Daniel Libeskind (born May 12, 1946) is a Polish-American architect, artist, professor and set designer. Libeskind founded Studio Daniel Libeskind in 1989 with his wife, Nina, and is its principal design architect.
He is known for the design and completion of the
Jewish Museum in Berlin, Germany, that opened in 2001. On February 27, 2003, Libeskind received further international attention after he won the competition to be the master plan architect for the reconstruction of the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.
Other buildings that he is known for include the extension to the
Denver Art Museum in the United States, the Grand Canal Theatre in Dublin, the Imperial War Museum North in Greater Manchester, England, the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the Felix Nussbaum Haus in Osnabrück, Germany, the Danish Jewish Museum in Copenhagen, Denmark, Reflections in Singapore and the Wohl Centre at the Bar-Ilan University in Ramat-Gan, Israel. His portfolio also includes several residential projects. Libeskind's work has been exhibited in major museums and galleries around the world, including the  Museum of Modern Art, the Bauhaus Archives, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Centre Pompidou.
Łódź, Poland, Libeskind was the second child of Dora and Nachman Libeskind, both Polish Jews and Holocaust survivors. As a young child, Libeskind learned to play the accordion and quickly became a virtuoso, performing on Polish television in 1953. He won a prestigious America Israel Cultural Foundation scholarship in 1959 and played alongside a young Itzhak Perlman. Libeskind lived in Poland for 11 years and can still speak, read, and write the Polish language.
In 1957, the Libeskinds moved to Kibbutz Gvat, Israel and then to Tel Aviv before moving to New York in 1959.
In his autobiography,  Breaking Ground: An Immigrant's Journey from Poland to Ground Zero, Libeskind spoke of how the kibbutz experience influenced his concern for green architecture.
In the summer of 1959, the Libeskinds moved to
New York City on one of the last immigrant boats to the United States. In New York, Libeskind lived in the Amalgamated Housing Cooperative in the northwest Bronx, a union-sponsored, middle-income cooperative development. He attended the Bronx High School of Science. The print shop where his father worked was on Stone Street in Lower Manhattan, and Libeskind watched the original World Trade Center being built in the 1960s. Libeskind became a United States citizen in 1965.  Libeskind met Nina Lewis, his future wife and business partner, at the  Bundist-run Camp Hemshekh in upstate New York in 1966. They married a few years later and, instead of a traditional honeymoon, traveled across the United States visiting Frank Lloyd Wright buildings on a Cooper Union fellowship. Nina now serves as COO for Studio Daniel Libeskind. She is the daughter of the late-Canadian political leader  David Lewis and the sister of former Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations Stephen Lewis.
In 1968, Libeskind briefly worked as an apprentice to architect
Richard Meier. In 1970, he received his professional architectural degree from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art; he received a postgraduate degree in History and Theory of Architecture at the School of Comparative Studies at the University of Essex in 1972. The same year, he was hired to work at Peter Eisenman's New York Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies, but he quit almost immediately. He is both a U.S. and Israeli citizen. 
Nina and Daniel Libeskind have three children: Lev, Noam, and Rachel.
Libeskind began his career as an architectural theorist and professor, holding positions at various institutions around the world. From 1978 to 1985, Libeskind was the Director of the Architecture Department at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
His practical architectural career began in Milan in the late 1980s, where he submitted to architectural competitions and also founded and directed Architecture Intermundium, Institute for Architecture & Urbanism. Libeskind has lived, among other places, in New York City,  Toronto, Michigan, Italy, Germany, and Los Angeles, and has taught at numerous universities across the world, including the  University of Kentucky, Yale University, and the University of Pennsylvania. Since 2007, Libeskind has been a visiting professor at the  Leuphana University Lüneburg in Lüneburg, Germany.
