Submitted by WA Contents

First images of Names Monument for Amsterdam’s Jewish Cultural District unveiled by Daniel Libeskind

Netherlands Architecture News - Dec 17, 2016 - 11:29   14261 views

First images of Names Monument for Amsterdam’s Jewish Cultural District unveiled by Daniel Libeskind

Daniel Libeskind has unveiled firs images of Names Monument for Amsterdam’s Jewish Cultural District-the memorial will be the first holocaust memorial to memorialize all the 102,000 names of the Dutch victims of the Holocaust. Announced by Dutch Auschwitz Committee today, the memorial is located at the heart of Amsterdam’s Jewish Cultural District and comprised of zig-zag shifted volumes which represent the letters in the Hebrew word meaning ''In Memory of''.

Situated along the Weesperstraat, an important axis within the Jewish Cultural Quarter, the Names monument is adjacent to the Hermitage Museum, East of the Diaconie’s verdant Hoftuin garden and café, just a stone’s throw from the Amstel River and in close proximity to important Jewish cultural institutions such as the Jewish Historical Museum and the Portuguese Synagogue.

First images of Names Monument for Amsterdam’s Jewish Cultural District unveiled by Daniel Libeskind

Image © Vingtsix

The 1,550 square-meter monument is arranged in a rectilinear configuration on the north-south axis of the main thoroughfare Weesperstraat and the Hoftuin pavilion to the East. 

''For the bereaved, it is of immense value to have a place where they can remember their relatives. To ?ensure that the names of Holocaust victims do not vanish from memory. Moreover, the memorial acts ?as a link between past, present, and especially future. Remembering is not just for those who can recall ?the war,'' says Jaques Grishaver.

First images of Names Monument for Amsterdam’s Jewish Cultural District unveiled by Daniel Libeskind

Image © Studio Libeskind

''It is also for those who did not live through it. For the children of those who experienced it, for ?their grandchildren, and for all the generations that follow. The memorial raises historical awareness of ?where wars can lead, and encourages us to reflect on and learn from the Second World War'', says Grishaver.

As visitors enter the memorial they will encounter passages articulated by two meter high brick walls carrying the message of Remembrance. Each of the four volumes are crafted from mirror finished stainless steel that hovers above the walls of individually stacked bricks. 

First images of Names Monument for Amsterdam’s Jewish Cultural District unveiled by Daniel Libeskind

Image © Studio Libeskind

102,000 bricks will each be inscribed with a name, giving a tangible quantification to the many casualties, as well leaving 1000 blank bricks that will memorialize the unknown victims.

''The Dutch lost the largest percentage of their Jewish population in the Holocaust. The Holocaust Monument of Names, once realized, will be the first Holocaust memorial to commemorate all of the names of the Dutch victims and the first of its kind in Amsterdam,'' said architect Daniel Libeskind. 

''My personal connection as a child of Holocaust survivors has made it increasingly important to be a part of this significant project. I hope it will become a place for contemplation, reflection, and hope for the people of The Netherlands and beyond,'' added Libeskind.

First images of Names Monument for Amsterdam’s Jewish Cultural District unveiled by Daniel Libeskind

Image © Studio Libeskind

The materiality of the brick—a ubiquitous material of The Netherlands and throughout the cities of Western Europe – paired with the highly reflective and geometric forms of the steel letters reference the connection between Amsterdam’s past and present. 

At the intersection of the brick and metallic forms is a narrow void that creates the illusion that the steel letters are hovering above and represents an interruption in the history and culture of the Dutch people. This suspended emptiness, or ‘Breath of Air’, detaches the neighborhood from a future in which Dutch-Jewish families went missing. 

First images of Names Monument for Amsterdam’s Jewish Cultural District unveiled by Daniel Libeskind

Image © Studio Libeskind

Below grade level, the floors within the walls are of a light concrete finish to articulate the letters as well as create a path through the four volumes. The area outside the letters will be of a darker, porous substrate, such as stabilized crushed stone. 

Inscribed in it are the geometrical construction lines that form the Star of David. Simple concrete blocks are placed in the open spaces and walkways to provide a resting place for contemplation and reflection

First images of Names Monument for Amsterdam’s Jewish Cultural District unveiled by Daniel Libeskind

Image © Studio Libeskind

At night, the underside of the metal letters will illuminate the area to guarantee the reading of the names at night and will trace the open horizon to visualize the suspended emptiness. Situated next to a subway station to the south and a roadway to the west, the floating polished steel volumes will be visible to commuters during all hours. 

Light and Reflection (self-reflection as well as reflection from the street and the city that surrounds it) are necessary for a meaningful understanding of what happened and the lives lost in the catastrophe of the holocaust. 

The Dutch Auschwitz Committee is actively fundraising for the memorial. The public may adopt a name to help realize the memorial. The memorial is slated to break ground in early 2018.

Top image © Vingtsix

> via Studio Libeskind