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Saturday02 August 2014

Libeskind to design landmark for Essex University

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Daniel Libeskind has been selected to design a landmark building in the UK to house a new international institute promoting peace and democracy.

The Institute for Democracy & Conflict Resolution (IDCR) at Essex University aims to build on the university’s 40 years of practical and academic expertise in the field of human rights, justice and governance.

The IDCR will be the largest purpose-built institute for independent research and policy analysis in the field.

The multi-million-pound building will provide accommodation for research, teaching and consultancy, and provide space for other organisations such as policy institutes, law firms and NGOs to work with academics and practitioners.

A moot court at the centre of the building, on the Colchester campus, will allow people to take part in simulated court proceedings.

Daniel Libeskind, who took his master’s in the history and theory of architecture at the university in the 1970s, said: “I consider it an honour to be involved in a project with such visionary humanitarian objectives.

“I have always believed that democratic openness and conflict resolution is critical not only in the political sphere but in the making of architectural space.”

Libeskind and his wife Nina have a great interest in work which promotes democracy and conflict resolution, and have promised to help the fundraising campaign for the institute.

IDCR director Todd Landman said: “The focus of this newly-formed institute will be unique in combining rigorous social scientific research and policy analysis with practical experience and attention to democracy, human rights and justice.

“We are delighted that Daniel Libeskind has been chosen to design the iconic building we need to expand and develop our embryonic work. The building will evoke a powerful reaction from visitors, while conveying the seriousness and purpose of an international institute.”

 

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Readers' comments (15)

  • Mike Duriez

    It is great that Libeskind can use the same style for holacaust and war memorial, peace centres and shopping centres. It is all about superficially whack forms.

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  • mike makki, that is an imbecilic comment. The two things are completely seperate!

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  • mike makki, I take it you've never been to Essex?

    Interesting choice though, although was he chosen for his design or for his fund-raising contacts?

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  • mike makki

    ok ...what ever

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  • View Architecture

    I saw Libeskind's Berlin Museum this year and was disappointed, there was more style than substance. Additionally there was light rain during the day and everyone was forced to take of their jackets because of the buildup of 'condensation' in the main section. I understand the idea behind the building, but a building should breathe effectively.. I did also think that humans also lose water by evaporation when we breathe and sweat but didn't think the German staff would have appreciated that point, so Essex prepare to get a few dehumidifiers and ration your breathing in your new piece of architecture.
    http://twitter.com/VueArchitecture

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  • It is very sad that BD spends/wastes it's time protecting the superegos of "Starchitects" like Libeskind from personal comment : it is their flawed personal behaviour and arrogance, so lacking in grace and dignity, that draws this criticism in the first place. It is quite appropriate to mention Libeskind's wife as she has a habit of monstering anybody who dares to challenge or question her beloved husband's work. Talk about stuck in wrong place???

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  • Hi Keef,
    We removed your earlier comment as it contravened our policy on defamatory comments, not because it referred to a particular architect.
    Anna Winston
    Web Editor

  • Mike Duriez

    Thomas Kennedy´s suggestion that Daniel Liebeskind is not whiter than white, if I can say that, in his non-architectural views is very interesting indeed. Swiss bank UBS has just had to drop Le Corbusier from its adverts because he is considered a too anti-semetic figure. But suggesting that Liebeskind and Le Corbusier are in the same architectural league would be hard to support. Liebeskind should be dropped from this Essex scheme because he has run out of ideas.

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  • The above is a response to a comment that was removed under BD's terms and conditions.

  • Dear Anna Winston (Web Editor)

    Still weeping my heart out at the deletion!!!

    Bit of advice(non-sexist!) to your magazine : man-up! I am sure you and all your writers have spent many evenings in the company of the UK's finest architectural talent? Assuming this is so, you cannot have failed to perceive what bitchy, pedantic, self-obsessed , mono-minded prima donnas most architectural practitioners are : male and female alike!!! Your response columns/magazine would brighten up a great deal if you played to this gallery and all it's idiosyncrasies, rather turning into the rather clunky and grey screed you are becoming!! BD will be synonymous with Boring & Dull unless you are careful???

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  • Les Dobrovich

    When I was working at Buro Libeskind in Berlin years back, it was not Danny or wife who did design, but another architect. They just managed the brand. Perhaps the real designer left before the style went pear shaped.

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  • "Totalitarianism is a magnificent idea which will eventually destroy the supremacy of White Biology." - Quote from Daniel Libeskind in his early and little-known book 'Fishing From The Pavement'

    Hardly the stuff of Conflict Resolution .... but then neither are his hostile and aggressive formal vocabulary that speaks only to visual dissonance and rejection of the prevailing Sense of Place.

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