Bologna Shoah Memorial Design Competition

Bologna / Italy

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The Place and The Memory experience


The Shoah Memorial is placed in a site of Bologna that has a great transit.


Pedestrians and traffic flows meet in front of the big raised white square, which is characterized by two monumental aeration ducts.


A big "white page" on which write Shoah history, not as a list of events, but through the remembrance of that monstrosity, attracting the visitors in an emotional experience of memory.


The Journey


Memory’s opposite is the oblivion.


To forget a fact means to allow its repetition.


The Memorial is not intended as a static monument, but it’s a journey, a road through the horror, to safety.


The railways of deportation


The project suggests a journey of conscience that starts by following symbolic railways to Auschwitz. The visitor starts his uphill walk towards a place apparently far away, in the past reflected in a mirror where the railways stop; that past is a dangerous reality still possible.


Corten steel shapes, mute procession and silent welcome committee of the extermination camp, accompany the uphill. The shapes wait the visitor to witness the horror of deportation; then, the visitor continues his walk to a crossroads where he will have to make a choice.


The Choice


The path splits and obliges for a choice.


A road leads to that horrible past, which ends in the chasm of graves.


The other road leads to the exit: the light which reflects on the white painted human shapes is the symbol of salvation.


The Material and the red tears


The human shapes of the "silent procession" are in Corten steel. This material, wet by rain, is stained by red tears that slide in the white cement duct which surrounds the Memorial. All those tears, which dirty the white cement as they were blood, are carried through the descending duct into the grave, evocation of the common graves where the bodies deported were buried.


The Message of Hope


Each visitor of the Memorial will desire to get away from the railways, from the human tearing shapes, from the horrible common grave. Each visitor will choose the way to the exit, to light and salvation. This is the message of hope of the Memorial: the new generations, remembering the Shoah, will choose knowingly not to repeat the horrible past mistakes and they will get away from the graves in which the red symbolic tears of the past fall.


Maintenance in the time


With time and Seasons passing, the Corten steel shapes, increase the meaning of the Memorial with their red tears. The maintenance of the monument is limited to the electrical

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      The Place and The Memory experience The Shoah Memorial is placed in a site of Bologna that has a great transit. Pedestrians and traffic flows meet in front of the big raised white square, which is characterized by two monumental aeration ducts. A big "white page" on which write Shoah history, not as a list of events, but through the remembrance of that monstrosity, attracting the visitors in an emotional experience of memory. The Journey Memory’s opposite is the oblivion. To...

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