Auschwitz Community


Mixed Use


Auschwitz, Poland



This design proposal for the Auschwitz Memorial Centre is an experiment to erode a building form through time, to preserve the memory of Auschwitz but within that memory to rebuild and represent a new hope from the ashes of the past.

The building acts as a huge time piece sculpted from the permanence of concrete, the typology is evolved from the experimental generation of form, its form arches round to gravitate towards the old Auschwitz camp. The building is then split into its programmatic elements with the first interaction being the ‘’Vaults’’ a sculpted base where the main public square sits and is partially enclosed by the building’s U-shaped form. The public square is then able to be flooded with 1 inch of water that dances in and out of the vaulted arches.

The water acts as another mechanism for self-reflection and mirrors the building’s landscape in its black water. The arched concrete then holds cavernous spaces for art works and sculptures to be celebrated, the Vaults also hold all of the educational and teaching spaces for the music and art to be developed.

The south elevation is a gateway from the old Auschwitz camp and acts as a symbolic passing through time to get to the old camp. The main public square is orientated north in order to elaborate on the cavernous shadows for the huge building to act as a memory sculpture.

Ramps and escalators lead the public up either side to the first floor that houses the main exhibition space, a bar, restaurant and the large auditorium. The shape of the first floor plan also relates to the journey through time with the memory of the surrounding landscape freely lured inside through large ribbon windows. The final journey one must take is the walk upon the 2nd floor roof sculpture garden, this high level journey spans and traverses across the site to make the public feel uplifted. Looking out across the scarred landscape, the pinnacle is meant to symbolise a beacon of hope, a place where we must remember, lest us never forget.

We must have hope in order for us to rebuild a common respectful humanity.
Tiger! Tiger! burning bright
In the forest of the night
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And What shoulder, and what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the lamb make thee?

Tiger! Tiger! burning
bright In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

William Blake

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