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Academy of the Jewish Museum Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Monday 19 Nov 2012

'Hear the truth, whoever speaks it'

Academy of the Jewish Museum Berlin by Studio Daniel Libeskind in Berlin, Germany
Copyright: BitterBredt 
Academy of the Jewish Museum Berlin by Studio Daniel Libeskind in Berlin, Germany Academy of the Jewish Museum Berlin by Studio Daniel Libeskind in Berlin, Germany Academy of the Jewish Museum Berlin by Studio Daniel Libeskind in Berlin, Germany Academy of the Jewish Museum Berlin by Studio Daniel Libeskind in Berlin, Germany Academy of the Jewish Museum Berlin by Studio Daniel Libeskind in Berlin, Germany Academy of the Jewish Museum Berlin by Studio Daniel Libeskind in Berlin, Germany
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24/11/12 Cuppa, New York
According to Libeskind, the concept was to create three cubes. Going by his own frame of reference the project is a dismal failure. Within the interior, the "cubes" are barely recognizable and poorly defined. The continuity of the glass structure mitigates any individuality the "cube" forms might have had. Anf given the high ceilings that were available, there should have been no reason to have beams colliding awkwardly with the slanted walls as you can see in the photo. I find most of Libeskind's work suffers from (i) intellectual arrogance, (ii) poor conception, followed by (iii) shoddy execution. Basically it's another total clunker from an over-rated, loudmouth bore.
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23/11/12 G. Ranson, Cardiff
The crude initial sketch says it all. Any other architect would have thrown it in the garbage before anyone saw such an embarrassingly trivial concept. Not so with the egomaniac, Libeskind, who felt compelled to sign it in huge script bigger than any other notation on the page. That hierarchy confirms he's thinking about HIMSELF more than he's thinking about the design. When ego takes over, every thing else suffers. Q.E.D.
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22/11/12 Mark, Toronto
I like it. It is more than just the sum of its parts - it goes deeper, with the hidden abstract parts creating an unseen whole. These spaces need to be experienced, not just viewed or judged from pictures.
22/11/12 Adil, Syracuse
It takes a lot more than cramming every Libeskindian cliche under one roof to make a real architectural design. This is a joke.
21/11/12 crompg molf, lubbock, tx
No he dont get worse. he already at his worst.
20/11/12 Z301, London
Where's the design? This is just ridiculous. Libeskind gets worse with every project.
20/11/12 Piper Lane, New York
More sloped walls and clumsy shapes. If Libeskind intended to look like a foolish non-intellectual lightweight poseur, he definately succeeded.

Libeskind's Academy of the Jewish Museum Berlin officially opened this weekend 

‘Hear the truth, whoever speaks it’. These are the words emblazoned across the façade of Daniel Libeskind’s latest major project, the Academy of the Jewish Museum Berlin, an institution he extended some eleven years ago with a glittering angular expansion project that received mixed praise.

Translated into English, German, Hebrew, Arabic and Judeo-Arabic, this provocative quote from medieval Jewish scholar and philosopher Moses Maimonides welcomes visitors as they stroll across the piazza which links the existing Jewish Museum Berlin and Libeskind’s latest addition.

The Museum has an ongoing relationship with Libeskind. He designed the institution’s extension in 2001 in an acutely angled zigzag form and added two expressive landscaped areas known as the Garden of Exile and Glass Courtyard in 2007 and 2005 respectively.

An established architect of Polish-Jewish descent, Libeskind has said of his latest project: “My ongoing collaboration with the Jewish Museum Berlin is a source of tremendous professional and personal pride. Each project offers a fresh chance to illuminate Jewish history and culture, to understand the tragedies and the triumphs, and to celebrate the resilience, creativity and erudition that have been Jews’ enduring legacy.”

Following the reopening of the Jewish Museum Berlin in 2001, the organisation has seen a vast improvement in interest for its education programmes, with 7,000 guided tours undertaken every year and more than 400 educational programmes in demand from visitors. In order to cope with demand, Libeskind was brought back on board to conceptualise a fitting Academy extension located on a one-time flower market to house these symposia, conferences, lectures and seminars.

This latest project continues Libeskind’s abstract references to religion. In the original extension to the Museum he based his design on a stretched Star of David. In this more recent addition, Libeskind has crafted the interior spaces using radiate pine timber, said to ‘suggest Noah’s Ark, which preserved the most precious thing of all - living beings, in all their splendid variety - during the most important voyage in biblical history’.

For the architect, the most significant internal volumes are the ‘in-between spaces’, those located between three large-scale cubes that sit at angles to one another, housing the library, auditorium and entranceways. Libeskind has retained these as reflection spaces, where visitors can take a moment to consider the information presented to them and their experience in the Academy.

The gateway cube ruptures through the external façade and welcomes visitors through a void in its exterior. Sloping gentle towards the ground, ‘its unusual contours echo the jagged shape of the museum’s 2001 extension’. The two further cubes are linked by a glass box which glistens in the artificial light.

Linking the new Academy with the original Jewish Museum Berlin complex will be a Diaspora Garden designed by landscape architects from atelier le balto. This contemporary garden scheme will be planted as part of the Academy’s ongoing education programme.

Sian Disson
News Editor

Key Facts

Status Completed
Value 0(m€)
Studio Daniel Libeskind

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