The Remembrance and Future Foundation organized the "From Those – You Saved" competition to build a commemorative monument that expresses gratitude to the Poles who rescued Jews during German occupation in the WWII era. The memorial project, currently valued at US$800,000, will be built in the Muranów district of Warsaw, Poland near the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews.
Out of 136 entries from 36 countries in Phase One, five finalists were selected to further develop their concept designs. The winning design will be announced in April and is currently scheduled to be realized by this fall.
An exhibition of all the competition entries is on display at the POLIN Museum of the History of Jews until March 1, 2015. You can also check out the trailer of the 45-minute documentary film, also titled "From Those -- You Saved", which recently premiered at the Museum.
FINALIST TEAM: ANDRZEJ BULANDA, JADWIGA GAJCZYK
Reporting jury member's description: "The design references the symbolism of doors and the effort required to undertake an act which, under normal circumstances, is not associated with heroism but which takes on a powerful meaning in times of war and danger. The authors’ propose to place a monumental rotating door — reminiscent of the monolith in Stanley Kubrick’s '2001: A Space Odyssey' — at the park’s north-eastern corner. The door provides a northern conclusion to the Axis of the Righteous — the footpath around which the Karski, Żegota and Ghetto Heroes’ monuments are aligned (the Irena Sendler Alley acts as its continuation).
The door is to be located at the intersection of the Axis of the Righteous and the diagonal path running from the corner of Zamenhofa and Lewartowskiego streets. Depending on its positioning, the door may encourage the use of one or two paths (or obstruct both if set at a 45 degree angle). The door’s positioning acts as a symbol of the choice to follow one of the available paths. The authors did not specify the material to be used for the door, but the renderings suggest a heavy bronze object requiring significant effort to be rotated — an impression reinforced by hand and finger imprints on its surface. The authors seek to have their design blend into the existing urban context. The only proposed intervention involves the landscaping of a rectangular area west of the Axis of the Righteous to form a 'Garden of Hope.'”
FINALIST TEAM: GRZEGORZ DUTKA, SZYMON WRÓBLEWSKI
Reporting jury member's description: "The design is based on the idea that, for many, rescuing others was a natural act of human decency, an act that they did not consider a form of heroism. The identities and stories of many of the rescuers will remain untold, or only partially told. The proposed commemoration is a three-level basin located in gently raised ground. The three steel retaining walls forming the basin’s three levels also hold accounts of the rescuers’ heroism. The basin’s soil and plants serve to both hide and reveal the walls and the accounts engraved upon them. The intervention is meant to be a subtle and unimposing form, visible only from nearby, and tied into the larger context by its location along the axis of the Museum’s main hall (from the Karmelicka Street side)."
FINALIST TEAM: EDUARD FREUDMANN, GABU HEINDL
Reporting jury member's description: "The design proposes a simple gesture explicitly referencing 'The Garden of the Righteous Among the Nations' located at Yad Vashem. The Competition area bound by Karmelicka, Lewartowskiego and Anielewicza stre- ets and the path leading along the Museum’s western facade (and up to the immediate surroundings of the Willy Brandt Monument) is to be densly planted with a grouping of young aspen trees.The tree-planted area is to feature two meadows, the larger of which, accessible via a narrow path, is intended to serve as a venue for public events. The planting of the aspens will also take the form of a 'community effort' — the details of which, the design’s authors have left open to interpretation. The young stand would be mono-cultural and contain only aspen trees (which are a common species in Poland). The trees would be the only elements used in the competition work."
FINALIST TEAM: STUDIO PEZ - Pedro Pena Jurado, Daniel Zarhy
Reporting jury member's description: "The authors invoke the idea of home as a place of shelter. The proposed design calls for an abstracted pre-war tenement building with an enclosed courtyard — the type of building that historically dominated Warsaw’s Jewish Quarter. The building’s outline calls to mind an archaeological dig: brick walls gently protruding from the ground provide a subtle symbolism for the presence of the now-invisible world of the pre-war Nalewki district. The walls would be made of salvaged bricks — a reference to the post-war construction of the new Muranów neighbourhood using bricks from the demolished pre-war quarter to create an entirely new Modernist street grid and urban setting. Located at the site’s south-western corner, the commemoration’s non-monumental scale should help it become a natural place of relaxation and play for local residents, and a counterpoint to the symbolism rich area on the other side of the Museum (from Zamenhofa Street)."
FINALIST: MATEUSZ TAŃSKI
Reporting jury member's description: "The designers of this proposal have asked themselves about the values that motivated people to help Jews whilst facing the prospect of their own death and the death of those whom they protected. For some it was faith in God and love, for others it was the principle of tolerance and human rights. The Righteous opened their hearts to other human beings during the most difficult and testing of times. The idea behind the monument’s design is to commemorate those exceptional relationships: the relationship between the Rescuers and the Survivors. The monument is to open — as a symbolical gesture — onto The Museum of the History of Polish Jews (POLIN) and will be located next to 'the avenue of old trees' in the southern corner of the park far from the main access points and walkways. With its gentle form, the memorial seeks to reflect the humility and modesty of the Righteous."
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