daniel libeskind: academy of the jewish museum berlin
daniel libeskind: academy of the jewish museum berlin
nov 21, 2012

daniel libeskind: academy of the jewish museum berlin

academy of the jewish museum berlin’ by daniel libeskind, berlin, germanyimage ©  pietschmann, wagenzik, ausserhofer




the recently completed ‘academy of the jewish museum berlin’ is a 25,000-square foot, one-story complex which stands across from the building daniel libeskind designed nearly twelve years earlier. the structure which was also developed by the architect will house its library, archives, an education center and contain additional offices, storage and support spaces for the institution. the concept for the composition is entitled ‘in-between spaces’ which links the edifice to the other areas in the organization through strong themes and forms.


upon entering the piazza the words of medieval jewish scholar and philosopher moses maimonides are positioned across the left side of the facade: ‘hear the truth, whoever speaks it’ reminds those who search into the events of the past must be prepared to accept what they find. it is translated into five languages to reinforce the message and promoting its essence of truth.


daniel libeskind: academy of the jewish museum berlin exteriorimage © bitter bredt




‘each project offers a fresh chance to illuminate jewish history and culture, to understand the tragedies and the triumphs, and to celebrate the resilience, creativity and erudition that have been jews’ enduring legacy.’  – daniel libeskind


the large downward-sloping structure explodes through the facade mimicking the contours of the museum’s 2001 extension. two skylights are positioned above the cube shaped like the hebrew letters A and B to emphasize the importance of education and knowledge in jewish life. the entrance into the academy is through a large slashed aperture where visitors are brought into a transitional space consisting of two large blocks. positioned at odd angles the volumes house the library and auditorium form a jagged element at the rear of the opening. the placement of the pine timber structures suggest the imagery of shipping crates which are used to transport precious objects. it also provokes the story of noah’ ark, which preserved all things living and cherished during his biblical voyage.



daniel libeskind: academy of the jewish museum berlin three large cubes with wooden paneling mimicking the texture of shipping cratesimage © bitter bredt



daniel libeskind: academy of the jewish museum berlin a vantage point capturing the space between interior cubes and the exterior buildingsimage © bitter bredt



daniel libeskind: academy of the jewish museum berlin sky lightsimage © bitter bredt



daniel libeskind: academy of the jewish museum berlin ‘here the truth, whoever speaks it’ by moses maimonides is translated into english, german, hebrew, arabic and judeo-arabic image © bitter bredt

  • To Mumo:
    What would the difference be? This blog is to comment and give a personal opinion of any kind of projects, based on the posted information, not on the experience.
    Besides, I am pretty sure many of these architects have also been users of a Libeskind building…like the Jewish Museum in Berlin (personally the only one in which Daniel took more than 2 min to think over it). It is not hard to see that after that, his work has been redundant…he is very ecological ’cause he keeps on recycling his own ideas (with no evolution)
    Well sometimes he changes some kind of shape. Change based on nothing.

  • Will someone please give Libeskind a new idea to play with? This diagonal window, angled wall stuff never really worked. He needs some help.

    Angel of Dearth
  • Most of you who are calling his works mediocre or whatever are probably architects. Pity he doesn’t design for you. Sure if you asked THE USERS what they thought of the experience or the building….it would be different. That’s what counts.

  • Style and Fresh have nothing to do with an idea. Can the architects ideas be expressed with imagination infused with poetry, presence and panache. These are value markers.

    J.S. Bach composed the ‘Art of the Fugue’ at the end of his life when it was long passe to compose fugues on that scale. It is probably still man’s greatest artistic achievement.

    For me this architects designs have never expressed poetry, presence and panache. For that you need to be blessed with an imagination infused with humanity that can transcend a cultural ideology.

    Kenneth Smythe
  • what is important here
    the architect who designed it ??????????????????
    or the purpose for which it was built ????????????????????
    me thinks the ego got in the way of the remembrance

  • How lond did Libeskind spend designing this “masterpiece”? 10 seconds? 12? Less?

    Flash B
  • It’s not new (designed 12 years ago), and it’s not a master piece, there is nothing to be jealous of. I personally think “deconstruction” as a style is over its zenith. That’s not to say it’s good or bad, just not really “fresh” any more.

  • Anxiously awaiting army of mediocre junior box-makers to comment on this new Libeskind masterpiece. Professional jealousy is a bitch.


have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
507,154 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample
designboom magazine