|Arial Perspective: Getting lost in your emotions|
Tension and Tears
Placed in the center of Downtown Berlin, Germany is the “Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe” to honor the life and death of the victims of the genocide which was the Jewish Holocaust of the 1930’s and 40’s. In 1998 an architectural competition was held and Peter Eisenmans design was selected from a pool of well-known architects, however the project wasn’t finished and dedicated until 2005. Before the project was completed there were years of controversy for its banal and undecorated design. After the projects dedication most of those controversy’s diminished, however architecture like this is experienced best through an open mind and unbiased opinions.
I chose to focus on this project because of its strong, yet simple use of emotion and unsettled wonder. Designed to be a space of tension from the normal everyday world, this project allows the user to walk through a maze of solid rectangular concrete slabs, weaving through a grid of both the unknown and the interesting. Tessellated in height these volumes act as a “wave” in elevation as they cross a sloped terrain, gradually changing the perspective of the nearest juxtaposed slab. An area of interstitial movement which doesn’t try to be a representative form or museum, yet a space of complete emotion where the user is left to convey their own feeling as they pass through. Unlike most memorials which highlight the names of the victims or hero’s, the “Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe” leaves a bare finish to the volumes, highlighting only the strange sensation of disappearing into a space where you feel you most uncomfortable.
While I have never personally experienced this space, I would most certainly make an effort to visit if I were in Berlin. The idea of a space taking you into a place where you are stripped of your comfort is spot-on in my mind, for conveying the emotion which respects and resembles a dark moment in history such as the holocaust.
|Sketch: "Unknown destination"|
|3D Cutting: |