Daniel Libeskind

  • Vitra Fire Station, 1993, Weil am Rhein, Germany. Photo: Christian Richters. © Zaha Hadid Architects.

    Zaha Hadid

    IN 1972, I was a young teacher at the Architectural Association in London, and Zaha was a student. We have been friends ever since. At that time, the AA felt more like a club than a school. It was a period of ferment. There was a rejection of the commercial world, of the way architecture was becoming an establishment practice. Looking back, we were realizing that there were different kinds of modernism. There was the corporate version—say, SOM—which was everywhere by that point, and had been adopted by all the big companies for their buildings. We didn’t believe that was architecture.

  • Dalibor Vesely, 1989. Photo: Valerie Bennett.
    passages June 24, 2015

    Dalibor Vesely (1934–2015)

    DALIBOR VESELY was my teacher and friend. I was lucky enough to have a list of brilliant teachers—including John Hejduk, Peter Eisenman, Richard Meier, and Joseph Rykwert—yet it was Dalibor who inspired in me a thoroughly new approach to architecture. He introduced an unknown X into my mind. This elusive X was closely conjoined to the contradictions embedded within his own mysterious being—one that haunted me with its ambiguity and negation. Words against stone. Thought against history. History against practice. Theory against thought.

    It was only later that I realized the freedom offered

  • Reading 9-11-01

    IN THE DAYS immediately following the terrorist attacks of September 11, titles that promised answers in the face of the disaster threatened to keep retired General Electric CEO Jack Welch's straight-talking memoir out of the top slot on best-seller lists. Studies of the Taliban movement, Osama bin Laden's terrorist organization Al-Qaeda, and the ill-fated twin towers themselves predictably climbed the charts, but according to the New York Times, king of the hill was Nostradamus: At the online bookshop Amazon.com, three editions of the prophesies of the sixteenth-century mystic, into whose