Daniel Libeskind wins award for Złota 44 tower, thanks to Warsaw Uprising vets
World-renowned architect Daniel Libeskind, who designed the Złota 44 residential tower in the heart of the Polish capital, has won the Warsaw City Prize.
The building’s symbolism for the city was highlighted by participants of the Warsaw Uprising, who called for him to receive the award.
“[Złota 44] was created from memories of childhood and the desire to show the strength of this city, which was reborn from the ruins like a phoenix from the ashes,” they wrote.
They also highlighted how the building, a characteristic feature of the city’s skyline, commemorates the Warsaw Uprising.
“A building-symbol for a few years already, Złota 44 lights up in red-and-white colours from 1 August to 2 October, like a huge Polish flag, honouring all those who fought in the Warsaw Uprising, who died in it, who had to leave Warsaw after it fell. It is also a symbol of victory,” they wrote.
Libeskind was born in Łódź in 1946 to two Polish Jews who survived the Holocaust. In 1957, the family left Poland for Israel and then New York.
After studying architecture, he worked in a variety of place in the United States and Europe. With his partner Nina Libeskind, he founded Daniel Libeskind Studio in Berlin in 1989. Since 2003, it has been based in New York. Libeskind looks back at his transatlantic life and career in Breaking Ground: An Immigrant's Journey from Poland to Ground Zero.
In his architecture, Libeskind remains attuned to the cities that surround it. “Architecture is a public art and we hold ourselves accountable not only to the client, but to the communities, and cities in which we build,” his studio’s website notes.
His best-known projects include the Jewish Museum in Berlin and World Trade Centre Master Plan, developing the 16 acres in Lower Manhattan destroyed in the terrorist attack of 9/11.
Złota 44, the residential tower in central Warsaw created by Libeskind, opened to the public in March 2017. Located beside the city’s Central Railway Station, it wing-shaped façade faces the communist-era Palace of Science of Culture. “Złota represents a new Warsaw with great aspirations,” his website states.
Receiving the award on 31 July, on the eve of the 74th anniversary of the start of the Uprising, he said: “I am deeply moved, seeing reborn Warsaw and its flourishing.”
“I am especially moved, though, that I received the distinction thanks to [people who fought in the Warsaw Uprising].”