Title: ABSENT MONUMENT- MEMORIAL TO FRANKFURT’S DEPORTED JEWS
Authors: OP – Neils Petersen and Jennifer Dahm Peterson
Location: Frankfurt, Germany
Years Designed: 2011
Description: Square structure in the Main River creating the illusion of an infinite void of falling water
From 1941-1945 10,000 German Jews were deported from Frankfurt to concentration camps. They were sent through the Grossmarkthalle which was Frankfurt’s main market.
In 1998 the European Central Bank (ECB) established it’s headquarters in Frankfurt and integrated the old Grossmarkthalle into their new building. The ECB decided, as a way to acknowledge the dark cultural context of their new location, they would build a memorial to those 10,000 jews deported through the base of their new building.
The City of Frankfurt, the Central Council of Jews in Germany and the Frankfurt Jewish Community partnered with the EBC to hold a design competition for the memorial.
OP Architects did not win the commission, but were awarded a special recognition by the jury. Their design focused on the feeling of loss. “Loss of homes, loss of loved ones, loss of privacy, loss of social belonging, loss of country, loss of history and loss of future.”(OP website)
OP partnered with Ramboll engineering to utilize a water pump system that created an illusion of an infinite void of falling water.
“By simply removing a part of the river, we create a void. A space of absence reminding us of the lives the were taken away.” (OP website)
“When replacing what was lost is impossible, a place of nothingness can provide the awesome silence of loss”(OP website)