. Libeskind has been a washed up clown for over a decade now. Oddly it was the Ground Zero commission that exposed him for the hack he actually is. The world would be a much better place if he just shriveled up and blew away to the compost heap where he belongs.
10/05/11 Joseph Galea, Malta
I suppose Liebskind is one of those 'love' or 'hate' architects. His main skill seem to be to create controversy. He's not my favourite! I find this work, as many others, to be somewhat gimmicky. The question that most often comes to mind when viewing his work is "Why?" I suppose, it's because he can!
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10/05/11 Eric, Colorado Springs
I believe Libeskind has fallen into his "notoriety" and is cranking out more projects for more notoriety. I think when he does a wholly new building they can still be good even if "gimmicky." The Denver Art Museum and the houses he's done recently are fun and seem serve their intended purpose. When the purpose is to get attention (The DAM) then gimmick works. When the building is simply some weird shaped windows on a grey box, not so much.

Also at fault here is the Architectural Press. The basis of the design - the plan - might make the whole thing work. (I doubt it here) We need to see more than "designer images" of a building for a fuller understanding of the project.

The glass bridges look like they might be simple, sedate and successful.
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10/05/11 Roland, Paris
I was one of his students back in the '80s at HGSD: it was a painful seminar for schoolars and the rest of the Faculty as well, but since I understood why. I agree with the 3 previous comments, sorry Daniel!
10/05/11 Don, Brooklyn
If Libeskind's architectural objective was to 'split the critics', I suggest they take it to the logical conclusion of one group assaulting the other with baseball bats. A bit Ron Bergundy style. Do it with the building in the backgrond, someone might find deeper meaning in the press photo that follows.
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10/05/11 David, Vancouver
Libeskind knows something about architecture or the state of where it is going. As the above comment, he has gotten attention, and as it is now in architecture as in show business, any publicity is good publicity. Just to rile people up and upset them is as good as getting their praise because it puts him in the news and at the forefront of people's minds. If we really want these frauds to go away, just ignore them and don't encourage them to proceed with their blasphemous works.
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06/05/11 George, Chicago
It is a "cohesive extension" only to the extent that it is comparably ugly and comparably pretentious as was Libeskind's original design. Both additions demeaned the original building, a finer piece of architecture than Libeskind himself will ever create. The meaningless shapes forming thenew door are just another of Libeskind's attention-seeking graphics. It is the sort of gimmick you expect on a fast food restaurant chain, not on a museum. It is all very undignified.
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Libeskind’s cohesive extension to first completed project opens in Osnabrück 

Sure to split the critics, Daniel Libeskind’s angular extension to the Felix Nussbaum Haus in Osnabrück was opened yesterday at a ceremony attended by the architect, Lord Mayor Boris Pistorius, and City Councilor Rita Maria Rzyski. The existing building was Libeskind’s first completed project; a heavily symbolic museum consisting of three interlocking volumes comprised of oak, concrete and metal.

Speaking on Thursday’s events the architect commented: “It is such an exciting moment to return to the Felix Nussbaum Haus, my first completed project. As an architect it is a great honour to be asked to design an extension to this museum for the city of Osnabrück. It is a true celebration that the museum for Nussbaum (who was once a forgotten artist) is growing and expanding not only architecturally but also in our hearts and minds.”

Dedicated to the work of German-Jewish painter Felix Nussbaum, the Museum displays a chronological stream of works by the artist. The oak portion hosts compositions created before World War II, the concrete unit intersecting the first displays pieces composed which Nussbaum was in hiding from the Nazis, and the third, metal volume exhibits paintings recently uncovered.

The extension to this suggestive museum acts a gateway to the complex and merges the inflow of visitors with that of the neighbouring Osnabrück Cultural and History Museum through an enclosed glass entranceway. This joint access route is combined with an irregular new façade which refreshes the external appearance of the existing 13 year old volume.

Taking around one year to complete – during which time the most precious of Nussbaum’s paintings were displayed at the Jewish Museum in Paris – the expansion cost €3m and incorporates an entrance hall, museum shop, flexible lecture hall and event space, caterings facilities, cloakrooms and restrooms for both buildings.

UK newspaper The Times formerly critiqued the Felix Nussbaum Haus harshly, commenting that the ‘narrow tunnel and subdued lighting impose an atmosphere of oppression’, yet the new crystalline bridge looks to inject an air of light and space into what has previously been referred to as an expression of ‘displacement, loss and incomprehension’. Libeskind explains: “The integration of the new extension with the present symbolises that the memory of Nussbaum will have a vibrant and ongoing narration.”

Key Facts

Status Completed
Value 0(m€)
Studio Daniel Libeskind

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