National Holocaust Monument

Ottawa, ON

Finalist Proposal, ASLA Award of Merit

The proposal was the result of a collaboration between SWA Group, Quadrangle Architects and Terraplan whose initial submission resulted in the team being chosen as a finalist in an international competition sponsored by the Government of Canada.

The monument creates a meaningful connection to the Holocaust for all visitors, including those who have no direct link to it or its victims, opening their hearts and minds to an understanding of the Holocaust for both its historic specificity and as a universal metaphor of evil.  It evokes the lives of those who perished, celebrating the vitality of the human spirit even in the face of hopelessness and annihilation and it engages visitors by the use of meaningful multimedia works of art, creating a memorable multi-sensory experience.

Rooted in the earth, its forms emerge from the landscape, signifying at once death and renewal, a grave-like memorial and an emblem of resurgence and rebirth.  In the filtered light and shadows of the trees above, visitors will experience a processional upon entry into the inner monument where they will be enveloped in two deeply evocative  art installations that speak to the irretrievable loss caused by the Holocaust.

One of the monument's three structures soars above the other two, its upward sweep conveying the renewal of life among Holocaust survivors. The granite of the transcendent structure, with its gradation from dark to light symbolizes rising out from horror, the resilience of the human spirit and the heroism of survivors.

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