Melbourne Jewish Holocaust Centre

In 2014 Davidov Partners were invited to submit a proposal for a new Melbourne Jewish Holocaust Centre in Elsternwick.

The proposed design grappled with the changing nature of Holocaust memory and education evolves from one of direct transmission of survivor testimony to one of history.

The other concern that informed the core design was to address the growing gulf of not only time between the events of the Holocaust, but also the distance between the location of the Holocaust Centre from the actual sites of the atrocities.

To address these 2 particular concerns the concept of “Those who survived” and “Those who were murdered” was used as a driver to create a physical representation of time, place and memory.

As visitors explore the centre and its museum that are taken from an initial subterranean space ‘the well’ where the recorded testimonies of survivors are relayed, the final space is conceived a one for personal reflection and contemplation reinforcing the necessity for each and every individual to internalise the material they have just been exposed.

The core concepts are led by the principle notion of Those who were murdered and Those who survived and in response to these seemingly opposite realities the idea to investigate a series of Jewish and Holocaust symbolisms emerged.

These main symbolic interplays are:

Shofar / Chimney

Well / Burial pit

Ark / Chamber

The aim of framing three distinct Holocaust types against three ancient Jewish types was to allow for the parallels between the two cultures to be amplified. Here the symbols are sometimes direct opposites, sometimes transformative and thought provoking. It cannot be overstated that these are just one reading of the spaces. Every individual will have their own impression and will unlock the symbols with their own mental tool kit.


Status: Competition by Invitation - 2014

Location: Elsternwick, Victoria

Visualisations: DLX Creative

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