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    Libeskind in London

    by Terri Whitehead

    The new, modestly sized Graduate Centre for London Metropolitan University is the first permanent building in London by Daniel Libeskind. It's not a glamorous commission compared to his World Trade Center project in New York, nor does it have a particularly beautiful or meaningful site, as does his Jewish Museum in Berlin.

    Libeskind accepted this commission — with an area of only 7,000 square feet (650 square meters) and a budget of only 3 million pounds — because, in his words, "every building is important" and "London needs good architecture."

    Libeskind won the competition for the Graduate Centre despite his lack of experience in educational building. Perhaps this explains his unusual approach, and the result is, in my view, inspiring and architecturally engaging. In this small building, Libeskind rose to the challenge of creating a sanctuary for graduate students in the heart of North London.

    The building is small but architecturally complex. Libeskind designed the pavilion as three intersecting volumes. One form rises toward the Underground station and the urban surroundings, another connects to the existing university building concourse, and the third nods to the city.   >>>

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    The new Graduate Centre for London Metropolitan University by Daniel Libeskind.
    Photo: London Metropolitan University

    ArchWeek Image

    Large, "gashing" windows connect to the street visually while separating from it acoustically.
    Photo: London Metropolitan University

     

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