Andrew Barnes
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Andrew Barnes

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Unbuilt Design Awards Spotlight: Dallas Holocaust Museum | Center for Education & Tolerance – GFF

Continuing our review of the five winning entries leading up to the Unbuilt Design Awards Closing Reception on July 11th at Life in Deep Ellum.

How does one respond architecturally to provide a fitting space for remembrance of such a horrific time in Western history? The very nature of designing a Holocaust museum carries with it great weight and responsibility. In spite of this gravity, GFF was lauded for their design efforts with this difficult building proposition in the first of two Unbuilt Design Award-winning Holocaust Museum entries.

In creating their submission for the Dallas Holocaust Museum submission, Good Fulton and Farrell played with the contrasting perceptions created by utilizing two very distinct materials: stone and glass. The stratified stone signifying permanence and the natural context, the glass providing those outside the building with glimpses of the public spaces within. The stone volumes contain the meaningful program spaces, exhibits, and contemplative space, while the glass shrouds the solid volumes with a reflective yet transparent cloak.

With this project, perhaps more than others, great emphasis is placed on how users of the museum will react emotionally to varying spatial conditions. GFF has accommodated this by varying the enclosure, amount of natural light, height of the spaces, and connection with the exterior environment. Generous provision is also made for contemplative space for responding to the difficult subject matter.

GFF’s Holocaust Museum is a building with permanence and presence, reflecting the fact that the Holocaust bears constant remembrance and will not ever be erased from our memories.