The foundations of a long career

Tuesday 21 Jun 2011

Daniel Libeskind lays the foundation stone at reserved commercial facility before receiving AIANY Medal of Honor

All has been reasonably quiet on the Libeskind front of late, with little news other than the continued construction of residential project Zlotta 44 in Warsaw and the completion of an angular extension to the Felix Nussbaum Haus in Osnabrück.

Things seem to be picking up however, as Friday saw the ambitious architect lay a foundation stone at the site of his immense Kö-Bogen scheme in Dusseldorf, Germany, which looks to unite urban strands of the city with the natural landscape in a medley of straight lines and swelling curves.

In true Libeskind fashion, this traditional ceremony was given a creative twist, as the studio explains: “The cornerstone made of stainless steel, which was personally designed by Daniel Libeskind, will not simply disappear into the foundation like a traditional foundation stone, instead the stone will be integrated into the façade at a very visible corner of the building, engraved with the date.”

This said, the concept for the retail and commercial office complex is decidedly un-Libeskind. Aside from irregularly positioned windows and diagonally slanting green panels, Kö-Bogen is free of the dramatically metaphorical artwork or poetical flourishes it's architect is renowned for.

At a grand ceremony in New York this evening, Daniel Libeskind will receive the highest honour bestowed by the AIANY – the Medal of Honor – in recognition of his ‘distinguished work and high professional standing’. Members of the public will be able to attend the event at the Center for Architecture in the City, which will see Libeskind’s name added to an esteemed list of previous recipients which includes Louis Skidmore, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and David Childs.

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