No. 74 . 07 November 2001 
ArchitectureWeek
ArchWeek Image

Libeskind Zigzag in Berlin

by Lili Eylon

In an unprecedented happening, more than 300,000 visitors went to see a totally empty museum. During the 18 months between completion of the structure and its official opening, the edifice itself became an attraction in a city bursting with building fever.

The new Jewish Museum in Berlin, a striking deconstructivist structure by architect Daniel Libeskind, is clad chiefly with titanium-covered zinc — a durable, stable, and malleable metal that reflects the light. The museum rises from a base whose line is frequently broken and unwinds in zigzag fashion.

Opened on September 9, 2001, the building is located on Lindenstrasse, the old border between East and West Berlin. The floor plan follows a fractured pattern similar to the Star of David that Jews were forced to wear in these streets during the Nazi regime.

Building as Symbol

The 108,000-square-foot (10,000-square-meter) building's special features include spiraling walls, sloping floors, a windowless Holocaust Tower, and symbolic lines of windows that resemble wounds. Libeskind says that the idea of the jagged lines is to disorient the visitor.

The "void," an empty space that runs the length of the museum, consists of raw, blank concrete walls, with no insulation, heating, or air conditioning. The void is visible to but cut off from the viewer. It is meant to structure the building like a backbone, furnishing its unfolding curves with a central axis. Through its inaccessibility, the void points to that which is absent, has vanished, but that must still be made present.  

Continue...

DEPARTMENTS 
       NEWS
       DESIGN
       BUILDING
       DESIGN TOOLS
       ENVIRONMENT
       BUILDING CULTURE

 
IN THIS ISSUE
  Contents
 
  •  
  • A Stylish Sustainability
     
  •  
  • Blackfriars Shakespearean Playhouse
     
  •  
  • Libeskind Zigzag in Berlin
     
  •  
  • Early Days at the Disaster

     
    AND MORE
      Current Contents
      Blog Center
      Download Center
      New Products
      Products Guide
      Classic Home
      Architecture Forum
      Architects Directory
      Topics Library
      Complete Archive
      Web Directory
      About ArchWeek
      Search
      Subscribe & Contribute
      Free Newsletters
       

     
    QUIZ
     
    NEXT WEEK
    Send this to a friend       Subscribe       Contribute       Advertise       Privacy       Comments Next Page >
    GREAT BUILDINGS   |   DISCUSSION   |   SCRAPBOOK   |   COMMUNITY   |   BOOKS   |   FREE 3D   |   ARTIFICE   |   SEARCH
    http://www.ArchitectureWeek.com/2001/1107/index.html
    © 2001 Artifice, Inc. - All Rights Reserved