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WTC Process Teaches Daniel Libeskind How To Be Zen

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Once a fiery critic of the World Trade Center redevelopment after its progress oozed away from his winning master plan, Daniel Libeskind has come back around and not only accepted the whole process but "become one of the site's most ardent boosters," according to a New Yorker excerpt of an upcoming book about Ground Zero by Elizabeth Greenspan. And what a turnaround it's been: from the days of a lawsuit against Larry Silverstein and public vitriol towards others, the self-proclaimed "people's architect" now says things like: "I never thought I would build this whole project ... I would have to be an insane mad man to think I am building all of these buildings ... "You don't come up with a picture and say, 'This is going to be built.'"

When pressed on the subject of One World Trade Center's architecture, and how it differs from his original vision, he avoids direct criticism and instead speaks in platitudes about the site as a whole ("It's a total transformation, as I actually envisioned it") and openly discusses the evolution of his 'tude. "He went from fighting to collaborating because he realized that he needed to work within the existing system?that is, the more-or-less democratic process of rebuilding the site," Greenspan writes. From the mouth of Libeskind himself, he doesn't like the "system" but taught himself to get used to it: "It might be horrible... [but] as tough as it is, it brings something forward." Maybe his newly zen attitude comes from all the increased commissions that being the master planner attracted, or maybe there are anger management classes involved. Who knows?
· Daniel Libeskind's World Trade Center Change Of Heart [NYer]
· All Daniel Libeskind coverage [Curbed]
· All World Trade Center Redevelopment coverage [Curbed]
?Photo by Michael Klinkhamer Photography

One World Trade Center Freedom Tower

72 Vesey Street, New York, NY 10006