Libeskind completed his first building at the age of 52, with the opening of the
Felix Nussbaum Haus in Osnabruck, Germany in 1998. Prior to this, critics had dismissed his designs as "unbuildable or unduly assertive."  In 1987, Libeskind won his first  design competition for housing in West Berlin, but the Berlin Wall fell shortly thereafter and the project was cancelled. Libeskind won the first four project competitions he entered including the Jewish Museum Berlin in 1989, which became the first museum dedicated to the Holocaust in WWII and opened to the public in 2001 with international acclaim. This was his first major international success and was one of the first building modifications designed after  reunification. A glass courtyard was designed by Libeskind and added in 2007. The Academy of the Jewish Museum Berlin also designed by Libeskind was completed in 2012.
Libeskind is perhaps most famous for being selected by the
Lower Manhattan Development Corporation to oversee the rebuilding of the World Trade Center, which was destroyed in the  September 11, 2001 attacks. He titled his concept for the site Memory Foundations. He was the first architect to win the Hiroshima Art Prize, awarded to an artist whose work promotes international understanding and peace. Many of his projects look at the deep cultural connections between memory and architecture.
Studio Daniel Libeskind, headquartered two blocks south of the World Trade Center site in New York, is currently working on more than forty projects across the world. He has designed numerous cultural and commercial institutions,
museums, concert halls, convention centers, universities, residences, hotels, and shopping centers. The studio's most recent completed projects include Haeundae Udong Hyunai I'Park in Busan, South Korea, Academy of the Jewish Museum Berlin in Berlin, Germany, modifications and additions to the Bundeswehr Military History Museum in Dresden, Germany and Reflections at Keppel Bay in Singapore.
In addition to his architectural projects, Libeskind has worked with a number of international design firms to develop objects, furniture, and industrial fixtures for interiors of buildings. He has been commissioned to work with design companies such as Fiam,
 Artemide,  Jacuzzi, TreP-Tre-Piu,  Oliviari,  Sawaya & Moroni,  Poltrona Frau,  Swarovski,  and others. 
Libeskind's design projects also include sculpture. Several sculptures built in the early 1990s were based on the explorations of his Micromegas and Chamberworks drawings series that he did in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The Polderland Garden of Love and Fire in Almere, Netherlands is a permanent installation completed in 1997 and restored on October 4, 2017.
Later in his career, Libeskind designed the  Life Electric sculpture that was completed in 2015 on Lake Como, Italy. This sculpture is dedicated to the physicist Alessandro Volta.
Libeskind has designed
opera sets for productions such as the Norwegian National Theatre's The Architect in 1998 and Saarländisches Staatstheater's in 2001. He also designed the sets and costumes for Tristan und Isolde by Intolleranza Luigi Nono and for a production of Messiaen's by Saint Francis of Assisi Deutsche Oper Berlin. He has also written free verse prose, included in his book Fishing from the Pavement.
While much of Libeskind's work has been well-received, it has also been the subject of often severe criticism.
Critics often describe Libeskind's work as  deconstructivist. Critics charge that it reflects a limited architectural vocabulary of jagged edges, sharp angles and tortured geometries,  that can fall into cliche, and that it ignores location and context.  In 2008  LA Times critic Christopher Hawthorne wrote: "Anyone looking for signs that Daniel Libeskind's work might deepen profoundly over time, or shift in some surprising direction, has mostly been doing so in vain." In 2006, in the  New York Times Nicolai Ouroussoff stated: "his worst buildings, like a 2002 war museum in England suggesting the shards of a fractured globe, can seem like a caricature of his own aesthetic." In the UK magazine  Building Design, Owen Hatherley wrote of Libeskind's students' union for London Metropolitan University: "All of its vaulting, aggressive gestures were designed to 'put London Met on the map', and to give an image of fearless modernity with, however, little of consequence." William JR Curtis in  Architectural Review called his Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre "a pile-up of Libeskindian clichés without sense, form or meaning" and wrote that his Hyundai Development Corporation Headquarters delivered "a trite and noisy corporate message".
In response, Libeskind says he ignores critics: "How can I read them? I have more important things to read."
The following projects are listed on the Studio Libeskind website. The first date is the competition, commission, or first presentation date. The second is the completion date or the estimated date of completion.
