The Jewish Museum Berlin
The Jewish Museum Berlin (Jüdisches Museum Berlin), in Berlin, Germany, covers two millennia of German Jewish history. World-renowned architect Daniel Libeskind designed the museum, which opened to the public in 2001. The museum was one of the first buildings designed after German reunification.
The museum adjoins the old Berlin Museum and sits on land that was both East and West Berlin before the Berlin Wall fell.]The Museum itself, consisting of about 161,000 square feet (15,000 square meters), is a twisted zig-zag and is accessible only via an underground passage from the Berlin Museum's baroque wing. Its shape is reminiscent of a warped Star of David. A "Void," an empty space about 66 feet (20 m) tall, slices linearly through the entire building. Menashe Kadishman's Shalechet (Fallen leaves) installation fills the void with 10,000 coarse iron faces. An irregular matrix of windows cuts in all orientations across the building's facade. A thin layer of zinc coats the building's exterior, which will oxidize and turn bluish as it weathers.
A second underground tunnel connects the Museum proper to the E.T.A. Hoffmann Garden, or The Garden of Exile, whose foundation is tilted. The Garden's oleaster grows out of reach, atop 49 tall pillars.
The final underground tunnel leads from the Museum to the Holocaust Tower, a 79 foot (24 m) tall empty silo. The bare concrete Tower is neither heated nor cooled, and its only light comes from a small slit in its roof.
Similar to Libeskind’s first building, the Felix Nussbaum Haus, the museum consists of three spaces. All three of the underground tunnels, or "axes," intersect and may represent the connection between the three realities of Jewish life in Germany, as symbolized by each of the three spaces: Continuity with German history, Emigration from Germany, and the Holocaust.
The Jewish Museum Berlin was Daniel Libeskind’s first major international success