November 19, 2018

Libeskind:To Create is To Be

People come on this earth with one single purpose, the very thing which gives meaning to their lives: to create, to prosper, and to achieve. What is one of the great examples of achievement if not that of man and woman’s ability to create massive structures upon this earth in contrast to the nature that surrounds him/her? That is the essence of everything and almost anything. It is for this reason why, I am happy to say, that I am grateful to men such as Daniel Libeskind who provide us with buildings that are not only a testament to success, but to humankind’s power.

To erect buildings as one man sees them is perhaps one of the greatest attributes of the human mind. The ability to think by abstract means, to conceive ideas, and then simply build them using the tools, and technology that have also come into existence through reason and rationality is something spectacular. When one looks at the work of Libeskind’s Jewish Museum of Berlin, it becomes obvious that labels are something of the past, the ideas of men who have been, can no longer be. The new, not for the sake of new, but rather for the sake of keeping one man’s integrity, is what is most important.

Libeskind, the Jewish American architect originally from Poland, is one of the very few men in architecture who command the respect of the few that know to appreciate not only the grandeur of his buildings but that of his vision. Namely one which does not take from others or builds upon the old, but rather fashions the new, in order to get rid of the old. If you look at every single one of his works there is only one style, that of Libeskind. Each building is different from all others and is instantly recognizable by its own character and its own flair-something which is exceptionally rare in architecture.

His Jewish Museum of Berlin is perhaps a perfect example of the beauty that stems from the mind and skill of individuals. An almost esoteric structure, it is a manifestation of the human soul which leaves its admirers in awe. The first question that I asked myself was “How could he create this?”, the second “How could anyone?”. Once I researched more of his buildings, it became obvious that, although not his greatest work, on its own it is a perfect mirror to the talent and skill of Libeskind, I dare say, one of the most important Jewish architects of our time.

He did not start out as a young architect as most of you would suspect, rather he made his way as a musician, namely he played the accordion, and in fact got so good that he toured with the famous Itzhack Perlman. In the 60’s he put the accordion down and got in the arts and found his own craft, something he truly loved and excelled in.

Yet I am not here to talk about the man. No. I am here to talk about his work which is the most pristine and best indicator of his own person. Amid all of his buildings, the one which I believe deserves the most praise is his “The Ascent at Roebling’s Bridge”, found in Kentucky. It is perhaps the embodiment of man’s attempt to reach for the sky, yet what is more interesting about it is that it is a residential building. The lucky few who live there understand its meaning, and above all its purpose. To create is to be. The tenants of “The Ascent” know that very well.

There are not many architects like Daniel Libeskind, which is a shame. For it is men such as him that show the capabilities of human reason. Capabilities which are meant to subdue nature.