"Daniel Libeskind selected for Maze prison site" - BBC

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Daniel Libeskind

Dezeen Wire: Architect Daniel Libeskind has been selected to design a peace centre on the site of the notorious former Maze prison in Northern Ireland, according to the BBC.

The prison near Belfast was used to house paramilitary prisoners during the Troubles in the region from 1971. It was the scene of acts of defiance by prisoners against the British, including the hunger strikes of 1981, in which ten prisoners died. The prison closed in 2000.

The BBC reports that Libeskind has been chosen for the ÂŁ18 million "conflict transformation centre" following an international tendering process.

Libeskind made his name designing the Jewish Museum in Berlin, which opened in 2001, and has since become associated with monuments to conflict including the Imperial War Museum North in Salford, England and the Institute for Democracy and Conflict Resolution, due to be built at the University of Essex in England.

See all our stories about Daniel Libeskind.

  • Waney Edge

    Good choice.

  • http://www.pendrich.org Chris Pendrich

    Insert irreverent spiky object here.

  • Simon

    I wonder if it will be a pointy shard form, which he will post rationalize and then insist that plaques are erected around the building to explain the concept? Couldn’t we give a project like this to a more interesting practice – perhaps even from NI, who would have a much better understanding of the conflict and its legacy and could produce a building with more resonance?

    No doubt Libeskind will produce more of the same. I’m disappointed, if you couldn’t tell.

  • cethuesen

    I think they’re hoping for the “Bilbao effect” – like many others have hoped for before them, ending up with a massive bill and a pissed-off community…

  • cuneese

    I don’t trust anyone wearing leather jackets.

  • jaycee

    It is appalling that the architect will not be selected by design competition.

  • alex

    Picking the largest architectural firm (with the most experience) will not result in good architecture. Projects like this need to be a limited competition through the RIBA.

  • M_Andras

    Sad news.

  • Brendan K

    Let me guess… there will be empty rhetoric, random diagonal lines and wedges… Oh, and it will be extremely ugly and lack any sense of the place or of the political conflict.

  • A.N.P.

    I find Libeskind to be the most insensitive, most divisive and most polarising architect. His work inspires no hope, creates no beauty and offers no hint of a brighter civilization. His agressive forms speak of indulgence, ego and an inability to harmonize with their neighbors, especially traditional and historic structures. Libeskind's work is the architecture of jealousy, petty spitefulness and hatred of history. He was the wrong choice for this commission.

  • Martin Hynes

    Terrible choice. Libeskind will churn out the same predictable, mindless and formulaic solution that he drags out for every project. His fabricated story and intellectually contrived symbolism may change, but the underlying paucity of idea will forever record Libeskind's feeble and embarrassing contribution to Northern Ireland's healing process. What a shame a more talented local architect or artist was not selected.

  • P.Donovan

    I’m waiting for the cack-handed sketch (immediately jotted down on the back page of the Belfast Telegraph, when Libeskind was overcome with a flash of inspiration after visiting the prison), and the naive soundbites … “The crystal shard represents the struggles of the Irish people. The diagonal lines point to the many places where the Irish diaspora made their mark across the globe. The wedge interrupts the timeline when British forces … etc. etc. etc.”

    This conflict demands a serious, sincere and thoughtful response. Libeskind is sensitive only to his own ego and is not up to the task.

  • JoJo

    Pick a name at random out of a telephone directory. Doesn't matter if it's a plumber or a pastry chef, but that person would come up with a better design than Daniel Libeskind. It may not be great, but it could never be as bad as anything Libeskind will dream up.

  • ACE D

    I predict a deconstructed shamrock pierced by a glass wedge and packaged with some pseudo-intellectual hokum about trauma and healing. In other words, the usual Libeskind nonsense.

  • Eire Nua

    There is no dignity in Libeskind's work. Picking him is a slap in the face to every freedom fighter who was sent to the MAZE prison. This is a case for a serious architectural solution, not another one of Libeskind's crude one-liners.

  • Hassan

    Libeskind? He's still around? I thought he'd been put out to pasture years ago after he was kicked off the freedom tower.

  • MP4

    An ugly Libeskind building will create more visual and urban blight in Belfast than a dozen IRA car bombs ever did. And that's a fact.

  • Andrew

    Horrible choice. I would not trust this clown to design a closet. He is a disgrace to the whole profession.

  • Paidraig

    The Irish are a wary people and not as gullible as others. They’ll see through this BS and hopefully give him his walking papers just like he got at the Freedom Tower in New York.