Dutch Holocaust Memorial of Names

Architecte
Rijnboutt

Studio Daniel Libeskind
Lieu
Amsterdam, The Netherlands | View Map
Année du projet
2021
Catégorie
Mémoriaux
Histoires par
Rijnboutt

Studio Daniel Libeskind

The creation of the Dutch Holocaust Memorial of Names in Amsterdam

Rijnboutt en tant que Architectes.

On Sunday 19 September, King Willem-Alexander will officially open the Dutch Holocaust Memorial of Names, commissioned by the Dutch Auschwitz Committee, in Amsterdam. The monument – designed by Daniel Libeskind – commemorates 102,000 Dutch victims (Jews, Roma and Sinti) who perished during the Second World War. For the past five years, Rijnboutt has fulfilled the role of coordinating and executive architect in this special project.

photo_credit Kees Hummel
Kees Hummel

In search of an architect with knowledge of local building practices who could supervise the complex process, Jacques Grishaver of the Dutch Auschwitz Committee chose Rijnboutt in 2016 – after a selection by the American Studio Libeskind. In close collaboration with Studio Libeskind, Rijnboutt elaborated on their design within Dutch law and regulations and supervised the practical side of the implementation process. Rijnboutt was also called in for the landscape design and the connection to the public space.

photo_credit Kees Hummel
Kees Hummel

“For us, the Dutch Holocaust Memorial of Names is a truly honourable assignment,” says senior project coordinator Paul Beijeman. “The monument has great emotional value for many people. It is an important place for the next of kin of the victims of the Holocaust. We are proud to have been able to contribute to it.”

photo_credit Kees Hummel
Kees Hummel

The design and its integration into public space
The monument is located in the former Weesperplantsoen in Amsterdam, between Weesperstraat and the Garden of the Protestant Diaconate. The location makes perfect sense: it is in the middle of the Jewish Quarter and close to important Jewish cultural buildings, such as the Portuguese Synagogue and the Jewish Historical Museum.

photo_credit Kees Hummel
Kees Hummel

Daniel Libeskind’s design consists of a non-linear labyrinth of walls built with 102,000 unique bricks. As each brick represents an individual, the monument gives an idea of the scale of the number of victims during the Holocaust. The monument displays four objects made of reflective stainless steel: the Hebrew letters לזכר , which denote ‘in memoriam’ or ’in remembrance of’. The fact that the surroundings and even the reflection of the surroundings are mirrored creates a kaleidoscopic effect. The elements seem to float in front of the walls; the emptiness represents the discontinuity of history. It may seem simple, but the walls carry the massive, protruding letters, which weigh a total of 150 tonnes supported by only 26 columns. The proportions of this construction were also articulated in collaboration with Rijnboutt, while Studio Daniël Libeskind supervised the aesthetic design.

photo_credit Kees Hummel
Kees Hummel

To do the monument justice, Rijnboutt ensured that it was carefully integrated into the surroundings and that the landscape plan used sustainable, high-quality materials. “In our design, we thought carefully about how to give the location a park-like appearance that harmonises with the Garden of the Protestant Diaconate, a beautiful green oasis of peace in the city,” says senior landscape designer Petrouschka Thumann. Indeed, the semi-paved surface, the eight distinctive solitary trees and the hedges were carefully chosen. “Using a restrained landscape design ensured that all the attention goes to the monument,” says Thumann.

photo_credit Kees Hummel
Kees Hummel

Complex process
The creation of the Dutch Holocaust Memorial of Names was preceded by a complex process that lasted five years. A number of external advisors were involved, such as a structural engineer, a masonry specialist, a stainless steel specialist and a restoration construction company. Rijnboutt acted as the mouthpiece for all of the involved parties and supervised the implementation process.

photo_credit Kees Hummel
Kees Hummel

Whenever there was a change or addition – from stones to lamps and fences – or a minor obstacle along the way, the drawings needed to be updated. By means of 3D models and detailed drawings, the consequences were highlighted, which Studio Libeskind subsequently visualised in design drawings to develop the best solution. There was weekly contact between us and Studio Libeskind to ensure that we stayed as close as possible to the essence of the design.

photo_credit Kees Hummel
Kees Hummel

The Dutch Holocaust Memorial of Names is now the most up-to-date, palpable archive of the Dutch victims of the Holocaust: each name represents a person who perished and now has a place dedicated to his or her memory. “These people have not been forgotten and will never be forgotten,” says Jacques Grishaver, chairman of the Dutch Auschwitz Committee.

photo_credit Kees Hummel
Kees Hummel
photo_credit Kees Hummel
Kees Hummel
photo_credit Rijnboutt
Rijnboutt
photo_credit Rijnboutt
Rijnboutt
photo_credit Rijnboutt
Rijnboutt

the National Holocaust Names Memorial in Amsterdam

Studio Daniel Libeskind en tant que Architectes.

