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Ryan Piurek
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Thursday, February 19, 2004

World Trade Center site architect Daniel Libeskind to give lecture on March 1

EDITORS: Libeskind will be available to meet with reporters after his lecture for 10-15 minutes. For a print-quality photo of Libeskind, contact Ryan Piurek, IU Media Relations, at 812-855-5393 or

Daniel Libeskind

Photo by: Office of Daniel Libeskind

Daniel Libeskind, architect

Print-Quality Photo

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- How do architecture, memory and historical catastrophe interconnect? Daniel Libeskind, master planner for rebuilding the World Trade Center site in New York City and internationally renowned designer of the Jewish Museum in Berlin, will address that question when he speaks at Indiana University Bloomington on March 1 at 7 p.m. in Whittenberger Auditorium of the Indiana Memorial Union.

Libeskind will deliver the Dorit and Gerald Paul Lecture in Jewish Culture and the Arts. The lecture, which is free and open to anyone who wishes to attend, is the first public event of the new Institute for Jewish Culture and the Arts at IUB. The institute is designed to promote the appreciation and understanding of Jewish art, music, literature, theater, architecture and other modes of creative expression.

A simultaneous Webcast of Libeskind's lecture will be held at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., in the Architecture Building, Room 100.

"In addition to his superb sense of design, the mark of Daniel Libeskind's brilliance as an architect lies in his ability to configure historical memory in concrete and compelling ways," said Alvin Rosenfeld, director of the Institute for Jewish Culture and the Arts and founder of the Robert A. and Sandra S. Borns Jewish Studies Program at IU Bloomington. "His justly praised Jewish Museum in Berlin is one expression of his ability to fuse history, memory and structure, and it is certain that his design to rebuild the World Trade Center site in New York City will at least equal his achievement in Berlin."

Libeskind gained international fame in 1989 when he won a competition among 165 architects to design the Jewish Museum in Berlin. The museum, which opened to great critical acclaim in September 2001, explores and integrates the history of the Jews in Germany and the repercussions of the Holocaust. Last February, he won the competition and commission for the World Trade Center Ground Zero Site. His proposal included a 1,776-foot high tower, which refers to 1776, the year the United States formally declared its independence from Great Britain. Often described as the "Freedom Tower," it would surpass Taiwan's Taipei 101 as the world's tallest skyscraper. The design also evokes elements of the Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn Bridge. The tower "should show to the world a beacon of light and hope," Libeskind said upon unveiling his grand design.

Libeskind's designs serve as examples of "how architecture can build into the urban landscape structures that are both a record of historical catastrophe and, at the same time, testimony to remember and hopefully rise above it," Rosenfeld said.

Born in postwar Poland in 1946, Libeskind became a U.S. citizen in 1965. He studied music in Israel and performed as a virtuoso in New York City, but left music to study architecture at Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York City. His architectural practice, which includes major cultural and public institutions, commercial projects, stage design, installations and exhibitions, began with the building of the Jewish Museum in Berlin. The building was designed to integrate -- both physically and mentally -- the meaning of the Holocaust into the memory of the city of Berlin. Libeskind said he wished to reflect the "displacement of the spirit" and the absence of Berlin's Jewish citizens whose lives were lost during the Holocaust. The museum is one of Berlin's most-visited cultural attractions.

Libeskind is a professor of architecture at the University of Pennsylvania and the Frank O. Gehry Chair at the University of Toronto. He has received numerous awards, including the 2001 Hiroshima Art Prize for his design of the Jewish Museum in Berlin. It marked the first time an architect had received the award, which is given to an artist whose work promotes international understanding and peace. His work has been exhibited extensively in major museums and galleries around the world, and his ideas have influenced a new generation of architects and others interested in the future development of cities and culture.

For more information about Libeskind and to view images of the World Trade Center site redesign, visit To learn more about the Jewish Studies Program at IUB, visit