Musée de la Shoah

Drancy

2006

Shoah museum
Competition
Client Mémorial de la Shoah / Shoah Fondation
Size 2.250 m² / 5.7 M€ht

The SHOAH Memorial and Foundation organized a by-invitation international competition for the building of a Center for Memory, a museum to trace the history of the concentration camp at Drancy. For this competition, ten architects were ranked based upon their proposals, with our atelier being placed second. As the 1600m² surface area requested for in the project’s construction was barely less than the maximum constructible surface area of the building site’s entirety, we decided to approach the project considering a volume that represents this amount of surface, and not, as it were, from the open field. Starting from this “monolith of possibilities”, we envisioned a series of interventions. The first, made through the entire height of the memorial, is a courtyard to bring filtered natural light to the heart of the building. The second is our decision to place the main entrance and lobby of the building at level with a square raised 2.5m above the level of the pavement. The creation of this square overcomes the flagrant lack of unencumbered space in front of the building, while inviting the visitor to leave the city and engage in an inner journey into a space itself “interiorized”.