Boyarsky Murphy Architects

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Bologna Shoah Memorial

The memorial marks the process of dispossession and displacement that Jews faced in the holocaust. First as they lost their homes and then as they were displaced from their city. 

The memorial creates an archaeological experience of this trauma by overlaying the plan from a typical apartment from Bologna’s ghetto onto the piazza. The plan, scaled up to fit the square, is then partially rebuilt with painted steel to form traces of walls, doorways and windows. The resulting sequence of rooms engage with the everyday life of the city, providing spaces to meet in, for children to play, and for everyone to sit and to enjoy each other’s company in the outdoors. At the same time the dark frames and walls evoke memories of past and present loss, deportation, suffering and death that bring reflection and empathy. Conceived as ghostlike shadows of a former life of the city, the steel door frames invite people to enter into the lost apartment and in so doing to re-enact and share the experiences of its former residents