Yad Vashem, Children's Holocaust Memorial

Jerusalem, Israel, 1987

In 1976 the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority appointed Moshe Safdie to design a museum devoted to the one and one-half million children who perished in the Holocaust. Safdie presented a counterproposal for a children’s memorial. The memorial is an underground structure entered through an archway formed by a natural rock outcropping. A descending ramp, cut into the rock, leads into an underground chamber. Inside a memorial candle lights an octagonal room. This single candle is multiplied into infinity in all directions by a series of semi-reflective glass panels and mirrors that line the walls, floors and ceiling. The visitor walks through the reflecting lights, exiting to a terrace overlooking the mountains of Judea. An octagonal amphitheater is located on the hilltop over the underground room, echoing the shape of the space below. Seven sides of the octagon are defined by double rows of cypress trees. On the remaining north side stands a series of clustered, monolithic stone pillars, cut down to various heights.

Project Type: Museum

Client: The Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Authority

Cost: $1.6 million