Daniel Libeskind: ‘Frank Lloyd Wright inspired me to go beyond the obvious’

The renowned architect, known for his work on the World Trade Center site and Berlin’s Jewish Museum, was inspired by an unconventional honeymoon

In the summer of 1969, for our honeymoon, my wife Nina and I rented a car and went on a strange adventure around the United States to see the buildings of Frank Lloyd Wright. We didn’t know how to drive, so we got together with two other young men, a Jehovah’s Witness and a very religious Swedish Lutheran. Since we were too poor to stay in hotels, we slept mostly in the station wagon, Nina and I on a plastic inflatable mattress in the back and the two men in the front. How she stayed married to me, I don’t know.

The trip was supported by a fellowship from the Cooper Union, my architecture school in New York, and it was entirely focused on Wright’s buildings. From New York, we took a Greyhound bus down to St Louis, to the Mississippi. Then we drove all over the country before ending up at a design conference in Aspen. Nina at that time was too young to have even a glass of wine, so in the evening, as we talked about the buildings we had seen, she would be drinking Coca-Cola. I remember it as a very strange initiation, both to marriage and architecture. Fortunately, she is such a wonderful person and didn’t think I was crazy.

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