The Dutch Auschwitz Committee together with His Majesty the King of the Netherlands, opens the National Holocaust Memorial of Names (Nationaal Holocaust Namenmonument Nederland) designed by Studio Libeskind in collaboration with local partner Rijnboutt with a ceremony on September 19, 2021. The memorial will be the first to memorialize all the 102,000 names of the Dutch victims (Jews, Roma and Sinti) of the Holocaust.

photo_credit Kees Hummel
Kees Hummel

More than 75 years after World War II, a memorial dedicated to the more than 102,000 Dutch victims of the Holocaust will finally be realized. The memorial contains the names of all Dutch Jew, Sinti and Roma Holocaust victims that have no marked grave. The Netherlands will at last have a tangible memorial to collectively honor those lost.

photo_credit Kees Hummel
Kees Hummel

“For the bereaved, it is of inestimable value to have a place where they can remember their loved ones. It means that the names of Holocaust victims will not be forgotten. Moreover, the memorial forms a trait d’union between past, present and – importantly – future.”

photo_credit Kees Hummel
Kees Hummel

“Remembrance is not only for those who lived through the war but also for those who did not experience it – the children and grandchildren and following generations. In addition, the memorial raises historical awareness of where wars can lead, while also encouraging people to reflect on and learn from World War II,” explains Jacques Grishaver, chairman of the Dutch Auschwitz Committee.

photo_credit Kees Hummel
Kees Hummel

Situated along the Weesperstraat, an important axis within the Jewish Cultural Quarter, the Names Memorial is adjacent to the Hermitage Museum, East of the Diaconie’s verdant Hoftuin garden and café, just a stone’s throw from the Amstel River and in close proximity to important Jewish cultural institutions such as the Jewish Historical Museum and the Portuguese Synagogue.

photo_credit Kees Hummel
Kees Hummel

The 1,700 square meter memorial incorporates four volumes that represent the letters in the Hebrew word לזכר meaning “In Memory of”. The volumes are arranged in a rectilinear configuration on the north-south axis of the main thoroughfare Weesperstraat and the Hoftuin pavilion to the West.

photo_credit Kees Hummel
Kees Hummel

As visitors enter the memorial they will encounter passages articulated by two meter high brick walls carrying the message of Remembrance. Each of the four volumes is crafted from mirror finished stainless steel that hovers above the walls of individually stacked bricks. 102,000 bricks will each be inscribed with a the first and last name, along with their age and birthday, giving a tangible quantification to the many casualties, as well leaving 1000 blank bricks that will memorialize the unknown victims.

photo_credit Kees Hummel
Kees Hummel

“The Dutch lost the largest percentage of their Jewish population in the Holocaust. The National Holocaust Memorial of Names is the first Holocaust memorial to commemorate the Dutch victims and the first of its kind in Amsterdam,” said architect Daniel Libeskind. “My personal connection as a child of Holocaust survivors has made it increasingly important to be a part of this significant project. I hope it will become a place for contemplation, hope, and an important reminder to fight hate in all its forms for the people of the Netherlands and beyond,” added Libeskind.

photo_credit Kees Hummel
Kees Hummel

The materiality of the brick—a ubiquitous material of The Netherlands and throughout the cities of Western Europe – paired with the highly reflective and geometric forms of the steel letters reference the connection between the Netherlands past and present. At the intersection of the brick and metallic forms is a narrow void that creates the illusion that the steel letters are hovering above and represents an interruption in the history and culture of the Dutch people. This suspended emptiness, or ‘Breath of Air’, detaches the neighborhood from a future in which Dutch-Jewish families went missing. The memorial will have an interactive element that will allow visitors to place stones by the names on the bricks, similar to the way one honors the dead at a grave.

photo_credit Kees Hummel
Kees Hummel

Below street level, the floors around the walls are of a light stabilized gravel create a path through the four volumes. Simple stone blocks are placed in the open spaces and walkways to provide a resting place for contemplation and reflection.

Situated next to a subway station to the north and a roadway to the east, the floating polished steel volumes will be visible to commuters during all hours. Light and Reflection (self-reflection as well as reflection from the street and the city that surrounds it) are necessary for a meaningful understanding of what happened and the lives lost in the catastrophe of the Holocaust.

photo_credit Kees Hummel
Kees Hummel

Daniel Libeskind is a child of Holocaust survivors and a world renowned architect that has created some of the most important memorials in recent times including the Jewish Museum Berlin, the first museum to tell the story of Jews in Germany after World War II; the masterplan for the World Trade Center site post 9/11; the National Holocaust Monument in Ottawa, Canada; the Ohio Statehouse Holocaust Memorial in the U.S.; the Felix Nussbaum Haus in Germany; and most recently Mr. Libeskind has been tasked to design a new center and memorial for the Tree of Life in Pittsburgh that was the site of the worst anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history.

Caption
Caption
Featured Projects
Latest Products
News