The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust
Architect: Belzberg Architects
Location: 100 South The Grove Drive, Los Angeles, California 90036, USA
The building is the container for a non-linear story. The rooms are undivided, exhibit walls end before reaching the ceiling. The formed concrete roof is exposed inside the building, folding and compressing the space in response to the graphic intensity of the displays. The absolute-black smooth finish framing the displays creates a sharp contrast against the rough, exposed-concrete walls and ceiling. As visitors reach the end of the exhibits, which are organized chronologically, the space opens up again, letting daylight in and conveying a sense of relief. The concept behind this spatial dynamic is to reinforce the idea that the distance between normalcy and atrocity is indeed small.
- Descending into the museum is extremely important based on the physical, mental, and emotional transition one must go through in order to be prepared for the content.
- The building is a very fitting, powerful, and understated vessel for the information and exhibits; it’s calm and appropriate.
- The concrete work is beautiful. Although the project is curvilinear in form, the more basic structure is a very rigid grid. Given the nature of this museum's mission, the experience of it should be unusual, and this design makes it so: the amorphous geometry reinforces the unsettling journey through the museum.
Structural consultant: William Koh & Associates
Engineer – soils: Irvine Geotechnical
Engineer – envinronmental: Enviropro
Engineer – methane: Carlin Environmental The museum received the 2014 AIA Institute Honor Awards in Architecture.