FEB 15, 2011
Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust by Belzberg Architects (framemag.com)
A museum dedicated to teaching visitors about the Holocaust, The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust (LAMH) design represents a harmony between presentation, architecture, history and education.
Belzberg Architects say the museum’s allegorical interpretation of the Holocast era gives visitors a sensory experience. They are taken on a chronological journey, heading underground through the museum and eventually ascending back to the surface, where they are re-exposed to natural light.
Guests enter the museum via a long ramp that heads downward, thus diminshing visual and auditory connections to the outside.
As they head further into the museum, the lighting decreases. When they are learning about the most gruesome aspects of the Holocaust, such as concentration camps, they are in an isolated room that’s nearly dark. When they finally exit the building, they are reconnected with light and sound in the outside world.
Part of the museum is submerged under a grassy park area, that’s one of the largest green roofs in Southern California. It’s intended to correlate with parks in Germany, where people enjoyed lighthearted company with friends, while at the same time, inhumane acts were carried out against other victims in the 1930s and 40s.
The 9750 sq m buidling is constructed of shotcrete and glass. The designers say the LAMH uses architecture ‘to enhance the ambient foundation for visitors to receive the intended messages deliver through each display.’