An international figure in architecture and urban design, Daniel Libeskind is renowned for his ability to evoke cultural memory in buildings. Informed by a deep commitment to music, philosophy, literature, and poetry, Mr. Libeskind aims to create architecture that is resonant, unique and sustainable.
Born in Lód’z, Poland, in 1946, Mr. Libeskind immigrated to the United States as a teenager and, with his family, settled in the Bronx. He received the American-Israel Cultural Foundation Scholarship and performed as a musical virtuoso, before eventually leaving music to study architecture. He received his professional degree in architecture from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in 1970 and a postgraduate degree in the history and theory of architecture from the School of Comparative Studies at Essex University in England in 1972.
In 1989, Mr. Libeskind won the international competition to build the Jewish Museum in Berlin. He moved his young family to Berlin and devoted more than a decade to the completion of this seminal design. A series of influential museum commissions followed, including the Felix Nussbaum Haus, Osnabrück; Imperial War Museum North, Manchester; Denver Art Museum; Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco; Danish Jewish Museum; Royal Ontario Museum; and the Military History Museum, Dresden.
In 2003, Studio Libeskind won another historic competition—to create a master plan for the rebuilding of the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan. In addition to a towering spire of 1,776 feet, the Libeskind design study proposed a complex program encompassing a memorial, underground museum, the integration of the slurry wall, special transit hub and four office towers. This plan is being realized today.
Upon his move to New York, Studio Libeskind quickly became involved with designing and realizing a large number of commercial centers, such as Westside in Bern, the Crystals at City Center in Las Vegas, and Ko-Bogen in Düsseldorf, as well as residential towers in Busan, Singapore, Warsaw, Toronto, Manila and Sao Paulo.
In 2012, Mr. Libeskind expanded his European presence with the opening of a studio in Milan. Besides new architectural projects, the Libeskind studio in Milan has developed a department for industrial, product and interior design.
As Principal Design Architect for Studio Libeskind, Mr. Libeskind speaks widely on the art of architecture in universities and professional summits. His architecture and ideas have been the subject of many articles and exhibitions, influencing the field of architecture and the development of cities and culture
Nina Libeskind oversees the management of Studio Daniel Libeskind, from financial planning and record keeping to day-to-day administration and human resources. She provides counsel on all aspects of the business and participates in public presentations, contact negotiations, and communications. In 1989, Nina co-founded Studio Daniel Libeskind with her husband Daniel, bringing with her a range of experience honed in labor negotiations and political advocacy in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain.
Since joining Studio Libeskind in 1999, Carla Swickerath has gained diverse experience in cultural, civic, retail, commercial, residential and planning projects around the world. She has lead many of the Studio’s successful project teams from concept design through to completion—including the Crystals retail complex at CityCenter in Las Vegas, the Hyundai Haeundae Udong I-Park residential development in Busan, Korea, and the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. Ms. Swickerath has also led the complex World Trade Center redevelopment process from the initial competition phase to the present.
Today, her dual management and design skills come into play in her position of CEO, as she oversees all aspects of operations at Studio Libeskind. Ms. Swickerath is also a Principal and continues to lead many of the Studio’s projects, coordinating the design team and consultants, liaising with clients and client’s representatives and managing project budgets and schedules.
She earned a Masters in Architecture from the University of Michigan, following undergraduate studies in English and Art History at the University of Florida. She has taught at the Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weißensee in Berlin and University of Michigan. Carla speaks publicly on architecture, design and planning.
Stefan Blach has been working with Studio Libeskind for nearly two decades and manages many of the Studio’s most complex large-scale projects around the globe, coordinating consultants in a wide range of cultural, residential and commercial developments.
He is responsible for the coordination of design teams, including the completion of the 2,000-seat Grand Canal Theatre project in Dublin, the extension of the Felix Nussbaum Haus in Osnabrück, Germany, the Military History Museum in Dresden, the Ko-Bogen shopping complex in Dusseldorf and the Zhang Zhidong Museum in Wuhan, China that is set to open in 2016.
Before coming to Studio Libeskind, Mr. Blach gained professional experience working both independently and with a number of leading architects, including Tim Heide (Berlin) and Salvador Pérez Arroyo (Madrid), where he worked on the Museo de la Ciencia en Cuenca.
He received a Diploma in Architecture from the Technische Universität, Berlin, in 1991. Stefan is fluent in German and English, and proficient in Spanish.
Before joining the staff of Studio in 2003 in New York, Yama Karim had already collaborated with Daniel Libeskind for several years in the late 1990s in Berlin. He has brought extraordinary experience to the Studio, having served first as a senior designer at Polshek Partnership (now Ennead Architects) where he worked on the Brown Fine Arts Center at Smith College, Massachusetts and the Sarah Lawrence College Monica A. and Charles A. Heimbold Jr. Visual Arts Center, New York, among others. He also worked at Reiser + Umemoto (RUR) in New York, where he served on the team for the Yokohama Port Terminal in Yokohama, Japan.
He is currently managing the master plan and development of the former fairgrounds in Milan, Italy, as well as the residential complex Corals on Keppel Bay located on the waterfront in Singapore.
Mr. Karim has taught full-time at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and as a visiting professor at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. He graduated from Columbia University with a Masters in Architecture in 1995 and from the University of California, Berkeley, with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Design in 1991. Yama speaks English and Farsi.