Breaking Ground: Adventures in Life and Architecture

Author: Daniel Libeskind
Type: eBook
Date Released: 2004
Format: pdf
Language: English
Page Count: 304
Isbn10 Code: 0719566541
Isbn13 Code: 9780719566547

From Publishers Weekly Less a memoir than a portrait of a life as told through architecture, Libeskind’s book traces his past and his numerous project commissions, including his most recent and renowned contribution to the design of the new World Trade Center. Libeskind sometimes skimps on historical detail, personal or otherwise, in favor of discussing his architectural preferences. However, tales from his youth in post-World War II Poland and engaging anecdotes about his strong-willed parents, who survived Soviet death camps, are interspersed throughout. For Libeskind, everything relates to architecture, and the book is filled with his beliefs about what good architecture should be and what inspires him. The book also features Libeskind’s many clashes with and strong opinions about other buildings, architects and developers; rightly or not, he often casts himself as a righteous, innovative David facing stodgy, wrongheaded Goliath, and he doesn’t hesitate to paint unflattering portraits of the Goliaths he has come up against. This is especially true in the final chapters, which detail the melodramatic quarrels he had with WTC site developer Larry Silverstein and Silverstein’s favored architectural firm. Libeskind’s enthusiastic, earnest prose will be familiar to anyone who has read his WTC proposal; he believes fervently in the importance of symbols, going so far as to say "some days I suspect that’s what people in Israel are really fighting over—not the territory, but the light." The WTC project has made Libeskind as much a household name as any architect could wish for, and with work on the site underway (he aptly describes it as organ replacement surgery "while keeping a network of veins and arteries pumping"), even lay readers may find this an intriguing introduction to the architect’s ideas and influences. 32 pages of photos.Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. Review 'Mr Libeskind is at his best here.' -- The Art Newspaper 20041101 'What fuels Libeskind is passion. This is what makes him so skilled at storytelling.' -- Glasgow Herald 20041020 'Sprightly and often fascinating ... A witty insider's take on the convoluted bureaucracy and rampant egos that bedevil any serious contemporary architecture' -- Scotland on Sunday 20041107 'Libeskind ... is a brilliant populist ... [His] genius ... is never more clearly expressed than here in his own words' -- Scottish Sunday Herald 20041107 'This reader was seduced by the clearly unique philosophy of a man who may one day be viewed, without dispute, as a great architect.' -- Blueprint 20041107 'It is a surprisingly engaging and forgiving book.' -- RIBA Journal 20041107 'Powerful stuff, if unsettling'. -- Focus 20050201 'His new book ... illustrates so vividly that life is an exciting adventure which must be seized. ... This memoir of one man's journey brings together history, personal experience, our physical environment and a fresh international vision. ... Breaking Ground is beautifully produced with many remarkable photos of Daniel's work and ideas. You are left with a man whose profession and love of life coincide.' -- Jewish Telegraph 20041107 'A smart, chatty, self-assured survey of his life and work...It's great stuff, and his buildings emerge in a new light' -- Evening Standard 20050822 'His is a brave attempt to reinvent architecture - and one that has succeeded beyond all expectations ... Libeskind likes getting his teeth into the Big Themes ... Which he does, expertly' -- Guardian 'A global star of architecture ... [Breaking Ground] shows the same combination of sharp intelligence ... and straight sentimentality ... that has endeared him to many' -- Time Literary Supplement 20041029 'Just as Libeskind's mind effortlessly zaps back and forth between concrete references and abstract conceptualising, he is as populist as he is highbrow ... Uplifting and fascinating reading' -- Observer 20041029 'One of the most celebrated - and controversial - architects alive. ... He has produced a readable, compelling and highly unorthodox book - part polemic, part celebrity autobiography, part credo ... He really is - as many New Yorkers have come to believe - an architectural visionary.' -- Sunday Telegraph 20041107 'Never have I come across such a lively, totally original, and provocative account of one man's struggle at the cutting edge of architecture.' -- The Spectator 20041107 'His passion is hugely apparent ... even casual readers will find this an extraordinary tale of artistic and personal achievement'. -- Good Book Guide 20050101 'It's as though one is in the presence of a polished conjuror doing fascinating tricks with a pack of cards, making incidents in his life, and in the world, appear and disappear, effortlessly' -- Literary Review 20050205 'Absorbing and well crafted' -- Guardian 20050903 'Fascinating detail' -- Sunday Times 20050925

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