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by Daily Commercial News last update:Sep 13, 2006

Polish-born architect Daniel Libeskind, designer of Berlin’s landmark Jewish Museum, the extension to Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum and the master plan for New York’s Ground Zero, has designed a 45-storey apartment tower to be built in downtown Warsaw.

WARSAW, Poland

Polish-born architect Daniel Libeskind, designer of Berlin’s landmark Jewish Museum, the extension to Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum and the master plan for New York’s Ground Zero, has designed a 45-storey apartment tower to be built in downtown Warsaw.

When finished, Libeskind’s sweeping glass tower is expected to rise to 192 metres, just a little short of the city’s tallest building, the Palace of Culture, a Stalinist-era landmark.

Libeskind presented his plans to city officials last week in Warsaw, where they were received positively, said Michael Borowski, the city’s chief architect.

City politicians are enthusiastic about building a residential tower in Warsaw’s growing downtown business district, he said. It will help the city avoid “a central business district which is dark at night, where people don’t live.”

Pending final approval of the design, construction of the building is expected to start next year and finish in 2008, said Marcin Roszkowski, a spokesman for city hall.

Libeskind envisions restaurants, cafes and art galleries at ground level, with apartments filling the rest.

Earlier this year, a design by Libeskind for a planned museum on Jewish history in Warsaw was rejected in favour of an austere design by a team of Finnish architects.

Since communism’s end in 1989, the Polish capital has been shaking off its the ubiquitous block architecture of its communist past, and now hosts a growing skyline of modern glass towers centred around the Palace of Culture. The landmark was a “gift” from the Soviet Union in 1955.

Libeskind, 59, was born to Holocaust survivors in the central Polish city of Lodz and became a U.S. citizen in 1965.

Associated Press

last update:Sep 13, 2006

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