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+ afran ot Sh Stinson g r a M Corey Concepts and Principles in Architecture The Washington University in St. Louis Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design

“the official name of the project is ‘Jewish museum’ but I have named it ‘Between the Lines’ because for me it is about two lines of thinking, organization and relationship. one is a straight line, but broken into many fragments, the other is a tortuous line, but continuing indefinitely.” Daniel Libeskind, 1998

© Michele Nastesi




historical context cultural context daniel libeskind parti connected:disconnected

form 1720

dependent:independent welcome:not-welcome



figure:field (overall) organization (axes) organization (overall) circulation (axes) circulation



physical emotional




tectonic 3536

aperture 3738


dark:light hope:dispair


historical context 5 6

Š German Federal Archive

Š Chris Webb H.E.A.R.T 2010

Hitler’s Nazi Party took power in Germany in 1933. This eventually lead to the institutionalized genocide of the Jewish people in Europe. Of the 9 million Jews that lived in Europe at the time, only 3 million survived. Many were mass murdered by gas, while others died of starvation, disease, and hopelessness. A Jewish presence in Berlin dates back to 13th century, though Jews were not always accepted within normal society. During the years of the Weimar Republic, Jewish prominence percolated into all sectors of society from science to entertainment, business, and literature. Jewish people were primarily secular and considered themselves German over Jewish. And yet, during the guise of WWII, Germans allowed their collectivization and deportation which took them to their graves. After the Holocaust, it was assumed that all Jews still in Berlin would emigrate elsewhere. That was in fact not the case. To date, there remains an active Jewish presence in Berlin, with 7 active synagogues and many memorials to pay tribute to millions who suffered as a result of the Holocaust. The Jewish Museum in Berlin is both a tribute celebrating the accomplishments of the Jews in Berlin, as well as a memorial remembering what shall never again occur.


The current Jewish Museum Berlin is an exhibition of the social, cultural, and political history of Jews in Germany from the 4th century to current day. The museum originally opened in 1933. By 1938, it had closed due to Nazi rule. The museum sat vacant up until 1975 when a group vowed to restore it. A competition was held to design the expansion of the Museum which reopened in 2001. The design of the expansion is based on three conceptions. The inability to understand the complex history of Berlin without acknowledging the vast contribution to the nation culturally economically, and intellectually by the Jewish People. A necessity to integrate the signiďŹ cance of the Holocaust physically and spiritually into the fabric of Berlin. By acknowledging the void of Jewish life in Berlin, the history of Berlin and Europe can have a human future.

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cultural context

All Sketches Š Daniel Libeskind

daniel libeskind 9 10

Š Bronx Museum

Daniel Libeskind is an American architect, born in Poland. He immigrated to New York City in 1959. He attended The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art where he received his professional degree in architecture, then went to the University of Essex for a post graduate degree in the History and Theory of Architecture in 1972. Libeskind established his own practice in 1989 out of Berlin and has since designed many major cultural buildings worldwide. Libeskind’s architecture reflects his

© rh89

Royal Ontario Museum Toronto, 2007

interest and involvement in philosophy, art, music, literature, theater and film. He continues to commit to expanding the expectations of architecture and urbanism within society and is devoted to making sure his architecture and urban designs are crafted with perceptible human energy - they attempt to speak to the larger cultural community in which they are built.

© Bruce Damonte

Jewish Contemporary Museum San Fransisco, 2008

© 2013 CityCenter Land

Crystals at City Center Las Vegas, 2009

"an irrational and invisible matrix" Daniel Libeskind, 1995

Š Jens Ziehe

parti 13 14

Š Bitter Bredt

rh um an it

y je

al o



lin h

s wi


s ne

as hiscar to in ry th of e be r


The form is made up of two linear structures: one zigzag, the other straight. Where the two lines intersect, a void is created, extending from the ground level to the roof. This expressive form is used to explain the Jewish lifestyle before, during, and after the Holocaust. This museum acts as a beacon that helps to establish and secure an identity within Berlin for Jewish people that was lost during the reign of the Nazi party. The intention of the voids is to express the feelings of absence, emptiness, and invisibility of the dehumanization that the Jewish people experienced during this time.

