The 32,000 sqf Los Angeles’ Holocaust Museum, designed by Belzberg Architects, has just opened. Sitting across from the Holocaust Memorial, the museum is the new face of the LAMH, the United States’ oldest holocaust museum which dates back to 1962. To the unknowing passerby, one may not even notice the museum as Belzberg has decided to bury the museum underground – a move that not only preserves the parkland above but also creates a dynamic circulation route bringing people beneath the earth to remember those who experienced the Holocaust. More images and more about the museum after the break.
Similar to Leibeskind’s Musuem, the LA Holocaust Musuem focuses on evoking intense emotions. Lowered ceiling heights, sloping raw concrete walls, forced perspectives and carefully articulated circulation fuse to create a building that Hagy Belzberg says “is going to provide some discomfort,” reports Sam Lubell for the Architect’s Newspaper.
Playing with compression and darkness, the inner spaces are lit from faint streams of natural light from above. As the museum depicts the beginning tales of the Holocaust, and eventually moves toward stories of the concentration camp, the impact of the dark and cramped spaces strengthens the architectural impact. At the end of the journey, “ the stories of hope and liberation are detailed, the visitor turns a corner and returns to the light” added Lubell.