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The Jewish Museum in Berlin, Germany

1998 (opened in 2001), Daniel Libeskind, architect


The zinc-coated zigzag Jewish Museum is one of Berlin's most prominent landmarks and brought international fame to architect Daniel Libeskind.
Daniel Libeskind's Zigzag Design

The Jewish Museum in Berlin

Photos courtesy of the Jewish Museum Berlin
The Jewish Museum in Berlin was Daniel Libeskind's first building project and it brought him recognition around the world. Since that time, Libeskind designed the Master Plan for Ground Zero at the World Trade Center site in New York City.

Statement by Daniel Libeskind:

A building can be experienced as an unfinished journey. It can awaken our desires, propose imaginary conclusions. It is not about form, image or text, but about the experience, which is not to be simulated. A building can awaken us to the fact that it has never been anything more than a huge question mark...I believe that this project joins Architecture to questions that are now relevant to all people.

Commentary by Professor Bernd Nicolai, University of Trier:

The Jewish Museum Berlin by Daniel Libeskind is one of the most conspicuous architectural landmarks in the city of Berlin. In the southern Friedrichstadt area which was badly damaged in the war and beyond recognition following post-war demolition, Libeskind designed a building which embodies remembrance, melancholy, and departure. Through its designer it has become an architectural symbol in a specific Jewish discourse at the core of which is German history and the history of the city after 1933, which ended "in total catastrophe."

Libeskind's intention was to express kaleidoscopically the city's lines and cracks in architectural form. The confrontation of Libeskind's Jewish Museum building with the adjoining classical building by Berlin City Architect, Mendelsohn, not only defines two highlights of 20th century architecture but also reveals the stratigraphy of a historical landscape - exemplary exposure of the relationship of Jews and Germans in this city.

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