Architect Daniel Libeskind comments on climate change through sculptures

Daniel Libeskind has created four sculptures for the Netherlands' Het Loo Palace. The series, titled "The Garden of Earthly Worries," deals with climate change. Discover more of the star architect's works.

While youth worldwide are currently demanding action to prevent further global warming with their school strikes Fridays for Future, a well-established artist has also drawn on the issue of climate change in his latest work. 

Star architect Daniel Libeskind has created four sculptures representing fragments of a globe and symbolizing different chemical compounds that are causing climate change. The approximately three-meter-high works were unveiled on Tuesday in the Dutch city of Apeldoorn in a ceremony attended by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands.

The four abstract sculptures make up the exhibition "The Garden of Earthly Worries," specifically designed for the palace gardens of the Het Loo Palace. The works of art are intended to depict the disturbed relationship between man and nature.

Libeskind's contemporary sculptures were conceived as a counterpoint to the ordered beauty of the palace garden

Contemporary art in the baroque gardens

Libeskind's works contrast with the orderly style of the 17th-century baroque garden, which represents nature as a paradise perfected by man. It is the first time that contemporary art is exhibited in the gardens of the Het Loo Palace.

The Polish-American architect's award-winning works often include symbolic references, a narrative formal style that has sometimes been criticized for being too overloaded with incomprehensible symbolism.

Symbolizing human-caused climate change

The main building of the Het Loo Palace is currently being renovated and will not reopen until mid 2021. The gardens, along with Libeskind's sculptures, can be visited in the meantime.

The Studio Daniel Libeskind, an international architecture practice based in New York, is renowned for designing museums and other cultural and public buildings. Among the most famous works are the Imperial War Museum in Manchester, the Jewish Museum in Berlin and designs for the reconstruction of the World Trade Center in New York. The gallery below revisits some of Libeskind's most famous works. 

Daniel Libeskind's spectacular architecture

The Jewish Museum Berlin

With the Jewish Museum Berlin, which opened in 2001, Libeskind achieved his major breakthrough. The zinc-coated building, erected on a jagged floor plan reminiscent of a fractured Star of David, has since become a Berlin trademark that symbolically stands for the ongoing debate about the gigantic vacuum left behind by the Holocaust in German-Jewish history.

Daniel Libeskind's spectacular architecture

The Military History Museum, Dresden

Libeskind has also unmistakably left his mark on this museum focusing on another chapter of German history. The military history museum of the German armed forces, the Bundeswehr, was not designed to glorify Germany's army, but rather to document its violence. It also confronts visitors with their own potential for violence.

Daniel Libeskind's spectacular architecture

Breaking with the past

The main building, originally erected in the second half of the 19th century, was redesigned over seven years by Libeskind and opened in 2011. He split the original building with a wedge-shaped installation. It symbolizes a break with the traditional portrayal of history, while alluding to the bombing of Dresden in February 1945.

Daniel Libeskind's spectacular architecture

Leuphana University, Lüneburg

The central building of the Leuphana University of Lüneburg is another UFO designed by Daniel Libeskind. With its steel and glass facade and its slanted lines, the building is bound to become a pilgrimage location for architecture fans. It cost nearly €100 million to build and opened in 2017.

Daniel Libeskind's spectacular architecture

Imperial War Museum North

The outpost of the Imperial War Museum London, this museum designed by Libeskind opened in 2002, and has since become an integral part of Manchester's skyline. The aluminium-coated building is located on the site heavily bombed by the Germans during the Manchester Blitz in 1940. Typical of the architect's style, Libeskind designed a space leading to a feeling of disorientation.

Daniel Libeskind's spectacular architecture

Denver Art Museum

The rapid growth of this city inspired Libeskind to create a building that seems to expand continuously. Surrounded by the breathtaking Rocky Mountains, the architecture of this art museum enables visitors to sense the connection between culture and nature. Inaugurated in 2006, the museum - like many Libeskind buildings - has become a trademark of the city.

Daniel Libeskind's spectacular architecture

Mons International Congress Xperience

The congress hall in the Belgian city of Mons, established in 2015, was also designed to allow visitors to look outside thanks to its vertical openings in the facade. Here, the architect did not work with aluminium, but with robinia wood instead. Visitors also enjoy a unique view over the city from several roof terraces with a lot of greenery.

Daniel Libeskind's spectacular architecture

Ground Zero

Who, if not Libeskind, would be able to create locations that can express deep traumas in architectural forms? That also holds true for "Ground Zero," the site where the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center used to stand before the terrorist attacks of September 2011. But the Freedom Tower conceived by the architect, himself a resident of New York, became...

Daniel Libeskind's spectacular architecture

One World Trade Center

... the One World Trade Center — a far cry from Libeskind's original idea. There were arguments surrounding the design and the use of the building, as well as Libeskind's fees, according to the "New York Times." At least one thing has survived these disagreements: Libeskind's concept for the huge area once filled by the Twin Towers.

Daniel Libeskind's spectacular architecture

Villa in Datteln

Libeskind had planned this building as a private home that, since 2011, has been used as an extraordinary reception hall for the company Rheinzink. It took only six months to erect the villa in the town of Datteln, in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The idea behind it was to construct a building that seems to be growing out of the earth, like a crystal.

Daniel Libeskind's spectacular architecture

Reflections, Singapore

Libeskind can just as skillfully design luxury buildings. The project "Reflections" in Keppel Bay, Singapore, consists of six towers and 11 villa apartments, with 1,129 single apartments, all offering an exclusive view over the ocean and the city. Alternative energy sources, such as solar panels and water filters, have added to the sustainability of the project.

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