BERLIN, GERMANY.- US-architect Daniel Libeskind presented his autobiography "Breaking Ground: Adventures in Life and Architecture", at the Jewish Museum in Berlin. Libeskind built the museum and also contributed to design the new World Trade Center in New York. His book traces his past and his numerous project commissions.
Born in postwar Poland in 1946, Mr. Libeskind became an American citizen in 1965. He studied music in Israel (on the America-Israel Cultural Foundation Scholarship) and in New York, becoming a virtuoso performer. He left music to study architecture, receiving his professional architectural degree in 1970 from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York City. He received a postgraduate degree in History and Theory of Architecture at the School of Comparative Studies at Essex University (England) in 1972.
In 1989, Mr. Libeskind won the competition for the Jewish Museum Berlin, which opened to the public in September 2001 to wide public acclaim. The city museum of Osnabrück, Germany, The Felix Nussbaum Haus, opened in July 1998. In July 2002, the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester, England opened to the public. Atelier Weil, a private atelier/gallery, opened in Mallorca, Spain in September 2003, and the Graduate Student Centre at the London Metropolitan University opened in March 2004. Most recently, the Danish Jewish Museum opened in Copenhagen in June 2004. He is presently designing and constructing many other projects, such as: the Maurice Wohl Convention Centre, Bar Ilan University, Tel Aviv, Israel; the Extension to the Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colorado; the Extension to the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto; the redevelopment of the historic Fiera Milano Fairgrounds in Milan, Italy, a 65 acre site of skyscrapers, housing, retail, and commercial space; the largest shopping and wellness center in Europe in Bern, Switzerland; The Jewish Museum in San Francisco, California; a feasibility study for Port Antonio, Jamaica; the Dublin Docklands Grand Canal Performing Arts Centre and Galleria in Dublin, Ireland; Memoria e Luce, a 9/11 memorial in Padua, Italy; a department store for developer Wohnbau Nordwest in Dresden, Germany; a multi-media center for the City University of Honk Kong; an office tower in Seoul, Korea for the Hyundai Development Corporation; and a high-rise housing co-op in Sacramento, California. In February 2003, Studio Daniel Libeskind won the World Trade Center Design Study competition in New York City.
Mr. Libeskind has taught and lectured at many universities worldwide. He has held such positions as the Frank O. Gehry Chair at the University of Toronto, Professor at the Hochschule für Gestaltung, Karlsruhe, Germany, and the Cret Chair at the University of Pennsylvania, and the Louis Kahn Chair at Yale University. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2001 Hiroshima Art Prize – an award given to an artist whose work promotes international understanding and peace, never before given to an architect. He was awarded the 1999 Deutsche Architekturpreis (German Architecture Prize) for the Jewish Museum Berlin; also the 2000 Goethe Medallion for cultural contribution; in 1996 the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Architecture and in the same year the Berlin Cultural Prize; in 1990 a membership in the European Academy of Arts and Letters; in 1997 an Honorary Doctorate from Humboldt Universität, Berlin; also in 1999 an Honorary Doctorate from the College of Arts and Humanities, Essex University, England; and most recently in 2002 an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Edinburgh and an Honorary Doctorate from DePaul University, Chicago. In 2004, he will receive an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Toronto.
Daniel Libeskind’s work has been exhibited extensively in major museums and galleries around the world and has also been the subject of numerous international publications in many languages. His ideas have influenced a new generation of architects and those interested in the future development of cities and culture. In September, 2004, Riverhead Books (Penguin Group) published his memoir, Breaking Ground. The foreign language editions will be published in January/February of 2005, encompassing more than 90 countries.