SET Architects wins design competition for Holocaust Memorial

The site in Bologna, Italy, is meant to evoke a concentration camp.

July 19, 2015 |
SET Architects wins design competition for Holocaust Memorial

To create a sense of claustrophobia and imprisonment, the space separating the two structures starts at 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) and narrows to 50 centimeters (1.6 feet). Renderings courtesy SET Architects

A seven-person jury representing the Jewish Community of Bologna, Italy, has chosen Rome-based SET Architects as the winner of a competition to design a Holocaust memorial in Bologna.

According to a posting on Facebook, the jury evaluated 284 entries, which were whittled down to five finalists. The jury reconvened at the Bologna Association of Architects offices on June 29 to chose the winning design, which is called Shoah Memorial.

ArchDaily reports that the design—which is dominated by two large metal monolithic structures (10x10-meter, or around 33x33 feet, according to SET’s entry)—is a representation of oppressive wooden bunks in concentration camps in Germany during World War II. The blocks are trapedzoidal, with the small sides 1.3-meters and 1.8 meters respectively.

To create a sense of claustrophobia and imprisonment, the space separating the two structures starts at 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) and narrows to 50 centimeters (1.6 feet).

The stone and metallic paving that surrounds the structures is designed to evoke the railways used to transport Jews to the camps. The structures will also amplify outside sounds that are meant to accentuate a sense of anguish.

The memorial will be placed within a new square, located near a high-speed train station. “It is important to understand the relationship with the urban context,” SET states in its submission. “The result is an area which is not designed for any specific functions, inclined to a new identify yet to be shaped and opened to the passage of people.”

SET Architects’ team members on this entry are Onorato di Manno, Andrea Tanci, Gianluca Sist, Lorenzo Catena, and Chiara Cucina. An exhibition will display the project’s details at an awards presentation on September 6. The memorial will be inaugurated on January 27, 2016.

The Jewish Community of Bologna has set memorial project’s budget at 120,000 Euros (about US $169,000).

 

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