There the venerable proposition,
“All men are mortal”, had
already become an understatement.
If this proposition had been
inscribed on the entrance gates to
the gas chambers, instead of the
usual misleading, “Shower Baths”,
it would have aroused jeers; and
in this jeering laughter the voices
of the victims would have joined
in an infernal unison with the voices
of their guards. For the truth
contained in the old proposition
was no more adequately expressed
in a new proposition: All men
It is with this statement that
Gunther Anders evoques the
real truth of what the experience
of Nazi concentration camps
brought to the history of nations.
The sacrifice of the most
wounded victims of all, the
Jewish people, becomes a collective
trauma to look at.
Since the destruction of the
temple of Jerusalem in 70 a.D.
and especially today after 1945,
the term Shoah states for the
trauma dued to the condemnation
of the Jewish people to
a wandering condition that still
characterizes it today in the
world. Despite the institution of
the state of Israel.
_Because Jewish is an outer
culture from the Western one,
although it comes from it, Jews
are comparable to an external
A Jewish ghetto is a well distinct
piece of town.
It is a urban block that does
not mix up with the rest of the
Just like two communicating
bodies Western city and Jewish
ghetto keep distinct, but the
boarder that unifies them is the
one that also separates them.
The Shoah memorial sets in
the town of Bologna as an external
event different to what sorrounds
It shows itself as a tall architectural
building raised as a simulacrum
of the strong united
jewish community it represents.
Shape and event_
A dialogue between distant
parts. Shape and event, geometry
These are the two poles
around which the all sense of
the project is built.
The shape is pure, basic, monolithic,
of the western ratio in which it
will find its place.
The artistic event will give
meaning to the shape, by working
the memorial surface, raising
it as a symbolic body.
1:1000 and 1:1
_The Reading of the memorial
is double: one is urban and the
other one is architectural.
The building on urban scale
breaks into the city asking loud
for a moment of silence.
Just for one moment. For the
contemplation of its terrible meaning
in the chaotic and distract
fruition of the city.
The building on architectural
scale offers a closer and physical
_The body is a monolithic
black cement wall, well polished
as to obtain a mirror-finished
touch as to absorb and include
It is generated by the limits of
the project area.
The two walls are a pre-existence
whom presence is for
establishing a relation free from
The other orientation to the
regular tangle ad horto of the
city of Bologna is a good source
to give strenght to the project.
This way the memorial becomes
an outer element to the urban
Its ratio breaks the rules of
the city presenting itself as alternative
to the characteristics of
its symbolic and formal material,
changing the perception and the meaning of the sorrounding space.
Multi(tude) in a unique
_The finish touch of the black
cement wall is monolithic rendered
without joints, thanks to
a special technique that uses
three dimension light tans and
a couloured 6 mm cement layer.
It provides for a mirror-like
surface obtained through a finishing
touch hand-polish process.
The slightly mirroring surface
will allow the building to absorbe
the image of the ones who
stand in front of it, involving the
audience into the symbolic narration.
The viewer is so involved into
the memorial body itself and it
will activate a synchrony between
ancestor and descendent,
past and presence with future: a
multi(tude) in a unique body.
_The wall wears on the signs
that characterize the dramatic
story of the Jewish people.
The surface of the wall is its
body and it is wounded.
Visible engravings will be carved
one by one by the hands of
the artist on the body of the monument.
Regarding to the proposal
of the first phase of the contest,
the wounds won’t represent
the number of the concetration
camps, because they are destined
not to be counted.
We want to represent a
symbolic wound per each year
after 70 a.D.
A sign carved for every year
the Jewish people had to repeat
the formula Hashanà haba ‘a b’
Architecture as a witness to
_In 2016 at the moment of the
inauguration of the memorial in
Bologna, the signs of the wounds
will be 1945 on each side of
the high black wall, situated
between the platforms and the
city on the north of the railway.
That day they will carve the
umpteenth wound, the 1946th
wound at the presence of the
jewish community. So Time will
be inserted on the memorial
through this rite.
Every year every Day of Remembrance,
viewers will see the
carved fragments leaving space
for a new wound, contuinuing
the collective memory, to celebrate
the martyrs and those who
still live, witnesses to the failure
of the project of destruction of
the Jewish people.
The rite might represent a
double interpreation of the meaning
of a shoah memorial: keep
the memory of past fresh for the
present and carve the inability
to change the future.
_The memorial square will
be divided into two triangular
squares defined by the long
black wall. The area that peeps
on the railway will be inaccessible
to the public, so it will be
possible to substitute the existing
high protection nets (H 2,2
m.) with a system of protection
line in order to guarantee a security
system for maintenance
workers, with a great result on
the view from the railway to the
square on the other side of the
The east area situated on the
road intersection between the
bridge and Carracci street will
be used as a public area to relate
with the memorial.
A dynamic area that is made
enjoyable by the existing levels
each one connected by stairs.
The light system of the monument
won’t pay too much attention
on the body whereas it
will have to focus on the surface
of the square.
It will be asked to free the area
from extra lighting elements as
to let the view free.
A system of low broad lights
will be installed instead, tangent
to the existing light granite pavement.