Daniel Liebeskind: Ground Zero Final

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When New York was attacked on 9/11, world famous architect Daniel Libeskind was in Berlin for the opening of his Jewish Museum. At once he said: I am leaving for New York. Hear the fascinating story behind the ground zero master plan in this very personal interview.

Actually Daniel Libeskind had lost the competition for the ground zero master plan, before it even started. Libeskind was asked to sit on the jury for the competition, which would have excluded him from participating. He was honored and agreed, but found then out, that he could not be in New York for the decision because of other obligations. Only then he was told, “well, if you are not on the jury, maybe you can participate in the competition.”

Libeskind goes on telling about the project. How it was announced, that another team had won the competition, before he was asked to present his project again. How he was called up on his way to Berlin and was declared the winner. And how he then started to work on ground zero with so many different stakeholders around him. “It’s a crazy adventure, because it is a highly political, highly emotional, highly complicated process to get something build on that site, which is about memory”.

Libeskind continues to tell about his thoughts that went into the ground zero master plan. Why he wanted the centre to be a public space. Why water was brought into it. How he wanted ground zero to connect to the neighborhoods around. And why the highest building – the One World Trade Center – ended up being 1776 feet high. “9/11 was a day, that changed the world. We could respond politically and militarily, and we saw those responses. But architecture can respond differently by constructing something that has sense for people, that is a spirit.”

Daniel Libeskind was interviewed by Jesper Bundgaard/ Out of Sync, in New York City in 2014.
Camera & edit: Per Henriksen, Out of Sync
Produced by Out of Sync, Christian Lund & Marc-Christoph Wagner 2014.
Copyright by Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2014.
Supported by Nordea-fonden