To comprehend and make manifest an extreme event such as the willful perishing of millions is almost an impossible task. However, we can perpetuate the echo of this loss and install a faint trace of its unutterable pain.
This effort can find a receptive terrain in a place that evokes a burial ground. Such places embody a larger potential than simply accommodating death; they can incite reflection on the correlation of memory and forgetting. When disengaged from a monumental impulse in particular, they suggest that structure and erosion, recovery and disaster, memory and oblivion, can dynamically succeed one another. In this respect, a cemetery even if doesn’t fully safeguard memory, it does approximate its evanescent character. It can recall the anguish of loss in an unassuming way, like the presence of autumn leaves on a pavement.
A series of rectangular pieces of the square’s ground are stripped from the existing granite floor and filled with rough textured concrete. These distinct surfaces, resembling a group of informal gravestones, will weather fast, gathering moist and growing moss.
The rest of the paving, the stairs and the entire drainage system remain unmodified.
A part of this cluster of graves is covered by a 17x17 m canopy that is supported by 7 m high free standing piers. The whole structure is made by steel load bearing elements and is dressed with mild-steel sheets that will gradually rust at the sides that are exposed to rain. The canopy bears perforations deriving from the projection of the floor graves outline. These openings, admitting sunlight and rain, operate as a metaphorical levitation of the burial excavations.
The pattern of the graves inscribed on the floor is animated by the shifting light stains that reproduce - gradually displaced and distorted - the same pattern. That activity of the sunlight along with the doubling of the graves on the roof voids is stimulating. It establishes a connection between the ground and the sky, between the grief and the soothing light, between the holocaust scars and the tears of the rain.
Watching the penetrating rays of the sun to caress the symbolic imprints of the lost lives can be a form of prayer.