Holocaust History Museum
Situated on a hillside overlooking Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem Valley, the new Holocaust History Museum is the culmination of a 10-year redevelopment project of Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority.
The Holocaust History Museum, the most essential component of Safdie’s 800,000-square-foot project, replaces Yad Vashem’s existing Historical Museum, and serves as the complex’s new core.
|The building is bursting out toward the north…a volcanic eruption of light and life.|
Most of the Museum’s concrete and glass “main body” is hidden within the Mount of Remembrance, on which the Yad Vashem campus is situated, allowing little more than its 500 feet elongated, angular spine to convey a sense of its true scale.
At one end of the spine, closest to the Museum’s entrance and to the Visitors Center, a large triangular prism cantilevers outward over the valley floor, seemingly floating into space.
At the opposite end, the museum’s low-slung, slender walls burst forth from the hillside to form the curved pair of wings that mark the Museum’s exit.
A network of galleries, illuminated through the central skylight 60 feet above, are located along the Museum’s partially submerged central walkway.
The galleries, hidden from view when entering the museum, present the Holocaust chapter by chapter, along its historical and thematic course, as visitors proceed along the walkway.
At the end of the historical narrative the “Hall of Names” forms the final, dramatic display space.
The 30 feet high conical structure, open to the sky, houses the personal records of millions of Jewish Holocaust victims. A reciprocal cone, dug out of the natural bedrock, honors those victims whose names will never be known.
The new cultural, educational, and scholarly institution reaffirms Yad Vashem’s status as an important international center of Holocaust research and remembrance.
The Masterplan greatly expands Yad Vashem’s permanent and temporary exhibition space and accommodates the campus’ growing attendance.
Safdie’s contributions to the revitalization program includes the new Holocaust History Museum, Holocaust Art Museum, Exhibition Pavilion, Visual Center, Learning Center, Synagogue, Visitors Center, parking area and enhanced group access.
Safdie also designed the Children’s Memorial from 1987 and the Memorial to the Deportees from 1995.