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Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Architecture in real estate – Villa Libeskind, an architectural testament of the 21st Century

There are dozens of great architects these days, but only a handful can be considered iconic, given by their controversial design or ingenuity of their works. Most of them such as luminaries like Frank Gehry, Shigaru Ban, Richard Meier, Tadao Ando, Santiago Calatrava and Rem Koolhaas just to name a few, are also ever-present in medias across the globe. Definitely not to be missed in that list is Daniel Libeskind. Not many architects split their audience that drastic into two opposite camps just by the look of their architecture and Mr. Libeskind is definitely one of them. People either hate or love what he is doing, but it doesn’t go without notice that he is quite successful. Maybe one of his biggest successes has been winning of the Ground Zero design competition where he was chosen to become the lead architect. Unfortunately, his involvement soon was disregarded and narrowed when he got some colleagues on his site who soon took over the overall design process creating a less spectacular architecture for Ground Zero.

Some of Daniel Libeskinds current most recognized works include the Las Vegas MGM Mirage City Center, the Extension to the Denver Art Museum, the Jewish Museum in Berlin, the Military History Museum in Dresden and the Fiera Milano project only to name a few. All its past, current and future works make him one of the big players in commercial architecture leaving some people dreaming of a Daniel Libeskind designed single-family-residence to call it their own Libeskind. Up to that point a few months ago where he announced his latest coup – the design of “The Villa-Libeskind Signature Series.

The New York-based architect has teamed up with the German builder Proportion to produce a limited-edition series of 5,500-square-foot dwellings dubbed “Villa Libeskind.”

“This is the first small intimate house that I have designed for an individual or a family, which really reaches into the depths of a new experience of living and architecture,” says Libeskind, who calls the residence a “walk-in sculpture.” A prototype was unveiled in October 2009 in Datteln, Germany, on the campus of Rheinzink, the zinc panel manufacturer, where the villa serves as their welcome center what led into a slightly different use than the villa was originally planned.

This first week in September, I was able to finally make a trip to visit the prototype. We at Wetag Consulting market the projects first to be built villa on a beautiful lot in a sloping hillside position in Locarno/Orselina, Switzerland, overlooking gorgeous Lake Maggiore. It is a very prominent but still hidden location what totally reflects the building’s story. Daniel Libeskind designed the building like a crystal growing from rock, where a dramatic structure emerges from the ground.

Turning into the parking lot of Rheinzink, your eyes will immediately focus on the villas imposing appearance. Without a doubt, the building is right away recognized as a work of Daniel Libeskind. A trio of interlocking architectural bands envelops the Villa in striking angles, creating a dramatic, asymmetrical interior of spiraling, two-story peaks and smooth transitions to secluded terraces. Mimicking the Jewish Museum in Berlin and other architectural masterpieces by Daniel Libeskind, the Villa’s exterior is enveloped by an elegant standing-seam zinc façade, which enables the use of 21st Century technologies such as a solar thermal system and a rain water harvesting system.

Entering the entrance area, the dramatic lines and the allegedly wild use of angles continues in the interior as well, shaping a dramatic and eye catching living space. The ground floor consists of 2 rooms which could work as bedroom, library, home office, guest quarters or whatever else you would like them to be. The entrance area with the staircase, leading to the upper floor with all the private areas, is divided by a wall from the loft like open living room, featuring an open kitchen (optionally also designed by Libeskind) as well. Floor-to-ceiling windows on two sides flood the living area with natural light. Incline planes, Libeskind like ribbon windows, light wells and strange angles in the villas overall construction proof the building to be an original Libeskind throughout and give it an even surreal guise. It’s not a secret, but “The Villa-Libeskind Signature Series” is not for everyone. The future owner should be an architectural enthusiast, should love design and most of all should appreciate and understand Daniel Libeskind’s design language. In my opinion, gallery owners, artists, creative’s or similar will have their joy on this villa and will most likely impress not only their friends and acquaintances, but also their neighbors.

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