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Daniel Libeskind lands Durham Uni jackpot

Durham University has chosen starchitect Daniel Libeskind to design a new ‘landmark’ building for its physics researchers

The architect behind the masterplan for Ground Zero, New York and the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester, will mastermind the new Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics block, which will house the university’s Institute for Computational Cosmology and its Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology.

It is understood four practices were invited to compete for the building. One withdrew and another was not asked to a final interview, leaving Libeskind up against Newcastle-based practice FaulknerBrowns (proposals pictured).

Due to complete in 2015 subject to planning, the new building will sit next to the current physics building on South Road, Durham.

Martin Ward, head of the department of physics at Durham University, said: ‘It is intended that the building will complement the traditional buildings and landscape and it will also meet the highest industry standards for sustainability.’

Libeskind added: ‘Durham University is a place with both great history and great vision… this building will serve as a state-of-the-art facility and will be an exciting new presence in the cultural and educational scene of Durham.’

The Durham job is not the first university project Libeskind has worked on in the UK. In 2004 his practice’s London Metropolitan University Graduate Centre opened in Holloway Road.

Studio Daniel Libeskind was also picked to design a ‘world-class headquarters’ for a new Institute for Democracy and Conflict Resolution at the University of Essex in 2010, though the scheme has not progressed (AJ 12.10.2010).

Readers' comments (6)

  • Martin ward says "It is intended that the [Libeskind] building will complement the traditional buildings ...."

    Libeskind? Compliment traditional buildings? Did the university bother to look at any of Libeskind's corrosive, aggressive, inharmonious, not-contextual, cack-handed and disgusting work? Are they aware that Libeskind's projects are invariably unpopular, barely functional, absurdly impractical and an offense to the concepts of beauty and humanist thought?

    Britain has so many better architects who could bring refined, respectful and architecturally significant designs to this project. Hiring a washed up, rancid and talentless has-been like Daniel Libeskind is a disaster in the making.

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  • I think you should say what you really mean Respor.

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  • If Durham University's program require's a dysfunctional, ugly, intellectually empty and leaky crystal, then they could bot have done better than to select a fatuous, vapid and pretentious architect than Daniel Libeskind.

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  • Another crappy " landmark " from that guy !

    How crazy is the world ?

    John m.

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  • Probably worth mentioning that his son works with the chief academic responsible for picking the scheme.

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  • Do we know which of Durham campus's beautiful historic buildings will be disfigured and rendered useless after being pierced by one of Libeskind's pretentious glass wedges?

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