The memorial concept is based on a definition of space as cleared or purposefully emptied, not empty as it might seem at first sight. It was emptied through crime – culturicide and memoricide – during 1941/42 when it was razed to the ground. Unlike the previous concepts focusing on the material reconstruction of the temple, this project is essentially reduced to a naked truth of its actual non-existence. The emptied space inevitably recalls memory. For this reason, this project aims to lay emphasis on warning and memory as two equally important elements.
The memorial covers the entire area of the irregular site, uniformly paved and framed with green stretches on three sides, along the courtyard-facing façades of the neighbouring buildings. The central part of the site is marked by incisions in the ground following the outline of the temple's foundations running along the east, north and south sides. By contrast, the west side, which once featured the front of the temple, is left open. Should archaeological excavations reveal remains of the foundations – as they probably will – these will be the only material evidence of the temple's existence. If not, then the incisions will remain, but filled with earth.
Within the outline of the foundations, the convex-shaped surface of the square rises gradually. The spherical surface is intersected by a water-filled canal, shifting away from the temple axis. The canal bridges the foundations, leads to a wall on the perimeter of the small square and ends in the black hole of a doorway leading nowhere. By this wall, running the width of the temple, the east end of the synagogue and, symbolically and sacrally, its most important part while the west entrance is marked by the form of a fence with a longer central segment corresponding to the width of the temple and by two somewhat indented shorter segments – an allusion to the floorplan. The narrow entrances to the memorial stand on the sides thus highlighting its distance from the street and relative inaccessibility. Namely, the small square of the memorial is intended to be experienced as a scene, not a stage.
A tall, slender column serves as a visual dominant at the former site of the most valuable relic of the temple that has been left intact: a capital and a part of a column from the vestibule, displayed nowadays at the Jewish municipality of Zagreb. The column, placed here, is conceived as an hommage to the relic of the temple which is treasured and protected as a holy memory. Its plan is based on the hexagonal form of the star, Magen David, the main symbolic and decorative motif on the preserved stone capital. Made from dark patinated brass, its facets variously reflect daylight and artificial light. At night the entire memorial is illuminated: the foundations, the waterway, and the black doorway where the water goes underground, the column and its upper part shining like a star, and on one of the walled-up windows in the back on the courtyard-oriented façade – a parallel to the black door. While both are symbolic of the end line, termination and finality, the lighting column is the essence of spirituality and the serene waterway carries the message of life and eternal motion.