Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois

The project is comprised of two steel and aluminum clad wings: the “dark” wing, oriented six degrees toward the West Wall in Jerusalem descends into the museum and the “light” wing, oriented toward the rising sun ascends into the education center.  They come together to form the cleave, an inaccessible space that houses the center-piece artifact, a 1934 German rail car, representing “ineffability.”  Exposed piping, ducts, conduit and concrete block defines the interiors to reflect German industrialization and houses permanent exhibitions. 

Visitors proceed into the light building — a bright curvilinear space — that faces due east in anticipation of “a Messianic Age,” and contains exhibits detailing liberation.  On the second floor, the Book of Remembrance — a memorial — is surrounded by soaring walls made up of etched names of Holocaust victims.  A curved staircase leads to the Hall of Reflection containing twelve 18” x 18” x 18” seats representing Israel’s twelve tribes.  The use of symbolism signifies an act of defiance to those who would eliminate a particular culture and its history.