Two buildings sit on the site. The first, a Baroque Kollegienhaus, the other a post-modern abstraction. One descends into the first building to reach the second; however, on the exterior, they materialize as two separate entities. This connection, or lack there of, preserves “the contradictory autonomy of both the old building and the new building on the surface, while binding the two together in the depth of time and space.� This formal organization of building mimics the complicated relationship of Jews in Germany.

conected:disconnected 15 16

Š Guenter Schneider

disconnected: connected

dependent:indepenENT 17 18

Š Michele Nastesi

The museum is located on LindenstraBe within the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg borough of Berlin. Its location is about 2.5 kilometers south west of Brandenburg Gate, the city’s center. The site of the museum was originally home to the Prussian court of Justice, constructed in 1735. In 1960, it was converted into a museum for the city of Berlin. While the expansion is dependent on the city to derive its form, the structural expression has little connection with its existing building and site location.

There is not a formal entrance to the expansion of the Jewish Museum; instead, you enter from the old building. Since the Libeskind addition is the icon of the museum, it causes confusion for visitors who expect to enter there. 19 20

welcome:unwelcome Š Jewish Museum Berlin

Š Bitter Bredt

figure:field 21 22

Voids cut through the zigzagging plan of the expansion to create a space that embodies absence. It is a straight line whose impenetrability becomes the central focus around which exhibitions are organized. Libeskind creates a promenade that follows the “zigzag� formation of the building for visitors to walk through and experience the spaces within. The zigzag is derived from an abstracted Jewish Star of David that has been stretched around the site.

level 2: courtyard/cafe

permanent exhibition

level 1: permanent exhibition

ground level: memory void

lower level: underground axes


permanent exhibition

(overall) organization All Images Š Margot Shafran

permanent exhibition

holocaust tower garden of exile Š Bitter Bredt

lower level: underground axes

garden of exile learning center

holocaust tower

(axes) organization 23 24

axis of continuity

© 2008 David Joyal/Art History Images

axis of emigration

© Bitter Bredt

axis of holocaust

© Matthias Heidrich

© Bitter Bredt

In order to move from one side of the museum to the other, visitors must cross one of the 60 bridges that open onto this void.

(overall) circulation 25 26

Š Bitter Bredt

start of Permanent exhibit Level Two: Permanent Exhibition Level One: Permanent Exhibition Ground Level: Eric F. Ross Gallery & Memory Void

Lower Level entrance

Rafeal Roth Learning Center Holocaust Tower

Garden of exile



















The plan of the basement level spatially represents three different experiences Jews went through as a result of the Holocaust. As a guest experiences the museum they must endure the anxiety of hiding and losing the sense of direction before coming to a cross roads of three routes. The three routes represent the Jewish experience in Germany through: the continuity within German history, emigration from Germany, and the Holocaust.

(axes) circulation 27 28

© Margot Shafran




© Margot Shafran


© Abigail Gossage


© Margot Shafran




long passage



washed light

One of the most critical factors driving the form of this museum is the relationship between building and person. This museum is made up of a series of controlled sequences that play with spatial compression and expansion. Along the zigzag of ‘jewish-ness’ the passage is sized to the human scale. That said, it doesn’t make the space comfortable; the space is cool in temperature, the lights are bright and the walls are a sterile white, a little reflective in quality. Instead, one feels unwelcome, and rushes ahead. Eventually a person enters a void, an inbetween experience. Here the space is sectionally expansive with cold concrete walls rising 60 feet above your head. At the top, light washes into the chamber. One feels small in this type of space, but it also allows the recognition that there is more to this world than the individual. Although never explicitly decreed by the architect or museum, these voids have a godliness and give the sense of a higher power through the use of massive scale and natural lighting as the only ornamentation in the space. Overall, this building provides a series of different spaces that effect the emotional journey of the individual.

© Bitter Bredt


© Margot Shafran

cautious fearful

© Adam Carr

tiresome relentless


suffocating confined

© Bitter Bredt

exposed belittling

© Paul Coyne

hopeful alone

This building is about emotional embodiment as much as it is physical embodiment. The building physically expresses the history of the Jewish people in Berlin, and as such, the spatial sequence attempts to recreate some of the emotions vital to understanding this complicated history. Decent into the ground provokes fear, long passages throughout the building invoke confusion, confined narrow spaces feel isolated and depriving, slanted walls and sharp corners express an anger, and most of all the expression of hope that the viewer experiences in those sacred moment of void washed with soft light.

