50,000 Concrete Books to Honor Czech Victims of Holocaust

The city has approved plans and selected a winning design for the building of the Bubny railway Memorial of Silence

Elizabeth Zahradnicek-Haas

Written by Elizabeth Zahradnicek-Haas Published on 24.10.2017 12:10:12 (updated on 24.10.2017) Reading time: 1 minute

During World War II, Praha-Bubny railway was the departure point for transports carrying tens of thousands of Prague’s Jewish inhabitants to the Nazi ghettoes, concentration camps, and extermination camps.

In recent years, the abandoned station in the city’s Holešovice district has become a cultural space where on-going artistic events, organized by the Prague Shoah Memorial, have offered a critical reflection on this complex history.

Photo: www.bubny.org

The aim of the events has been to draw attention to a proposal that would transform the station into a modern center for contemporary history called the Memorial of Silence.

The city has now given the green light to the project, choosing a design by Hradec Králové-based architects ARN Studio who plan to install a floor-to-ceiling library made of “concrete fossilized books” in the 12-meter-high lobby space.

“This abstract memorial library has the atmosphere of a temple wall on which the sun’s rays depict the structure and diversity of fossilized books commemorating 50,000 life stories,” says the ARN Studio site.

“The winning design is unobtrusive and respectful of the history of the place, while the architectural point of view is very interesting. I’m really excited,” says Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová.

The rebuilding of the Bubny station is due to begin in the middle of next year; plans will take a year and a half to complete; further visualizations and an exhibit on the history of the station are currently on display at Electra Hall, Palác ORCO.

This month commemorates the anniversary of the first transport to leave Prague.

All visualizations courtesy of ARN Studio.

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