- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover; First Edition edition (September 23, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1573222925
- ISBN-13: 978-1573222921
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,421,104 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Breaking Ground Hardcover – September 28, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Less a memoir than a portrait of a life as told through architecture, Libeskinds book traces his past and his numerous project commissions, including his most recent and renowned contribution to the design of the new World Trade Center. Libeskind sometimes skimps on historical detail, personal or otherwise, in favor of discussing his architectural preferences. However, tales from his youth in post-World War II Poland and engaging anecdotes about his strong-willed parents, who survived Soviet death camps, are interspersed throughout. For Libeskind, everything relates to architecture, and the book is filled with his beliefs about what good architecture should be and what inspires him. The book also features Libeskinds many clashes with and strong opinions about other buildings, architects and developers; rightly or not, he often casts himself as a righteous, innovative David facing stodgy, wrongheaded Goliath, and he doesnt hesitate to paint unflattering portraits of the Goliaths he has come up against. This is especially true in the final chapters, which detail the melodramatic quarrels he had with WTC site developer Larry Silverstein and Silversteins favored architectural firm. Libeskinds enthusiastic, earnest prose will be familiar to anyone who has read his WTC proposal; he believes fervently in the importance of symbols, going so far as to say "some days I suspect thats what people in Israel are really fighting overnot the territory, but the light." The WTC project has made Libeskind as much a household name as any architect could wish for, and with work on the site underway (he aptly describes it as organ replacement surgery "while keeping a network of veins and arteries pumping"), even lay readers may find this an intriguing introduction to the architects ideas and influences. 32 pages of photos.
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Breaking Ground...reveals the vision - and the audacity - that won him the commission. -- Parade, September 26, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is proof of that lesson.
As an avid fan of Libeskind for many years, this book actually has left a sour taste in my mouth. The stories that he tells of his family are great as they make you appreciate his background, but once he actually gets into his reasonings for designing this or revelations of that the aura vanishes.
His insight - albeit one-sided - into the selection, design, and collaboration on the Freedom Tower was interesting at first but then devulged into being a series of pages filled with ranting - almost like a personal diary of his that he decided to publish.
The recent attention surround Libeskind has placed him at the forefront of architecture, which he may rightfully deserve. However, if you truly want to appreciate Libeskind then spend the time and the effort to appreciate his work in either a portfolio or in person. His work is a better autobiography than this book is.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book gives insight into his thought process and allows the reader an...Read more