Building a new skyline

After being awarded the daunting reconstruction project for the World Trade Center site two years ago, architect Daniel Libeskind will venture to USF tonight to lecture on his architectural experiences in “A Vision For The Future.”

Libeskind received his architecture degree in 1970 from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Sciences, which is “one of the most theoretical architecture schools there is,” according to Santiago Perez, assistant architecture professor at USF.

“Many deep and complex thinkers come out of this school, and their buildings contain many layers which are hard to decipher.”

In 1972, Libeskind went on to achieve a postgraduate degree in history and theory of architecture from the school of comparative studies at Essex University.

Libeskind’s winning proposal includes a 1,776-foot glass skyscraper, which surpasses the tallest point of the Twin Towers by approximately 400 feet. The height of the structure is significant for two reasons: it not only pays tribute to freedom and the U.S. Declaration of Independence, but it would also be the world’s tallest building, according to B.J. Novitski in an article from

“He is working on one of the single most important sites in the world,” USF graduate student Daryl Croi said. “He’s taking over a building and a site that everyone experienced, and he’s trying to make a connection with architecture, which is a large part of everyone’s life and experience. It’s very impressive and it makes me want to listen to everything he has to say.”

In addition to the 1,776-foot skyscraper, design plans are being considered for a museum, rail station, hotels, performing arts center, office towers, underground malls, street-level shops and restaurants, according to an article from

Libeskind has also incorporated some ideas that will memorialize the Sept. 11 tragedy.

“Those who were lost have become heroes,” Libeskind said. “To commemorate those lost lives, I created two public places, the Park of Heroes and the ‘Wedge of Light.’ Each year on Sept. 11 between the hours of 8:46 a.m., when the first airplane hit, and 10:28, when the second tower collapsed, the sun will shine without shadow, in perpetual tribute to altruism and courage.”

Distinguishing himself from other architects, Libeskind has been known for synthesizing culture and experience into his architecture.

One of his first projects was the Jewish museum in Berlin. The design of that building was very successful at conveying what it was like to be a Jew in Nazi Germany, Croi said.

In some of his projects, including the WTC design, Libeskind makes use of emptiness, and his works are often philosophical, Perez said. He draws attention to gaps and forces the viewer to think about why he has decided to leave out a certain area.

“We are incredibly honored to have him come because he is so highly demanded,” assistant architecture professor Ron Dulaney said. “The fact that the university was able to bring him here was a real coup.”

The University Lecture Series and The School of Architecture and Community Design will present “A Vision For The Future” beginning at 7 tonight in the Special Events center.