Daniel Libeskind 1998 (museum
Libeskinds academic and intellectual
practice culminate in this much-talked-about and unusual building. The design is based on
a rather involved process of connecting lines between locations of historic events and
locations of Jewish culture in Berlin. These lines form a basic outline and structure for
the building. Libeskind also has used the concepts of absence, emptiness, and the
invisibleexpressions of the disappearance of Jewish culture in the cityto
design the building. This concept takes form in a kinked and angled sequence through the
building, orchestrated to allow the visitor to see (but not to enter) certain empty rooms,
which Libeskind terms voided voids. The ideas which generate the plan of the
building repeat themselves on the surface of the building, where voids, windows, and
perforations form a sort of cosmological composition on an otherwise undifferentiated,
zig-zagging zinc surface.
If the intellectual narrative which generates
Libeskinds work is complicated and inaccessible to the uninitiated, the building
itself should stir emotion in even the most casual visitor. The stark meeting of the
zinc-paneled exterior and the sky and the sharp incisions of windows are somewhat
Jay Berman 1999 (updated 2002)
How to visit
Take the Ubahn U6 to Kochstrasse, and walk east
to Lindenstrasse to reach the Jewish Museum.
The official web site of the
museum at www.jmberlin.decontains pictures and information (in English) on the building as
well as the exhibitions and how to visit. Photographs and plans can be
downloaded, as well as an essay on the building by the architect.
Daniel Libeskind provides his
own account of the building and its design at his own
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