London Metropolitan University, London, 2004
"The Wings" - sculpture in
Jewish Museum Berlin – Berlin, Germany 1995–1998
Felix Nussbaum Haus – Osnabrück, Germany 1997–2001
Imperial War Museum North – Greater Manchester, England, United Kingdom 1998–2008
Contemporary Jewish Museum – San Francisco, California, United States 2000–2003
Studio Weil – Majorca, Spain 2000–2006 Extension to the
Denver Art Museum, Frederic C. Hamilton Building – Denver, Colorado, United States 2000–2006 Denver Art Museum Residences –
Denver, Colorado, United States 2000–2008
Westside Shopping and Leisure Centre – Bern, Switzerland 2001–2003
Danish Jewish Museum – Copenhagen, Denmark 2001–2004
London Metropolitan University Graduate Centre – London, England, United Kingdom 2001–2005 The
Wohl Centre – Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel 2002–2007 Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, extension to
Royal Ontario Museum and renovation of ten of its existing galleries – Toronto, Ontario, Canada 2003–2005 Tangent, Facade for
Hyundai Development Corporation Headquarters – Seoul, South Korea 2004–2005 Memoria e Luce, 9/11 Memorial –
Padua, Italy 2004–2007 Glass Courtyard addition to the
Jewish Museum Berlin – Berlin, Germany 2004–2008
The Ascent at Roebling's Bridge, residential condominium building – Covington, Kentucky, United States 2005–2009
MGM Mirage's CityCenter, retail and public space on the Las Vegas Strip – Paradise, Nevada 2004–2010 Grand Canal Square,
Grand Canal Theatre and Commercial Development – Dublin, Ireland 2010 Wheel of Conscience monument, M.S. St. Louis Memorial, Pier 21 –
Halifax, Canada 2001–2011
Military History Museum – Dresden, Germany 2002–2011
Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre at the City University of Hong Kong – Hong Kong 2006–2011
Reflections at Keppel Bay, high-rise and low-rise villa apartment blocks – Keppel Bay, Singapore 2007–2008 18.36.54 private residence –
Connecticut, United States 2007–2011
Haeundae I Park Marina, skyscraper complex – Busan, South Korea 2009 Libeskind Villa – prefab smart house – Rheinzink GmbH & Co. KG Global Headquarters,
Datteln, Germany 2010–2012 Jewish Museum Berlin Academy in the Eric F. Ross Building, academy –
Berlin, Germany 2009–2013 Kö-Bogen,
Königsallee, Düsseldorf, Germany 2012–2015 Mons International Congress XPerience,
Mons, Belgium 2002-ongoing
World Trade Center master plan – New York City, New York 2013-2014 Ohio Holocaust & Liberators Memorial, Columbus, Ohio
Life Electric, sculpture – Como, Italy 2015 Vanke Pavilion, sculpture -
Milan, Italy  2015 Future Flowers, sculpture -
Milan, Italy 2015 Milan Expo Gates, sculpture -
Milan, Italy 2010–2015 Vitra Tower –
Sao Paulo, Brazil 2013-2016 Lotte Mart -
Songdo, South Korea 2005–2016
L Tower and Sony Centre for the Performing Arts Redevelopment – Toronto, Canada 2013-2016 Corals at Keppel Bay,
Singapore 2012-2016 Sapphire, -
Berlin, Germany 2007-2017
Złota 44, residential tower - Warsaw, Poland 2011–2017 Main building and auditorium,
Leuphana University of Lüneburg – Lüneburg, Germany 2015–2017 Odgen Centre for Fundamental Physics at
Durham University, Durham  2014-2017 National Holocaust Monument -
Ottawa, Canada 2011-2018 Zhang Zhidong Museum -
Wuhan, China 2017-2018 MO Museum - Vilnius, Lithuania
CityLife (Milan), masterplan – Milan, Italy 2015-2019
CityLife (Milan), Tower - Milan, Italy  2012-2021, Lotte Mall Songdo & Officetel, Songdo, South Korea
2013-2019 Century Spire,
Manila, Philippines 2017-2020 Verve, Frankfurt, Germany
2017-2020 East Thiers Station,
