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Shoah Memorial of Milan

The Memorial of the Shoah below the Milan Central Station -a Laboratory for memory and narration- reveals a hidden railway yard through a sort of ‘archeological excavation’ as a system of spaces of testimony, dialogue and research. The itinerary communicates the visitor the presence of void and absence, the experience of a loss made visibile as long as he goes through the Hall of Testimony, listening to the survivors’ stories, approaching to the cars on the Destination Unknown track. Not museum finds, but silent stories crossing infrastructural spaces, surrounded -today just like then- by the everyday life of the Station and the running of trains. If then INDIFFERENCE accompanied the goods trains, today the Memorial offers a new glance on the facts both of those days and present days.
The Place for Reflection -with its dimension at the same time universal and individual- is a counterpoint, a break, a timeless space belonging to the Memory Laboratory with the Library and the Auditorium.

What makes this project one-of-a-kind?
Motivation (quote) of the National award “Premio In/Architettura 2020”: “The Shoah Memorial in Milan […] is an exemplary project, and is unique in its kind in Europe. The architects have transformed the location’s dramatic history, while respecting its original character. It was originally destined for the loading and unloading of goods and they have turned it into a space where the new volumes, the paths and the documentation speak the language of contemporaneity. This is, however, without coming into compositional and narrative conflict with a place of Memory. It is a place that must not be forgotten, as a testimony that history is always contemporary, and it is precisely for this reason that it must not be museified or betrayed. Architecture is certainly the protagonist, but without setting in motion pointless expressive presences; its role, in this case, is maieutic, as it must be when it is in dialogue with layered and historicized contexts.”

Credits

Interior
Morpurgo de Curtis Architetti Associati; Guido Morpurgo, Annalisa de Curtis

Client
Fondazione Memoriale della Shoah di Milano Onlus

Year of completion
2021

Location
Milan, Italy

Total area
7.060 m2

Photos
Andrea Martiradonna (n.1,2,4,5,6), Enrico Miglietta (n.3)

Project Partners

SACAIM-Venezia, Impresa Percassi, Effegieffe, Bottega Bagatti

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