The Architect of Reflections at Keppel Bay
Known particularly for his dramatic, eye-catching, angular designs, Daniel Libeskind has been one of the world’s leading architects for more than thirty years. Born to Polish holocaust survivors, he began his career as a professional accordion player, and lived in a kibbutz in Poland, before immigrating to America in the late 1950s. There, he settled in New York initially, and, despite having lived all over both America and the world to an extent, he returned to New York, and it is there where he set up the infamous Studio Libeskind, a stone’s throw from the site of the World Trade Centre, an ongoing redevelopment on which Libeskind himself happens to be the Master Plan Architect.
Libeskind has designed key buildings within cities around the world, such as the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester, or the BordGais Energy Theatre in Dublin. Each of these are unmistakably his designs, focusing on the jutting, angular features that made him famous. This dedication to one type of design has not been without criticism, with leading names claiming that Libeskind does not adapt his ideas to suit locations or circumstances. His buildings are fiercely modern, and there are concerns that they draw the eye away from important historical buildings nearby, or that the predominant use of glass is too “corporate”, but he represents a modernity that is both current and exciting, and work of this magnitude and notoriety can never go unnoticed, loved by each and every person to lay eyes upon it.
Now 71, Libeskind’s recent projects include a university building in Lűneburg, Germany and, of course, the redesign of the site of the terrorist attacks that shocked the world in New York some 16 years ago. He continues to remain connected to his heritage to this day though, and his design of a holocaust memorial in Ohio was constructed in 2014, his seventh example of designs around the world connected to the Second World War and the Holocaust. It is this loyalty and connection with his heritage which has won and continues to win him the most plaudits globally. And his career shows no sign of slowing down, as he takes his unique designs to South Korea, where there are three Libeskind buildings currently in development. One thing is for certain; Daniel Libeskind has endured, and so too will his work.