Nice, France 2017–2023 Tampere Central Arena – Tampere, Finland
Proposed or in design
2009–? Archipelago 21, masterplan –
Seoul, South Korea 2009–? Harmony Tower,
Seoul, South Korea 2009–? Dancing Towers,
Seoul, South Korea 2008–? New York Tower,
New York City, United States 2012-2020 Amsterdam Holocaust Memorial -
Amsterdam, Netherlands 2018 –
Great Synagogue of Vilna restoration, Vilnius, Lithuania  2017-2022 Occitanie Tower,
Toulouse, France 2014-2020 Downtown Tower-k18B,
Vilnius, Lithuania   2018-2020 Sumner Houses - Brooklyn, New York
2019-2024 Ngaren: The Museum of Humankind - Kenya
Libeskind design products
Royal Ontario Museum Spirit House Chair, Nienkamper, Toronto, Canada 2009 Tea Set, Sawaya & Moroni
2009 Denver Door Handle, Olivari
2011 eL Masterpiece,
Zumtobel Group, Sawaya & Moroni 2012 Torq Armchair and Table, Sawaya & Moroni
2012 Zohar Street Lamp,
Zumtobel Group 2012 The Idea Door 1 & 2, TRE-Più
2013 The Wing Mirror, Fiam
Jacuzzi 2013 Paragon Lamp,
Artemide 2013 Nina Door Handle, Olivari
2014 Ice Glass Installation
 2016 Water Tower,
Alessi 2016 Gemma Collection, Moroso
2016 Swarovski Chess Set,
Swarovski 2017 Cordoba light, Slamp
2017 Dining and side Table, Citco
2019 Boaz Chair, Wilde + Spieth
First architect to win the Hiroshima Art Prize, awarded to an artist whose work promotes international understanding and peace (2001)
 In 2003, he received the
Leo Baeck Medal for his humanitarian work promoting tolerance and social justice. AIANY Merit Award for the National Holocaust Monument, Ottawa, Canada (2018)
MIPIM/The Architectural Review, Future Project Award for L'Occitanie Tower in Toulouse, France (2018)
CTBUH Urban Habitat Award for the World Trade Center Master Plan (2018) AIA National Service Award for the World Trade Center Master Plan (2012)
Fellow for the
American Institute of Architects (2016)
RIBA Regional Award for Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics at Durham University (2017) Received an Honorary Doctorate of Architecture from the University of South Florida.
Doctor Honoris Causa of the
New Bulgarian University from 2013 in recognition of his influence on the contemporary architectural research and practice First recipient of
honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Art (DFA) from University of Ulster in recognition of his outstanding services to global architecture and design (2009) 
MIPIM award in Best Urban Regeneration Project for KoBogen (2014) FIABCI Prix d'Excellence Award, Residential for Reflections at Keppel Bay (2013)
Euopean Museum Academy Prize for the Military History Museum (2013)
Gold medal for Architecture at the
National Arts Club (2007)
RIBA International Award for Wohl Centre at Bar-Ilan University (2006) RIBA International Award for the
Imperial War Museum North (2004)
RIBA Award for the London Metropolitan University Graduate Centre (2004) Appointed as the first Cultural Ambassador for Architecture by the
U.S. Department of State (2004)  Honorary member of the
Royal Academy of Arts in London, England (2004) Man of the Year Award from the
Tel Aviv Museum of Art (2004)
Goethe Medal for cultural contribution by the Goethe Institute (2000)
Time Magazine Best of 1998 Design Awards for the Felix Nussbaum Haus (1998) Elected to the
American Academy of Arts and Letters (1996)
Venice Biennale First Prize Stone Lion Award for Palmanova Project (1985)
National Endowment for the Arts Design Arts Grant for Studies in Architecture (1983) American Institute of Architects Medal for Highest Scholastic Achievement (1970)
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