History revisited...

Wednesday 12 Mar 2014

Herrmanns Architekten presents concept to replace Koblenz Synagogue lost in 1938

In 1938, an attack by Nazi soldiers destroyed a synagogue in the city of Koblenz, Germany. It is now 76 years later and the city council has supported a project to replace the original synagogue with a modern version in an effort help fill the void left in the Jewish community by the destruction of this sacred space. 30% of the €6m cost will be funded by the state and the remainder found though alternative sources.

In light of this movement, Prof. Henner Herrmanns and Hung Nguyen (Herrmanns Architekten) have proposed a polygonal concept as a feasibility study. The form of the synagogue is to be understood as a response to the triangular site where the original synagogue once stood.

A square is formed as open space with seating and a glazed front entrance welcomes people into the main volume. The floor plan configuration is based on the composition of two triangles to form the Star of David and the disposition meets the user requirements of the Jewish community. A multi-purpose room is planned to be used for celebrations and meetings.

Approximately 150 people can be present in the synagogue which is illuminated by a patterned skylight using the Jewish symbol, the Star of David. Steel plates are proposed as a facade material arranged in the image of fingerprints to draw the mind to the acts of the Holocaust.

The architects are of the opinion that the form of the synagogue must be loaded with information. A building must also communicate. If it doesn’t produce any kind of afterimage like a good book or a fascinating painting or a wonderful film, it can't be good. Therefore the design must create a special connotation.

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