The memory through the sound of the wind.
The new Bologna Shoah Memorial will remember the Holocaust victims by the sound of the wind. The wind knows no spaces, no borders, no races and no religions. The sound of the wind is always the same in all places and at any times. The Shoah Memorial will be the soundboard that will play the wind loud.
The wind will carry the memory of the voices of who are no more. The music will remind us of the voices of those who have suffered in every time and confessed their suffering and their pain to the wind. The music created by the wind is the translation of what people confessed to wind. The sound of the wind is the same in every corner of the world and for this reason reminds us about our country, our house, even if there is no more, or we can’t go back.
The sound of the wind will remind us of the land from where people were taken away. The memorial will be the home of the Harry Bertoia (1915-1978) sculptures. Harry Bertoia was a famous Italian designer and also the father of "Sonambient" (1). "In 1959 when Harry Bertoia touched by chance some metal rods, he realized that these produce different sounds depending on the metal and length." (2). Since that day until his death in 1978, Harry Bertoia made metal rod sculptures of different length and thickness to produce melodies if they are moved by the wind or by the hands. "In November 1970 some of those recordings take shape in eleven LP titled Sonambient ™ published in 1972. In 1971 the film" Sonambients: The Sound Sculpture of Harry Bertoia, "in which the music of Bertoia are the soundtrack" (1 ).
The Memorial will be made as a 12 metre wide cube shifted by the force of the wind. The plastic volume will be moved from the structural frame that will emerge as a skeleton from under the skin. The shifted pillars will leave tracks on the external walls as cuts. The sculptures will be played by the wind that comes in through the slots in the walls or by the hands of memorial visitors. The sound made by the sculptures will vary in intensity and melody, day after day, hour after hour, creating unexpected and unpredictable effects.
The memorial will be an open place with no roof and no doors. The memorial will have three levels that will be connected by a side stair placed in the gap made by the displacement of the outer cladding from the frame. The higher sculptures start from the lowest level and come up to the second level, creating a singing forest. The light will come only from above and you can’t look around but only to the sky. The ceilings of the first two levels will be low to give a crushing effect. The third level, without the roof, will be characterized by the square grid that will frame the sky.
The memorial will be built with raw materials such as concrete (outer cladding), reinforced concrete (main frame) and steel (secondary frame).
This is how we think to design a place to reflect on the Shoah.