Berlin, The Jewish Museum, an Art Gallery and a street play. (Part One)

All in a weekend. Booked the flight on Monday and before we knew it our interior architect, Jenni, was in Berlin.

Hosting an array of architecturally famous buildings, Jenni wanted to see one of the most visited museums in Germany’s capital, ‘The Jewish Museum’. The spectacular design, by New York based  architect Daniel Libeskind, attracts more visitors year on year. The museum powerfully symbolises the contributions of the Jewish people to German culture. It is now the largest Jewish museum in Europe.

The museum is broken up into voids, corridors and emotive spaces. The voids act as spaces for contemplation and are peppered throughout the building along with personal objects such as love letters, books, drawings and toys belonging to some of the victims.

The long corridors act as the Axes of Exile, Immigration and Holocaust. The corridors are a complex combination of light and dark areas, acute angles, small and large diagonal windows, uneven surfaces, ascending and descending corridors. Jenni describes the feeling of disorientation, longing and uncertainty runs throughout the museum.

The Axis of Exile leads out to ‘The Garden’, consisting of 49 slanted concrete pillars that slice up the sky and the surrounding architecture, giving the feel of imbalance. Olive trees line the top of the pillars, representing hope.

The Axis of Holocaust leads down to the ‘The Holocaust Tower’. Consisting of a 24m high, dark, cold and silent space with only a small slit of light above. It is this area that Jenni thought was very effective, giving a glimpse of how the individuals felt during this harrowing time.

The relationship between old and new is shown through the dynamic architectural work by Daniel Libeskind and the permanent exhibition of the history of the Jews in Germany. Fascinated with the sharp angles, reflective materials, thin jaggered windows and interesting areas of light and dark, Jenni has decided to write her dissertation around the subject of memorial spaces and their place within society. Good luck.

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