1st and 2nd Prize Winners of Atlantic City Boardwalk Holocaust Memorial Competition

Courtesy of Patrick Lausell and

ArchDaily is pleased to present the first and second prize winners of the . The first prize was awarded to the proposal, “Fractured Landscapes” by Patrick Lausell and Paola Marquez, of Somerville, Mass. The second prize winner, SAYA, submitted a proposal entitled “Fields of Memory.” Both projects received high esteem from the judges. The jury included Daniel Libeskind, Richard Meier, Michael Berenbaum, Clifford Chanin, Wendy Evans Joseph, and James E. Young and selected from 712 proposals from 55 countries. More on both projects after the break.

Courtesy of Patrick Lausell and Paola Marquez

“Fractured Landscapes” was submitted by Columbia University School of Architecture students, Patrick Lausell and Paola Marquez. The text accompanying the proposal described the memorial as a “fractured landscape and a river of light that stitch together disjointed surfaces, expressing our hopes for peace.” The design resembles a broken and disjoined boardwalk, reassembled by a bright light that runs the length of the memorial.

Courtesy of Patrick Lausell and Paola Marquez

It is an extension of the boardwalk itself; James E. Young, one of the judges, described it as a reflection of something broken within all of us, “subtle and powerful at the same time, it takes you off the Boardwalk and leaves you on the Boardwalk.” The fruition of the concept into a built intervention in Atlantic City is still a way off. Although the project has won the competition, it will need to presented to other agencies and go through “evolutionary back-and-forth” between other architects, says Memorial Chairman Rabbi Gordon Geller.

Courtesy of SAYA

“Fields of Memory” by Jerusalem-based architects SAYA, is an urban garden of light stalks that sway with the wind and emit soft flute-like sounds. The design is raised on a wooden deck above the level of the boardwalk and relates to the sea-grass situated between the boardwalk and the ocean. The concept of the light stalks derive from a biblical story of Shibboleth (Judges 12, 5-6) that has become a synonym for hatred based on an ethnic and cultural base. Its presence on the boardwalk as a memorial to the events it recognizes commemorates the loss of millions, and through their own collective nature emphasize this memory through eternal lights that they emit.

Courtesy of SAYA

SAYA’s design proposal recognizes the need to commemorate loss by binding it with the present by situating seating and gathering areas to face the boardwalk rather than the ocean. The reflection of those that will visit the memorial will always look out into the present activities of life on the boardwalk as a reminder of perseverance and that grief and memory are inseparable from life. A low reflecting pool at the center of the memorial also creates a focal point for gathering, holding ceremonies, and laying pebbles as an act of grief. It reflects the visitors during the day and the stalks during the night.

Cite: Vinnitskaya, Irina. "1st and 2nd Prize Winners of Atlantic City Boardwalk Holocaust Memorial Competition" 18 Jan 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 25 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=103915>
  • emre

    i am immersed in holocaust

  • James

    When I imagine the winning holocaust memorial chosen by a jury whose lead member is Daniel Liebeskind, this is pretty much what I picture.


    So edgy. So jagged. So derivative.

  • fergus

    I think these are both quite poor. Agree with James that Liebeskind doesn’t seem to have the objectivity to deserve a place on a compition jury.

    have to also mention a firm (Hickey was a tutor of mine) I know whose entry I was hugely more impressed by than these 2.


  • ov

    @fergus, The Ozminhickey proposal, while very impressive, was heavily influenced by Maya Lin’s Vietnam Memorial. Just look at the “orientation chamber”. It screams Maya Lin.

  • http://cisler.cz ondrej

    hey what else than lottery did you expect, with hundreds of participants? I am thankfull for the task.

  • Jay

    Cool projects, a confusing competition!

    Throughout the competition, the rules and deadlines kept changing and the jury added new competition phases several times. Also, no proper compensation was given to the shortlisted entries for developing the schemes further. Hopefully the two winners got a decent compensation and good publicity as an award for all the extra work.

  • right guard

    I’m sick of ‘holocaust’ competitions and Jews.
    Free Palestine.