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Daniel Libeskind Goes Prefab

But what inspired him?

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Libeskind in front of an image of downtown Warsaw, including a proposed residential tower he designed, last year.(AFP/Getty Images)

Daniel Libeskind, designer of the Jewish Museum Berlin and the master plan for the reconstruction of the World Trade Center site, has undertaken a more modest project: a prefabricated home, the Times reported early this week. Libeskind’s designs have often been informed by plays on Hebrew words and their numerical values. (The “source and the form” of his Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco is the word chai; the “guiding light” of his Danish Jewish Museum in Copenhagen is the concept of mitzvah.) Below, an imagined stroll through the newly-designed four-bedroom abode with the brilliant (if sometimes over-serious) architect.

As you may already have noticed from the structure’s contours—the vaulted ceiling, the soaring antenna-like protrusion, and the five-foot “absence” in the southwest corner—the inspiration here is the Hebrew letter mem. In Jewish mysticism, mem is the letter of water (‘mayim’), which is why we’re standing on this raft. Because the value of the mem in the Jewish system of numerology known as gematria is 40, the home’s temperature must be kept at 40° Celsius (104° Fahrenheit).

“It’s not just designing a shell or something, or a shape that is iconic, but really creating an environment at every level,” he (actually) told the Times.

Libeskind Designs a Prefab Home [NYT]

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Daniel Libeskind Goes Prefab

But what inspired him?

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