Daniel Libeskind (2008)
Yerba Buena: 736 Mission Street, CJM (View Map)
36 diamond-shaped windows light the top floor of the metal cube known as theYud
in the Contemporary Jewish Museum (CJM). Once inside, visitors see how the
soaring walls and windows carve the space with sunlight. The museum’s vision of the relationship between tradition and innovation, legacy and invention, is perfectly embodied in theYud
and the building itself, one of the most intriguing designs by the studio led by architect Daniel Libeskind.
Inspired by the phrase“L’Chaim,”
Libeskind let the Hebrew letters that spell“Chai,” “Chet”
guide the form of the building. The entire ground-level lobby reveals a dramatic view of the skylights and theChai,
the southern wing where the museum visit begins. An illuminated stair rises from the lobby through the southern edge of theChet
, crosses the central point ofYud
, and emerges into theChet's
Best Viewing: The shape overlooking Yerba Buena Lane is theYud.
After dark, stand in the museum's entrance plaza to take in the dramatic warm light emanating from theYud's
diamond-shaped windows. Access the interior during museum operating hours with paid admission.