Open side-bar Menu
 ArchShowcase
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Bologna Shoah Memorial in Italy by SET Architects

 
August 11th, 2015 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: SET Architects

The definition of memory is essential when we talk about a memorial: it is a monument of the remembrance of people and events and at the same time it represents a universal message directed to the collective consciousness. A space that doesn’t allow you to forget, that in our competition, becomes the acknowledgment of the Shoah: a massive genocide during the Second World War.

Image Courtesy © Ugo Salerno

Image Courtesy © Ugo Salerno

  • Architects: SET Architects
  • Project: Bologna Shoah Memorial
  • Location: Bologna, Italy
  • Photography: Ugo Salerno
  • Type: International Competition
  • Year: 2015
  • Model: Francisco Muñoz Albarracín
  • Structure engineering:  Ing. Daniele Sansoni
  • Tecnology and material research:  Alessandro Mirigliani

Image Courtesy © SET Architects

Image Courtesy © SET Architects

The Shoah was not the experience of a single person but of a community who suffered a common injustice.The aim of the project is to give to Bologna a recognizable monument as a unique and a new reference for the historical center.A landmark that will highlight the skyline of the city and allow people to evoke the memory of the past in the remembrance of those who have suffered horrible events.

Image Courtesy © Ugo Salerno

Image Courtesy © Ugo Salerno

This way, the structure of the wooden bunks in the concentration camps, where the bodies of prisoners were clumped together and their will to live was crushed by the feeling of the end, comes to life in an urban setting. It dramatically increases in size and projects into the space an infinite repetition of a module, appearing like a single cell of the dormitory.

Image Courtesy © Ugo Salerno

Image Courtesy © Ugo Salerno

Passers-by can experience the memorial by walking through the narrow and cold passage between the two equal and symmetrical elements. There, their thoughts become disoriented and merged with the memory of a mass extermination.The memorial is placed on a new square, located near the high-speed train station, at the crossroad of via de’ Carracci and via Matteotti. Being a massive structure, it distinguish itself from its urban environment, attracting attention of the passers-by.

Image Courtesy © SET Architects

Image Courtesy © SET Architects

It is made up of two parallelepiped blocks of 10*10 m. placed next to each other. Both elements in plan view have a trapezoidal shape with the two small sides 1,30 m and 1,80 m long respectively.A passage of 1,50 meters between the blocks narrows to a size of 50 cm.This way, a visual unity of the project is ensured, that however does not exclude the multiplicity of its interiors. Emulating the structure of the wooden bunks, the intersection of the horizontal and vertical metal sheets allow a stable structure.

Image Courtesy © SET Architects

Image Courtesy © SET Architects

In order to highlight the presence of the memorial to the passers-by, it is also important to understand its relationship with the urban context. The competition site is a square which emerged from the construction of the new railway station. The result is an area which is not designed for any specific functions, inclined to a new identity yet to be shaped and opened to the passage of people.

Image Courtesy © Ugo Salerno

Image Courtesy © Ugo Salerno

This is not a common configuration of a square but a junction between two big streets open to cars, pedestrians and bicycles, on the border of the historic center and at the gate of a multicultural neighborhood. Being a real terrace on the railroads, it is an area of high visibility and accessibility as well as an urban hub in development.The square is located at a higher level than the road one linked to the upper part with a staircase. There are two existing stone covered walls each 5,5 m. high arranged diagonally, this structure penetrates the space and partially limits its use for the visitors.

Image Courtesy © SET Architects

Image Courtesy © SET Architects

In order to ease people’s movement and to improve the dynamics of the position at the intersection of the two roads, we decide to demolish the final part of the original parapet of the Matteotti Bridge.According to the project, a new paving system will be added to the existing one: a layer of stones of various sizes, between 2 and 3 cm in diameter.This kind ofpaving, with its texture and noise produced by the stones while walking on them, allow the visitors to reflect and discover. The metallic elements of 6 cm width are placed on the stone pavement to evoke the tracks of the so-called Judenrampe. Those rods also have a technical function which is to confine the stones within the borders of the square.

Image Courtesy © SET Architects

Image Courtesy © SET Architects

Opening its space for visitors, the memorial transforms itself from being just a sculptural object into a livable space for interaction with people and history, where everyone can isolate one’s self from everyday life and immerse into memory.

Image Courtesy © Ugo Salerno

Image Courtesy © Ugo Salerno

Therefore, the memorial allow the closed solid exterior to open up and reveal the interior emptiness of the darks cells. Each one of them is 2 m long by 1,35 m high and resemble uninhabited identical boxes in a relentless repetition going to infinity. The cells evoke the degrading concentration in one place of the victims, the denial of a respectable living and the suffering of the absent opportunities of choices.

Image Courtesy © SET Architects

Image Courtesy © SET Architects

The outside noise of the stones is perceived inside, it resonate in the box-shaped modules and it’s amplified by the metal structure itself. Following the passage paved with crushed stones between the two monolithic metal constructions, made from rough and raw iron, the minds of people freeze. The visitors have a feeling of oppression, claustrophobic and anguish accentuated by the drastic reduction of the passage size. They wonder in the middle of the synaesthetic path to continue further reflection or leave all of a sudden to detach from this place of memory.The object has therefore come to life, the sculpture becomes the memorial.Everything is now brought back together.

Image Courtesy © SET Architects

Image Courtesy © SET Architects

Finally, the light plays an essential role in the project. The memorial can be visited during the day and night. During daytime, when the square is warm and sunny, the interior passage is under the darkness like the bunk beds were delved into the absence of light.The shadow covers the visitor and throws him into a secondary temporal dimension: the view is not well-defined but the thoughts are clear, taking shape in the interior empty space between two blocks.

Image Courtesy © SET Architects

Image Courtesy © SET Architects

At night instead, the square is flooded with spread light produced by spotlights set along its borders, while the memorial is illuminated by a strong light that makes it recognizable from the surrounding buildings. It is a Landmark even at night.

Image Courtesy © SET Architects

Image Courtesy © SET Architects

The use of oblique lights and a spotlight placed at the beginning of the path create a contrast of lights that bring the cells to life and suddenly flood them into darkness. This makes the viewer reflect and have a multi-sensory relation with the space. The lighting guarantees that the memorial is constantly accessible and at the same time a safe place.It’s the new Landmark of Bologna, giving shape and life to a tragic event in the history of the humankind.

Image Courtesy © SET Architects

Image Courtesy © SET Architects

Image Courtesy © SET Architects

Image Courtesy © SET Architects

SET Architects ENG

SET is a group based in Rome who questions the role of architecture by searching the essence in the basic elements. Our aim is to imagine a space that interrogates in a direct way and without filters with those who walk through it. This space becomes a life scenario created from the stories written on it every day.

SET founders: Onorato di Manno, Andrea Tanci,Lorenzo Catena, GianlucaSist, Chiara Cucina.

Related posts:

Tags: ,

Category: Memorial

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

GRAPHISOFT: ARCHICAD download 30-day FREE trial
Graphisoft ARCHICAD  Download a 30-Day FREE trial
TurboCAD pro : Start at $299
CADalog.com - Countless CAD add-ons, plug-ins and more.



Internet Business Systems © 2016 Internet Business Systems, Inc.
595 Millich Dr., Suite 216, Campbell, CA 95008
+1 (408)-337-6870 — Contact Us, or visit our other sites:
TechJobsCafe - Technical Jobs and Resumes EDACafe - Electronic Design Automation GISCafe - Geographical Information Services  MCADCafe - Mechanical Design and Engineering ShareCG - Share Computer Graphic (CG) Animation, 3D Art and 3D Models
  Privacy Policy