Features

The agony of victory

"The agony of victory" Continued...

Issue: "Building a city," March 24, 2007

Despite the tags of tradition, Libeskind's buildings have stirred controversy and traditionalists accuse him of deconstructive design. "Is there a sell-by date for Libeskind's expressively jagged architecture?" asked Architectural Record critic Suzanne Stephens after Libeskind's expansion to the Denver Art Museum opened last year.

Libeskind rejects the deconstructivist label but doesn't deny that his buildings could be called outlandish: "My aim is to design something very specific to the address to which it is being built. But I don't believe that means you have to be conformist. Buildings like the [Berlin] Jewish Museum respond to context by establishing a new context. They fit the context but are also dynamic. And they create their own dynamic. In time they become beloved, a reinforcing aspect to the city because they are visible and a serious contributor to the future."

With ongoing projects that take him around the world, Libeskind is eager to prove both his and the Ground Zero project's staying power. "People say I should get out of New York, get away from Ground Zero. But I don't want to. I live here. I work here. I see it out of my window each day. I believe in it. Investors will come and go. Politicians come and go. People's emotions come and go. I am here to stay."

Mindy Belz
Mindy Belz

Mindy travels to the far corners of the globe as the editor of WORLD and lives with her family in the mountains of western North Carolina. Follow Mindy on Twitter @mcbelz.

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