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Documentation And Information Centre

Engel und Zimmermann Architekten

The brief for the new information and documentation centre at Bergen-Belsen, a former Nazi concentration and prisoner of war camp, was put out to competition in 2003. The winning entry by architects Engel and Zimmermann is a monolithic monument in the form of a fairly slender, two-storey block, 200 metres long and 18 wide. Located along the edges of the former camp, of which only few traces remain, the building’s layout is rigorously functional. It stands like a walk-through sculpture reaching out into the Heidewald forest.
The architecture is radical and direct, its emotional impact strong.
The solid volume is pierced only by niches and lights with minimalist frames. The stark geometry, essential materials (unrendered concrete and glass), neutral colours and total absence of any form of decoration reinforce the building’s imposing physical presence. The pure lines create an...

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