Š Quintin Lake

Visible:Invisible 33 34

All Images Š Isabelle Lomholt

The building is made up of a reinforced concrete structure. Due to the use of cast-in-place concrete, and a facade monotonously covered in zinc, the building has a sense of gravitas within the site; stereotonic in quality. Zinc is the material that clads all of the expansion building. It is a material that has a long tradition in the architectural history of Berlin. Over time, this untreated alloy of titanium and zinc will oxidize causing a change in color to more blue in tone through the exposure to light and to the weather.

Š Margot Shafran

light:dark 35 36

The narrow slits of aperture along the facade of the building follow a precise matrix derived by Libeskind from plotting the addresses of prominent German and Jewish citizens from pre-war Berlin. He connects these points to form an “irrational and invisible” cluster of lines. The randomness of these apertures helps to hide the interior purpose of the building and does not clearly help to delineate its scale or structure. Instead, they invoke a curiosity and express the testament of permanency within its site: the act of scarring the city of Berlin. © andBerlin

© Joshua Thomasson

© andBerlin

These diagrams represent our conceptual model: a physical expression of Studio Daniel Libeskind’s Jewish Museum in Berlin. The acrylic apertures represent the unfolded Star of David. The lines signify the linear passage one experiences through the building. As well, they are transparent so you are able to read the void in ground material, which forms a scar in the city fabric of Berlin. The ground is made up of layering burnt MDF. The layers are symbolic of the complicated relationship between Jews and Germans that this building depicts. The form of the structure is created by extruding the acrylic out from the void. The dichotomy between light lines and heavy ground expresses the dualities that make up this building. This void symbolizes the scar in Berlin’s history as a result of the holocaust. Our model interprets Libeskind’s concept of ‘Between the Lines’ as a way to understand both the hope and despair that this building ignites.

hope:despair 37 © Margot Shafran 38

a monument for a people?

a scar through history?

Dogan, Fehmi, and Nancy J. Nerssian. “Conceptual Diagrams in Creative Architectural Practice: The case of Daniel Libeskind’s Jewish Museum.” Kroll, Andrew. "AD Classics: Jewish Museum, Berlin / Daniel Libeskind" 25 Nov 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 03 Dec 2013. <http://www.archdaily. com/?p=91273> Libeskind, Daniel, and HeěleĚne Binet. Jewish Museum, Berlin. Amsterdam?: G + B Arts International, 1999. Print. Architecture Research Quarterly . Web. 3 Dec. 2013. < edu/aimosaic/faculty/nersessian/papers/Conceptual%20Diagrams_ Libeskind_Dogan%20&%20Nersessian_ARQ.pdf>. Rosthstein, Edward. "In Berlin, Teaching Germany's Jewish History." The New York Times 1 May 2009, new york ed.: C1. Web. 3 Dec. 2013. <http://www. r=1&>. Schneider, Bernard. Daniel Liebskind Jewish Museum of Berlin. 3rd ed. New York: Prestel Verlag, 2004. N. pag. Print. Smith, Terry E. The Architecture of Aftermath. Chicago: The University of Chicago Pres, 2006. 67-94. Print. Wenzel, Mirjam. Jewish Museum Berlin. Ed. Doreen Tesche and Mirjam Bitter. Jewish Museum Berlin, n.d. Web. 3 Dec. 2013. <>. Wikipedia contributors. "Jewish Museum, Berlin." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 25 Oct. 2013. Web. 4 Dec. 2013.


people are skeptical about the history of berlin. those very people, who never wanted to see that history, find it extremely difficult to accept the museum. it is difficult to address this issue, and that is why it is so very important to do so. Daniel Libeskind, 1999

Š Ricardo Chaves

Between the lines | Daniel Liebskind  

Margot Shafran + Corey Stinson Washington University Concepts and Principles Fall 2013

Between the lines | Daniel Liebskind  

Margot Shafran + Corey Stinson Washington University Concepts and Principles Fall 2013