Oving Architecten Shrouds Concentration Camp House In Glass As A Memorial To The Holocaust

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The former residence of an SS commander at Nazi concentration camp Westerbork, the Netherlands, has been enclosed within a giant glass vitrine by Dutch studio Oving Architecten.

Westerbork memorial in Holland by Oving Architecten

Meant as a memorial to the 2nd planet war, the huge glass box generates a vitrine-like enclosure around the clapboard residence of SS commander Albert Konrad Gemmeker.

According to Oving Architecten, it will the two preserve the construction and be utilised to host educational events.

Westerbork memorial in Holland by Oving Architecten

The green and white-painted timber residence is one of the last remaining buildings in Kamp Westerbork, a detention centre originally opened in 1939 by the Dutch government to obtain Jewish refugees fleeing from Nazi Germany.


Related story: “Serene” concrete pavilion marks the entrance to a First World War cemetery


Germany authorities seized control of the camp in 1940, and in 1942 it grew to become a transit hub for the deportation of Jews back to Nazi-occupied territory. Over one hundred,000 men and women have been deported from Westerbork to their deaths at extermination camps in Poland, Czech Republic and Germany.

Westerbork memorial in Holland by Oving Architecten

Between them was child author Anne Frank, who was detained at the camp until finally her deportation on 1 of the last trains to Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1944 – just months before the camp was liberated by the Canadian army in April 1945.

Westerbork memorial in Holland by Oving Architecten

The large barracks created to home the 1000’s of individuals who passed by means of the camp have been swept away, leaving just the commander’s home, which was declared a nationwide monument in 1994.

Westerbork memorial in Holland by Oving Architecten

“The new glass cover will first of all serve as a conservating skin in purchase to shield this monument from additional decline,” explained the studio.

“But it is also a space the place various gatherings, educational programmes and cultural actions occasionally will take place.”

Westerbork memorial in Holland by Oving Architecten

Site visitors enter the glass and steel enclosure even though a tiny weathering steel construction at the rear of the home.

Westerbork memorial in Holland by Oving Architecten

“The spatial technique was to stage the human scale and the relation with the landscape,” explained the architects.

“The undertaking is positioned along the major accessibility to the camp – the Boulevard des Miseres – and you enter it by strolling through a low and closed element which facilitates pantry, toilets and storage,” they extra. “This is also considered as a transition ahead of you reach the glass cover.”

Westerbork memorial in Holland by Oving Architecten

A steel frame affixed to 1 end of the rusty-coloured entrance expands upwards and outwards to encapsulate the home.

“The rhythm of the steel building which consists of columns and supporting beams accentuates the shape of the glass cover and is an integrated element of the design and style.”

Photography is by Susan Schuls.

Westerbork memorial in Holland by Oving ArchitectenDiagram Westerbork memorial in Holland by Oving ArchitectenWeb site plan Westerbork memorial in Holland by Oving ArchitectenPlan

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