Libeskind @ Strand

Last night Rich and I went to see Daniel Libeskind get interviewed at The Strand bookstore.  Here are a couple of interesting anecdotes:

  • Amongst his commissions, he designs private residences, but he’s never lived in a house – only apartments
  • It took him 12 years to get his Jewish Museum Berlin built.  It opened at 10:30 am on September 11, 2001.  He said that he was so happy as it was the first time in 12 years he hadn’t had to worry about history.  And four hours later he saw the attacks and decided to move back to New York
  • When he grew up in New York in the ’60s he used to hang out near the WTC as it was being built – his dad was a printer in the area and was an architecture student at Cooper Union.  Now he’s the master planner for the site.  (Side note: he also used to hang out in The Strand)
  • Some interesting thoughts from him:
    • Thinks life is a compromise between birth and death
    • 95% of all his buildings “have been done before” but the other 5% is truly new
    • Killer quote on why he builds: If you could put it in words, you wouldn’t have to build a building.