Bologna Shoah Memorial – Italy

“Architecture should express itself in its essence, free from superfluous elements;
it should evoke emotion in its forms; it should lay itself bare, placing the structure at
the centre of its composition.” (Onorato di Manno and Andrea Tanci, SET Architect)


In the middle of an austere urban landscape, on the corner of an intersection and
overlooking a railroad yard, two towering symmetrical corten steel volumes stand
together, conveying a powerful message. The Bologna Shoah Memorial, designed by
Rome-based SET Architects was inaugurated in 2016 to commemorate the Jewish
prisoners deported from Bologna’s train station.

This potent piece of architecture is the result of a competition in which Onorato di
Manno and Andrea Tanci, two young architecture students, saw the chance to join
forces to develop and express their architectural ideas. As a result of their having
been entrusted with the design and construction of the monument, the pair formed
their own firm a year later, using their work on the Bologna Shoah Memorial as a
manifesto for future work.

The structure, which appears solid from the outside, contains a grid of intersecting horizontal and vertical metal sheets. It is designed to make visitors empathise with the feeling of oppression as they move through the narrowing path that runs in between the looming steel volumes.

A subtle and wondrous aspect of the monument is the choice of material, also
present in Domani’s Hagane collection. It naturally takes on a rust patina as it
weathers, displaying the vestiges of time as it slowly corrodes. A blank canvas for the
elements, as it were.

See more from Domani here.

Published on February 20, 2023

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