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The Valley of Communities

Competitions

The Valley of Communities

First Prize

The memorial monument "the valley of the communities" in Yad Vashem (Israel's official holocaust memorial) spans over 2.4 hectares, was built in order to commemorate the Jewish communities across Europe and north Africa which were eliminated during the holocaust.

The project is the fruit of a design competition. The design is inspired by Ezekiel's "prophecy of the dry bones": "The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones" (Ezekiel 37:1:12)

The memorial was designed as an open grave, dug into the ground filled with islands, built of large, unchiseled rocks which create a labyrinth of high walls. On the rocks, which were brought to the site from different places in Israel, are carves the names of over 5000 communities.

The dimensions, materials and the experience of wandering and "losing one's way" in the site simulate a powerful and striking experience, as well as a sense of insignificance, separation, confusion and contemplation on life and death.

 

Client: Yad Vashem
Status: Realized 1995

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