Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station

Medaglia d'Oro all'Architettura Italiana 2015

Menzione d'onore - Interni

Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati, Andrea Martiradonna · Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station
Andrea Martiradonna

The Memorial of the Shoah – a place for memory and narration- together with the Memory Laboratory – a place devoted to process the informations- reveal a hidden railway station through a system of spaces of dialogue and research.
The itinerary communicates the visitor the presence of void and absence, the experience of a loss made visibile as long as he goes through the hall of records, listening to the survivors’ stories, following visual projections, getting closed to the open cars on the “Destination Unknown” track and the “Wall of Names”.

Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati, Andrea Martiradonna · Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station
Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati

Not museum finds, but silent stories crossing history’s spaces, surrounded –today just like then- by the everyday life of the Central Station and the running of trains. But if at that time indifference took along the goods trains, today the Memorial offers a new glance on the facts of those days.

The “Place for Reflection” -with its dimension at the same time universal and individual- is a counterpoint, a break , a space without images and sounds. This place anticipates the “Memory Laboratory”, where the visitor can find informations about deportations, a specialized library, temporary exhibits, debates, lectures and projections.

Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati, Andrea Martiradonna · Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station
Andrea Martiradonna

Origins

The project promoted by Fondazione Memoriale della Shoah di Milano ONLUS (no-profit organization) involves Milan Central Station, whence the prisoners -most of them were Italian jews- were deported to death camps between 1943 and 1945.

This space was a wide and unused sorting depot till 2007, located underneath the railway station and directly communicating with the street.
The depot’s peculiarity is its complete invisibility from the outside and because of this particular condition it was chosen to deport the prisoners: the trucks from San Vittore jail carried people inside the area, where they were packed inside goods trucks. The wagons where finally lifted on the railway level and then sent to death camps, mainly Auschwitz-Birkenau and Bergen-Belsen.

Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati, Andrea Martiradonna · Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station
Andrea Martiradonna

Objectives

The Memorial will be a public space open to dialogue, debate and confrontation between different cultures, a vocation sprung from a place devoted to memory, with the objective to make visibile what was kept hidden for years.
It won’t be a museum, but a laboratory put into present and a reference for the entire civic community, in order to build a collective memory and to give people conscience to remember, tell, think.

The architectural integrity of this space, unique within Europe, suggests a project based on the conservation of its peculiarities and the setting of a permanent exhibit about Shoah -Memorial- and a system of new spaces.

Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati, Andrea Martiradonna · Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station
Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati

Project

This is a Memorial, not a Museum: the place itself is the object to display. The exhibit makes usable and visibile this scenery of dramatic historical events allowing visitors to cross it, experiencing a visit on different levels of involvement.
The project is based on the need to preserve the space of Memory and to keep constantly clear its dimension and peculiarity. All the architectural interventions are kept independent from the existing structures, keeping a respectful distance from them.

This project reveals itself similar to an archaeological excavation in space and time, establishing a dialectic relation with the historical building and recovering it to shape a critical, civil conscience.

Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati, Andrea Martiradonna · Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station
Andrea Martiradonna

The visit path through the Memorial crosses the original sequence of ambiences, now transformed in spaces of Memory. These spaces allow the visitor to get to know the main phases of italian jews’ Shoah, experiencing an emotional itinerary able to transform him from a passive spectator into a proper witness.

An original train has been placed on one of the two tracks within the “Deportation Area” and the “Wall of Names” will be realized on the other. On the platform 20 plates quote the dates and the destinations of the trains directed to the death, concentration and transit camps.

This part of the visit path ends in the “Place for Reflection”.

Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati, Andrea Martiradonna · Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station
Rendering Cavazza & Pizzuto Architetti

The Memory Laboratory is based on a system of spaces organized around a three-storey high library provided with 40,000 books and collecting the cultural patrimony around Shoah:

_ the network of Memorials, a multimedia connection of Memorials and Shoah Museums all over the world

_ a 200 seats auditorium

_ an area for temporary exhibits

_ a bookshop

_ the Foundation offices

_ facilities

Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati, Andrea Martiradonna · Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station
Andrea Martiradonna

The Memory Laboratory will be provided with an exclusive access in order to make it visibile and usable independently from the Memorial.

The construction yard started in 2009.

Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati, Andrea Martiradonna · Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station
Andrea Martiradonna

Credits of the project

Architects and artistic directors: Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati - Guido Morpurgo, Annalisa de Curtis

Collaborators to the construction design: Olga Chiaramonte, Matteo Quaglia, Valeria Radice

Scientific advisor for conservation: Gian Paolo Treccani

Conservation: Paolo Gasparoli with Maria Cannatelli

Structural engineers: Lussignoli Associati: Luciano Lussignoli, Flavio Buonelane, Claudio Favalli, Pierluigi Maranesi, Francesco Mazzeo, Andrea Moreschi

Plants: Giovanni Ziletti, with Lorenzo Inizio, Nicola Reccagni, Alessandro Temponi

Lighting: Ferrara Palladino e Associati

Acoustics: Cesare Trebeschi

Work Supervision: ACE - Livio and Antonio Acerbo, Valerio Arienti, Roberta Colombo, Manuela Maiorano, Rocco Nino Sallusti, Gabriele Salvatoni

Project management (first stage): Europa Risorse - Antonio Napoleone with Mauro Bevilacqua, Alessandra Desiderio

Multimedia: Kooa - Federico Thieme

Client: Fondazione Memoriale della Shoah di Milano Onlus

Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati, Andrea Martiradonna · Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station
Andrea Martiradonna

The project won a Special Mention for the category Interiors at the fifth Edition of the Italian Architecture Gold Medal awarded by the Triennale di Milano, MiBACT the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage and MADE Expo.

Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati, Andrea Martiradonna · Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station
Andrea Martiradonna

Selected bibliography:

VV.AA, Medaglia d'Oro per l'Architettura Italiana, V Edizione, Milano 2015 (Catalog);

Carboni C., Colombet M., Rambert F. (ed.), Le Mémorial de la Shoah, Gare centrale, Milan, in “Un Bâtiment, combien de vies? La transformation comme acte de création”;

Cité de l’architecture & de patrimoine-Silvana Editoriale, Paris-Milano 2015

Andreola F., Biraghi M., Lo Ricco G. (ed.), Shoah Memorial – Track 21, in “Milan Architecture Guide 1945-2015”, Hoepli, Milano 2015;

Soriano S., La testimonianza dell’invisibile. Il Memoriale della Shoah di Milano, in “Engramma– Architetture per la memoria”, 123, January 2015;

Consenti S. (ed.), Luoghi della memoria a Milano. Itinerari nella città Medaglia d’Oro della Resistenza, Guerini e Associati, Milano 2015;

de Curtis A., Morpurgo G., Il Memoriale della Shoah di Milano: infrastruttura tra documento e progetto, in Cozza C., Valente I. (ed.) “La freccia del tempo. Ricerche e progetti di architettura delle infrastrutture”, Pearson Italia, Milano-Torino, 2014;

Bassanelli M., Portare alla luce l’invisibile: il Memoriale della Shoah di Milano, in “op.cit. Selezione della critica d’arte contemporanea”, 149, January 2014;

Biraghi M., Micheli S., Storia dell'architettura italiana 1985-2015, Einaudi, Torino 2013;

Biraghi M., Lo Ricco G., Micheli S. (ed.), Memoriale della Shoah – Binario 21, in “Guida all'architettura di Milano 1954-2014”, Hoepli, Milano 2013;

Corrado C., Recupero–Il Memoriale della Shoah, Milano, in “Il nuovo cantiere”, 8, November 2013;

Goldkorn W., La partenza dal binario 21, in “L'Espresso”, November 21 2013;

Riva U., Né un abbandono, né un commento – Neither an abadonment, nor a comment, in “Abitare” 530, March 2013;

Marshall L., Milan's Memorial to his Dark Past, in “Condé Nast Traveller”, January 2012;

Goldsmith J., Memory in the Making, in “The New York Times – Art&Design”, September 8, 2011;

Kevin B., A Wall of Indifference Milan Shoah Memorial, in “The Forward”, July 8, 2011.

Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati, Andrea Martiradonna · Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station
Andrea Martiradonna

Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati, Andrea Martiradonna · Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station
Andrea Martiradonna
Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati, Andrea Martiradonna · Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station
Andrea Martiradonna
Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati, Andrea Martiradonna · Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station
Andrea Martiradonna
Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati, Andrea Martiradonna · Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station
Andrea Martiradonna
Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati, Andrea Martiradonna · Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station
Andrea Martiradonna
Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati, Andrea Martiradonna · Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station
Andrea Martiradonna
Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati, Andrea Martiradonna · Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station
Andrea Martiradonna
Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati, Andrea Martiradonna · Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station
Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati
Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati, Andrea Martiradonna · Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station
Andrea Martiradonna
Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati, Andrea Martiradonna · Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station
Andrea Martiradonna
Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati, Andrea Martiradonna · Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station
Andrea Martiradonna
Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati, Andrea Martiradonna · Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station
Andrea Martiradonna
Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati, Andrea Martiradonna · Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station
Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati
Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati, Andrea Martiradonna · Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station
Andrea Martiradonna
Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati, Andrea Martiradonna · Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station
Andrea Martiradonna
Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati, Andrea Martiradonna · Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station
Andrea Martiradonna
Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati, Andrea Martiradonna · Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station
Andrea Martiradonna
Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati, Andrea Martiradonna · Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station
Andrea Martiradonna
Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati, Andrea Martiradonna · Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station
Andrea Martiradonna
Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati, Andrea Martiradonna · Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station
Andrea Martiradonna
Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati, Andrea Martiradonna · Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station
Andrea Martiradonna
Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati, Andrea Martiradonna · Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station
Andrea Martiradonna
Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati, Andrea Martiradonna · Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station
Andrea Martiradonna
Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati, Andrea Martiradonna · Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station
Andrea Martiradonna
Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati, Andrea Martiradonna · Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station
Andrea Martiradonna
Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati, Andrea Martiradonna · Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station
Rendering Cavazza & Pizzuto Architetti
Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati, Andrea Martiradonna · Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station
Andrea Martiradonna
Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati, Andrea Martiradonna · Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station
Andrea Martiradonna
Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati, Andrea Martiradonna · Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station
Andrea Martiradonna
Morpurgo de Curtis ArchitettiAssociati, Andrea Martiradonna · Memorial of the Shoah - Milan Central Railway Station
Rendering Cavazza & Pizzuto Architetti
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