Critics' reactions to Libeskind's
Military History Museum


Dezeen Wire:
 architecture critics have been offering their thoughts on Daniel Libeskind's divisive Military History Museum in Dresden, which opened earlier this month.

The Observer's architecture critic Rowan Moore praised the spaces where the old museum meets the new addition but admonished the shard-like extension for its lack of functional space, stating: "The design's weakness is its belief that sheer shape can speak on its own."

In a review for The Wall Street Journal, Mary M. Lane described Libeskind's intervention as "a piece of shrapnel freshly fallen from the sky" and outlines the architect's motivations for working on the project, as a child of Holocaust survivors.

Writing in German publication Deutsche Welle, Ronny Arnold said that Libeskind's renovation marks a new beginning and claims that "the museum is moving away from the mere presentation of war equipment and toward multidimensionality," while Erin Huggins of The Local obtained a positive response to the building from museum spokesman Major Lars Berg, who said: “It’s an interesting combination of conventional components and something very progressive that one wouldn’t expect from the military."

Libeskind's design has had our readers up in arms - see the article and comments here and see all of our previous stories on Daniel Libeskind here.

Update 17/11/11: see a new set of photos in our later story.


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Posted on Wednesday October 26th 2011 at 3:01 pm by Alyn Griffiths. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • KD Ramdan

    Was it really necessary to destroy the integrity and harmony of the older building just to make a rather dumb point about the history of the war? The exhibits should be able to generate any essential ideas by themselves. This bombastic addition is too "in your face" for my liking. It's awful.

  • While I'm still not fully pleased with Libeskind's addition's lack of functional space, I don't mind the transformation and addition to the original building. Instead of blindly kowtowing to history and leaving the building as is, the addition interrupts the harmony. In so doing, we're brought into a moment where we face the building both as historical artifice and as connected to our present world. War isn't a thing that happened in the past;. Rather, out of the roots of war new shoots arise, changing and impacting the world today.

  • Habin

    We’ve seen Foster, Piano, Scarpa all create innovative and respectful contemporary additions to museums. Libeskind’s work in Dresden is not creative. (It is more of the same repetitive crystal / wedge he applies to every problem.) Nor is it harmonious. It is a vicious assualt on the original building.