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Holocaust Memorial design competition

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      With a prominent site on the Atlantic City boardwalk, this competition sought the design of a memorial to the Holocaust. Set against the Atlantic Ocean, the boardwalk boasts 35 million visitors annually, translating into more than 10 million visitors that pass by the proposed memorial site. An international competition, the winning design was selected from more than 700 entries.

      Our competition entry was based on the following principles:

      • Simultaneously experience anonymity and the individual. Genocide = anonymity and ongoing. Shoah = the individual and the event.
      • Isolation can promote reflection. Exposure can promote isolation.
      • Material + machine is emotive of violence.

      An overhead topography is designed to represent a living memory of events within the genocide continuum. Supporting columns increase in number and lean at greater angles according to the rate of the events portrayed above. The walking surface is incised with a rhythmic line representing genocide’s history. Following this path under the topography, the visitor experiences the proportion and magnitude of the shoah.

      The topography is constructed of 6 million one-inch cubes to represent anonymity. The wood is burnt underneath, to both preserve the material and portray violence through the act of burning. Light voids between the cubes express hope amidst the violence.

      For the design process, our team implemented the use of Rhino software for the first time in the office. Merging Rhino (which offers more design flexibility) and Revit software (a production tool), we were able to combine the freedom of concept work with specific construction detailing as the design evolved. We also paired the use of new software with different forms of output, including 3D printing and laser cutting. This exploration has paved the way for future projects, providing more efficient use of our time during the design and decision-making processes.

      Matt Kruntorad
      Sam Edelstein

    •  emotive images from the design process, reflecting our understanding of the holocaust and genocide
    • the design concept was challenged by the context; how could we create a meaningful memorial experience on the Atlantic City Boardwalk?
    • representation of genocide throughout history, including the scale of events, their duration, and the rate at which they occurred
    • events were mapped on the site, each given a portion of the site relative to their scale and a topography relative to their size and rate they occurred
    • layered building systems were used to represent the mapping concept, with voids carved out of the structure to provide light as a symbol of hope
    • to serve as a visceral reminder of the holocaust, the wood for structure was burned, which would also protect the structure from harsh conditions from the sea
    • renderings representing the experience within the memorial
    • rendering representing a view of the memorial from the Boardwalk
    • About the Author

      Sam Edelstein

      • Architect / Associate
      • sam@msrdesign.com
      • 612 375 8715
      • View Bio