Gravestones which had been dislocated in consequence of damages encroached upon the jewish Cemetery during the naziperiod had been left neglected and overgrown up till the turn of the Century.
Next to this, the remnants of the former cemetery building which had miraculously survived both Nazi- und war devastations, were demolished completely in 1961.
We were asked to come forward with some ideas to recover those gravestones and find a decent way to represent them as their original location could not be found due to a missing cemetery record file.
In 2001 after an elaborate research work to find the former plans for the once existing cemetery building we started with the preliminary scetches which took into account that the remnants of the cellar and the foundation must still exist somewhere beyond the lawn.
Next to that idea the former existance of two separate buildings, the main hall for ceremonial mourning and the small functional building separated by a carriageway had to be incorporated as a visiual element into the streetview.
The cemetery had to be extended up to the enclosing wall along the Schönhauser Allee. Leaving those dislocated gravestones in a transparent neighbourhood to the graveyard, where they once belonged to.
The white stone masonry facade seems to float over the black remnants of the former building separated by the eternal light, illuminated at night commemorating the fact that exactly at this point once there existed an important cemetery of the jewish community in Berlin.
Visitors to the cemetery, Jews and non Jews, usually come forward with a number of questions which could not always be answered satisfactorily by the respective doorkeeper.
This was the initial reason for us to incorporate a number of glasposters dealing with the history of jewish burial places in Berlin, the burial ceremonies, the meaning of design inscriptions on the gravestones and a short list of important personalities buried in the Schönhauser Allee Graveyard with the location of their graves.
The inauguration date of the Lapidarium was June the 10th of 2005.