Daniel Libeskind on the Building of the Contemporary Jewish Museum


Who can’t get enough Daniel Libeskind, we ask, not really wanting you to reply? We can’t, because he’s maybe our favorite starchitect working the big jobs lately. And so it was with great pleasure that we found, by way of Daily Dose of Architecture, this interview with him over at Nextbook. It’s largely about his new work, a building for the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, which is set to open on June 8th of this year. It’s his second building in the US, following the Denver Art Museum, and preceding his World Trade Center. It’s immediately identifiable as one of his buildings, almost looking like the less-glass-y version of what he did in Denver, and it’s really interesting to hear him talk about building a museum that is about the Jewish people, but unlike his Jewish Museum in Berlin, to name just one, is not focused primarily on the Holocaust. Here’s some:

It seems newsworthy that there is a Jewish museum opening in the United States that is not a Holocaust museum.

That’s true. That’s great. That’s exactly what I found so remarkable, because I’ve dealt with Jewish museums in Europe where you are always part of an immense tragedy. I thought it was remarkable to work in San Francisco on a Jewish museum that is a celebration of Jewish life, and of San Francisco, and of America. That’s why I based it on that very traditional and very ancient core of the Jewish spirit: l’chaim. To life.