Flashback: Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum / Safdie Architects

© Timothy Hursley

Flashback: One of Archdaily’s goals is to bring you up to date information about projects that are being designed and constructed around the world. We’ve created a new category to cover inspiring projects that were constructed between the 1990′s and the early 2000′s.

Architect: Safdie Architects
Location: HaZikaron, , Israel
Client: Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority
Total Cost: $90 million
Project Area: 190,521 sqf
Project Year: 2005
Photographs: Timothy Hursley

© Timothy Hursley

The rebuilding of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum includes a new visitors’ center (Mevoah), a new history museum replacing the existing museum constructed in 1953, a Hall of Names, a synagogue, galleries for Holocaust art, an exhibitions pavilion and a learning and visual center. In addition, new underground parking and facilities for tour buses are located adjacent to a new entrance piazza. The overall program quadruples the permanent exhibition space. The mevoah is an arcaded concrete pavilion roofed by skylights and trellises, which cast ever-changing shadow patterns. It is reminiscent of a Succah. The lower level accommodates a restaurant and other public services. The historic museum consists of a mostly underground prismatic structure 16.5 meters high and 183 meters long (54 x 600 feet) that cuts through the Yad Vashem hillside, penetrating from the south and protruding to the north. A network of skylit underground galleries lines both sides of the prism.

© Timothy Hursley

The Hall of Names, located toward the end of the historic museum, is a conical structure extending upward 9 meters (30 feet) and housing the personal records of all known Holocaust victims. A reciprocal cone, penetrating deep into the Jerusalem bedrock below, echoes the upper chamber and commemorates those whose names will never be known. The 20-hectare (50-acre) site also includes the Children’s Holocaust Memorial and the Transport Memorial, designed by Moshe Safdie and completed in 1987 and 1995, respectively, as well as the Hall of Remembrance, administrative offices, an education and archival center and the Valley of the Communities.

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© Timothy Hursley
© Timothy Hursley
© Timothy Hursley
© Timothy Hursley
© Timothy Hursley
© Timothy Hursley

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Cite: "Flashback: Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum / Safdie Architects" 31 Oct 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=179679>
  • Ivan Milosevic

    So long Daniel..

  • chalaptan

    fed up with holocaust museums

    • aviloute

      yes, you’re right, holocaust museums are so boring… Why 6 millions people dying for no reasons in a total horror would need so many museums..

      • op

        there are so much more people dying in this world and i dont think museum is something they need in the first place. they need help, not a show off…

      • armstrong

        yet it is still over-reacting by so much number of such museum didcated for one simple event.. while ppl who died in the worldward 2 are much higher than 6 million = 60 millions… so why that much focus on that 6 millions only1!!>> (in case the number is correct which is not)… this will never give credit for another crimes…

  • Jonathan

    I can’t believe how ignorant some people can be.
    The Holocaust of the Jewish people isn’t just a matter of numbers, but of the context in which these crimes were committed. These weren’t casualties of war. They weren’t soldiers dying on the battle field but civilians rounded up from all over Europe, and murdered solely for their religion. In that context, this is one of the worst atrocities in history, and justifies museums to prevent it from occurring again.
    Concerning “armstrong” who doubts the 6 million figure of casualties, please inform us on what basis you concluded that the number is wrong? Your ignorant comment is pitiful more than anything else.

    • bLogHouse

      Dear Sir, you used the word “ignorant” twice which, unfortunately, doesn’t make you sound more knowledgeable. But even you should know that history is like a raw film material that can have lots of screen versions. What we, the general audience, see is the cut, edited version for worldwide release. Is that the basis on which you concluded _your_ number is right?!
      Some people have watched this movie too many times and their disbelief is not suspended anymore. Accusing them of ignorance and anti-something-ism wouldn’t change that fact.

  • Rony Hobeika

    What is this holocaust ?.. Never heard of it:p

  • jv

    what ‘they’ did and still doing to Palestinean are worst..

  • R. Girard

    And what about architecture, someone?

  • R. Girard

    “‘what ‘they’ did and still doing to Palestinean are worst..”

    You mean, “they”, the… jewish? tho ones who died in the camps, or the ones at the israel governement? or maybe the new york’s rabbies… or the klezmer clarinet players…

    Oh and by the way, oh can you be possibly worst than putting 6 million people people in some ovens…

    Oh and by the way, I stongly support the Palestinian cause, but I don’ need to mix up everything.

    • qwe

      “Oh and by the way, oh can you be possibly worst than putting 6 million people people in some ovens…”?
      I think….more than 100 million in cccp, more than 70~120 in china…..the numbers don`t stop.

  • Robert Hersh

    I recently visited this museum when I went on birthright in May, and I feel that Safdie did an amazing job with the design. The exhibits work well into the design, and evoke a strong emotional repsonse, however the emotional power that the architecture of this museum has fascinated me, and reinforces my belief that architecture has the power to create emotion.


    Operating problems Europe & USA & … is Israel…

  • armeyn ilyas

    they kill more – than they’ve been killed

    holocaust was only a joke