Tuesday, February 17, 2009

New Article: Q&A with Starchitect Daniel Libeskind

I was thrilled to interview starchitect Daniel Libeskind, who designed the master plan for the World Trade Center and has put his imprint on many other structures around the world, for Metromix.com/AM New York.

Here's the tease:

Daniel Libeskind did not complete a building of his own until he was 52—in 1998. So it was met with some astonishment that the architect eventually won the competition to create a master plan for the new World Trade Center site.

Sudden, meteoric midlife rises in architecture are not unusual. What is unusual is Libeskind's work—ongoing teases between mind-bending geometric form and function that provoke and perplex. His Jewish Museum Berlin, for example, looks like a distorted Star of David, accessible only by underground passage.

With Paul Goldberger, the architecture critic for The New Yorker, Libeskind collaborated in late 2008 on a monograph, "Counterpoint," about his work. In the run-up to a signing and discussion at the Strand Bookstore, we asked Libeskind what's exactly going on downtown and about architecture as a whole.

Why is it taking so long for the World Trade Center site to be rebuilt?
The master plan competition was in 2003, so this isn't very long for such a vast project that's so highly political and emotional and with so many stakeholders, from the Port Authority to two governors to the mayor to the MTA. I do believe in the process and I believe what people will see emerging is very close to the vision, with the memorial, the slurry wall and the wedge of light.

Yet with all the stakeholders, you get all the opinions.
Well, since Sept. 11, New Yorkers have focused on their city and become aware of architecture-that they have to take in what they see out their windows and think about sustainability and beauty. All the buildings I have designed—take the Jewish Museum Berlin—have been big and always engaged in a very public process. You have to evolve. Art comes out of a context.

For more, click here.

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