The collaborated design of both Ron Arad and David Adjaye for the Canadian National Holocaust Monument, located in Ottawa, Canada is an expressive proposal that pays tribute to the survivors and victims of a tragic period in our history.
The structure strays away from using any direct symbols, utilizing only 23 undulating, narrow walls that curve in different directions and are parallel to another, spaced at least 1.2 metres apart, forming slim passage ways.
It creates similar experience as if one was waking through the depth of canyon, or deep excavations of rock. The narrow spacing only allows individuals to enter the structure one by one, where the wall extend to a height of about 14 meters and instantly directs ones view point towards the sky.
The idea was to kind of create a secluded passage that is effected by the surrounding proximity and materiality of the narrow walls which allows individuals to reflect back onto the structure as they progress through the path. The large monument also cast an immense shadow which exaggerates the overall structure.
The curved partitions creates points of compression and areas of relief allowing one to express numerous amounts of emotions. The partition walls are also constructed and textured out of concrete, the walls also form 22 paths that symbolize the number of countries during the holocaust that decimated the Jewish population. The placement of the partitions were constructed in order to allows visitors to experience the dynamic and the intense circulation, in a form of a journey that physically encompasses them.
By Amal Dirie