Originally posted by Giuseppe Pullara in the Corriere Della Sera on Feb 7, 2023. This has been translated from its original Italian.
After working together for seven years on numerous projects with his father, Lev has founded his own studio in Milan and has now begun working “with very talented Roman architects” in Nomentano.
There’s no need to evoke 19th-century writer Ivan Turgenev, who powerfully illustrated the difficulties of parent-offspring relationships in his novel Fathers and Sons, nor Sigmund Freud. The entire culture has studied this issue for hundreds of years, and now we are witnessing the stark distinction architect Daniel Libeskind makes between his own work and that of his son Lev, also an architect who grew up immersed in his father’s projects and with whom he has worked on over 60 projects.
Recently, the Roman news outlet Corriere reported that Lev announced the “Studio Design Libeskind” is set to open a branch in Rome, aiming to “draw inspiration for new and original architectural lines.” The news is likely to please Romans, who might believe that father and son, both architects, work in parallel while maintaining separate studios. However, Daniel in New York made a sharp clarification: “I don’t have a studio in Italy, only in NYC. My studio and that of my son Lev are no longer affiliated nor associated.” In short, Daniel has no desire to settle in Rome, which is a pity. Lev doesn’t seem too surprised by his father’s reaction, explaining that after working together for a long time, he announced his intention to strike out on his own and become independent about seven years ago.
Lev revealed that Daniel was very displeased by this decision. Nevertheless, Lev went ahead and founded his Libeskind Studio Design in Milan (where they jointly designed an extraordinary tower at CityLife) and has just begun working “with very talented Roman architects” in a studio on Via Belluno in Nomentano. When asked about his father’s cold response, Lev said, “Well, family affairs are always a bit complicated.” Lev emphasized, with a proud tone, “I don’t want to stay in my father’s shadow; I want to go my own way,” while continuing to show great admiration for Daniel’s work. Since 2011, at his father’s request, Lev has been based in Milan to follow the work of Studio d’Architettura Libeskind in Italy.
Lev’s growing desire to establish his own professional identity eventually led him to open his own studio. Daniel’s mirrored desire to protect his architectural identity is the likely reason for the immediate clarification from New York. Despite appreciating Lev’s positive intentions for Rome, there remains disappointment regarding a great architect like Daniel, who, instead of planning his own new branch in the Eternal City, chooses to distance himself from this prospect. But between fathers and sons, such things can happen.