Project Team: Tim McDonough, Hannah Perrino, Gery Vargas
This proposal for a pavilion commemorating a holocaust tragedy was to house research into the history of the tragic events of the site. The building is located directly over a mass grave site. Seen as holy by many, the earth excavated during construction remains on site in the form of a pile in the entry courtyard. The entrance lifts visitors over the exposed ground on an elevated pathway and past a poplar tree, a symbol of life stemming from the sacred ground. The pavilion’s glass walls are covered with imagery of the surrounding trees creating reflections that merge with the natural surroundings.
On the interior, layers of ground and image interact to produce a non-linear series of environments. Floors are suspended above the sacred earth, which piles up on the outer walls and props up a large topographic relief model of the site. Visitors view the model from above upon entry, eventually stepping from the suspended walkways onto the raw earth below to view it up close, bringing awareness to the continuity of time contained here.
The pavilion allows visitors to move through multiple layers of media as material – an experience that heightens awareness of the surrounding site and offers an immersive reconstruction of history full of overlaps, misalignments, and moments of resolution.