Example of Thematic Tour "An Emblem of Hope: Daniel Libeskind's Architecture in Europe"
Duration: 8 days
“Where you're standing, whether it's New York, or Berlin, or Osnabrück, you're standing in a particular place in the earth, which is meaningful across history, and you're there with the spirits of those who might have perished. And every person standing there has to know about it, has to be informed, and has to identify with something that is positive, something that can move life forward....” – Daniel Libeskind
More than any other new architecture over the last twenty years, the works of the Polish-born, Jewish-American Daniel Libeskind have become powerful symbols of the intersection of modernity and memory, of the desire to pay respect to the past while looking towards the future. His most ambitious project to date is the rebuilding of the World Trade Center in New York City after the tragedy of 9/11. No stranger to the historical conflicts of the 20th century, Libeskind was born in the city of Łódź, Poland, to Holocaust survivors. After going to the United States with his family on an American-Israeli cultural scholarship, Libeskind became a U.S. citizen. Immersing himself in the world of architecture, he earned degrees from the renowned Cooper Union School of Science and Design in New York and Essex University in England, and apprenticed for Richard Meier. Since then, he has made his architectural mark around the world designing in places as far and wide as Spain and South Korea, Israel and Italy, for businesses and institutions as diverse as museums, concert halls, convention centers, universities, residences, hotels, shopping centers, and even opera sets.
On this tour we invite you to take a journey with us through the mind of one of this century’s master architects. The first stop will be the capital and cultural heart of Denmark, Copenhagen. At the Libeskind-designed Danish Jewish Museum, we will learn the unique story of the Danish Jews, most of whom were saved from the Nazis by the citizens of Denmark in 1943. Paying homage to what they did, the museum is designed around the concept of the mitzvah — the Hebrew word for obligation or good deed. The building provides an extraordinary play between the elements of light, form, and structure, representing a shining moment in the dark history of the Holocaust. We will also taste another side of Libeskind’s work with a stop at his new landmark CABINN Metro Hotel, the largest hotel in Denmark.
Dynamic Berlin has undergone one amazing transformation after another in the years since the Berlin wall came down and the Soviet Union collapsed, giving many architects the chance to contribute to the landscape of the city. Libeskind’s Berlin Jewish Museum, with its jarringly unconventional design and soaring glass courtyard, is one of the city’s most famous and emotionally fraught structures. We will admire the façade and explore the interior with its museum documenting 2000 years of German- Jewish history. We will meet with museum representatives to learn about the plans for the Jewish Museum Academy, to be constructed across the street...by Daniel Libeskind!
Dresden, the “Florence on the Elbe” has risen like a phoenix from the ashes of WWII to become one of Germany’s major tourist destinations. Witness the seamless connection of the historical and the contemporary at the controversial new addition to the Military History Museum, which combines Libeskind’s signature crystalline wing with a restored neo-classical building. Although many people questioned his judgement in taking on a project dealing with German military history, Libeskind’s contribution proves to be a worthy and sensitive addition to the subject. In his jarring design he is honoring not war but rather the people who were forced to take part in it, thereby encouraging an examination of the history of violence.
In Osnabrück, see Libeskind’s first building in Germany, the Felix Nussbaum Haus (1998), dedicated to the life and work of this Jewish painter. A special addition to the city’s Cultural History Museum, this building showcases Nussbaum’s incredibly prescient expressionist and surrealist paintings, which document post-WWI Germany and the Holocaust with a premonitory insight. Nussbaum foresaw his own death at the hands of the Nazis and made a poignant appeal for the preservation of his works: “If I perish, do not let my paintings die.” His works were rediscovered in the 1970’s, leading to a design contest to determine who would build the museum to house them. The city’s choice to collaborate with Daniel Libeskind launched his career and brought the paintings of an astonishing artist to the public eye.
Visit the Kö-Bogen in downtown Düsseldorf, a dynamic new office and retail complex located on the Koenigsallee Boulevard. Libeskind created here an innovative structure to join two city blocks under one continuous roofline, connecting the Hofgarten, the central park and Schadowplatz, one of Düsseldorf’s central squares. Its construction will celebrate the connection between buildings and surrounding landscape, between a city and its people. This tour celebrates the work of Daniel Libeskind, past, present and future. If you are a fan...don’t miss it!