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October 22, 2011

Daniel Libeskind building at 601 Capitol Mall in Sacramento, CA….when you get there, it’s not there

Filed under: California — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 6:00 pm

In 2005, famous architect Daniel Liebeskind designed a 38-story condo building called Aura, which was to be built at 601 Capitol Mall in Sacramento, CA.  The plan fell through when the developers of the project defaulted on a loan.  The photo below shows Libeskind’s design for the building, which was never built in Sacramento.

Architectural design by Daniel Libeskind for Sacramento

A building with this same design has since been built in Moscow in Russia. The building is shown  on the far right in the photo below.

Liebskin building in Moscow

Liebeskind building in Moscow, shown on the far right

Why should anyone care if the building, shown in the photo above, was built in Sacramento or not?

I’ll tell you why. When this project was first announced in the Sacramento Bee newspaper in 2005, I was horrified.  I had seen one of Daniel Libeskind’s buildings in Berlin, and I did not think that one of his designs would be suitable for Sacramento.  His architectural style has been called “deconstruction.”

My 2001 photo below shows the Jewish Museum in Berlin, which was designed by Daniel Libeskind.

Jewish Museum in Berlin, designed by architect Daniel Libeskind

The ultra modern design of the Jewish Museum in Berlin is intended to be in the form of a deconstructed Star of David, as though the building had been hit by lightning. The only windows are the angular slits that you see on the sides of the building. The surface of the building is covered with polished metal facing. There is no door into the exhibits in the building; entry is through a tunnel from the Baroque building next door, which is shown in the photograph below.

Contrast between buildings in Berlin

You can see some more of Liebeskind’s style of architecture here; there are photos showing what he did to Dresden.  There oughta be a law!

I went down to 601 Capitol Mall today to check out the address; 601 Capitol Mall is currently nothing but a parking lot with a small one-story building which is the office for the building at 621 Capitol Mall.

The description of the proposed building on this website reads as if the building had actually been built:

Situated in the heart of downtown Sacramento, California, the Aura condominium tower at 601 Capitol Mall is reshaping the city’s skyline with a much more modern view. The building, designed by Daniel Libeskind and developed by BCN Development of Denver, both embraces the architect’s signature sculptural forms and steps up the capital city’s architecture a notch.

Rising more than 400 feet above the city’s floor, the 38-story luxury residential tower features a luminous glass façade wrapped with translucent bands of balconies cut by curvilinear lines, which will provide residents with sweeping views of the city and surrounding landscape when it opens in 2007. The 256-unit building will also feature street-level dining, a sidewalk café, a fountain with sculptures, and a pedestrian-friendly lobby, all in the name of encouraging interaction between the tower and lively public space outside. Inside the residences, 10-foot ceilings open up 700-square-foot one-bedroom condos, the 4,400-square-foot penthouse, and everything in between. Other amenities include a landscaped garden, spa facilities, and 24-hour concierge services.

“The sculpted form of the building, its lightweight construction and luminosity, and its seamless interior spaces create an iconic whole greater than the sum of its parts,” says the architect, who is best known for master planning the new World Trade Center site and for designing the Jewish Museum Berlin. He calls Aura, which is his first project in California, “a sculpture that changes with light and the season.”

Libeskind has brought “a sense of energy and vibrancy to the city,” says Craig Nassi, founder and CEO of BCN. A developer for high-end, mixed-use, luxury properties, BCN currently has a combined real estate portfolio valued at more than $500 million.


  1. I would love the opportunity to photograph that building. It is stunning.
    My photography work pales due to a lack of stunning architecture such as this building. My hat’s off to the designers and architects involved.

    Comment by Mike Taylor — September 20, 2012 @ 10:36 pm

  2. Mr Libeskind’s architectural style reminds me of trash, lying in a heap by the side of the road. I can’t imagine that someone went to school for years, studying physics, art and history, and then designing buildings that look like trash, lying in a heap at the side of the road. Susan’s comments, above as I am writing, suggest that Mr Libeskind is another Frank Lloyd Wright. But Libeskind’s designs look nothing like Wright’s. It is true that innovation and change are difficult for people to accept, but pain is also difficult to accept. Boredom and bad taste are difficult to accept. Pain, boredom and bad taste are the things I feel when I look at Mr Libeskind’s designs.

    A lot of the post modern garbage that I see reminds me of people who are at war with God and nature. They no longer care for symmetry, flow or balance. They ignore all of the order that is displayed in nature and the cosmos, and prefer to highlight the disorder, static and chaos within their tortured souls. They cannot present beauty because they have cut themselves off from their Creator, who is the source of beauty. These degenerate “artists” are the propagandists for the encroaching Jewish world order that marks all of your movement on the internet, and in the banking system. The world order that is currently declaring all of their enemies “terrorists”, forcing NATO to drop depleted uranium and white phosphorus bombs on civilians. The world order will not allow words to get out into the media that do no not meet with their approval. The world order that totally controls an international monetary system, which will not allow you to buy or sell unless you submit to them. Mr Libeskind is a messenger of what the future holds: a boot stomping on a human face forever.

    Comment by gottfriedleibniz — July 17, 2012 @ 11:50 am

  3. I don’t understand the purpose of this post. Mr. Libeskind certainly is not responsible for the misleading article in Interior Design magazine. Yet, you infer he is when you state, “The description of the proposed building on this website reads as if the building was actually built.”

    A more recent article in Sacramento magazine reported, “Developer John Saca wanted to build a pair of 53-story condo/hotel towers at 301 Capitol Mall, and star architect Daniel Libeskind designed a 38-story condo building called Aura for 601 Capitol Mall. Both plans fell through when the projects’ developers defaulted on loans. In anticipation of thousands of new residents who never materialized, developer Ali Mackani opened Restaurant 55 Degrees in 2005. The upscale restaurant struggled, finally closing three years later.”

    As for Mr. Libeskind’s designs, people mocked Picasso, Frank Lloyd Wright, Voltaire… Innovation and change are difficult for some people to accept.

    Comment by Susan — June 2, 2012 @ 7:13 pm

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