Omniplan
Credit: Omniplan
Omniplan
Credit: Omniplan
Omniplan
Credit: Omniplan
Omniplan
Credit: Omniplan
Contributed by:
Andrew Barnes
AIA

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Unbuilt Design Awards Spotlight: Dallas Holocaust Museum – Omniplan

Continuing our review of the five winning entries leading up to the Unbuilt Design Awards Closing Reception on July 11th at Life in Deep Ellum.

At the onset of any architectural design effort, it must be decided upon what the drivers of the design will be. As discussed in the previous blog post, the creation of a museum for the remembrance of the holocaust is a weighty task that must be very deliberate and thoughtful. While the content of the exhibits will convey much of the meaning, there is an opportunity with this museum to create a truly meaningful experience through design choices.  Omniplan’s approach to the design of this new home for Dallas’ Holocaust Museum was focused on the creation of varying spatial expressions to help accentuate and facilitate the emotional responses of the building’s users.

The progression of the museums’ exhibits is integral to the form of the building. An orientation space marks the start, followed by an ascent to the exhibit halls and culminating in a decent through a solemn, contemplative space for reflection. The jurors lauded the design team for the strength and clarity of this progression, as well as the material palette, overall organization, and connection with the street.  While they did mention the relative weakness of the signage located on the building, that was a minor footnote in an otherwise very strong design, a design which is unified yet expressive of the various functions. As the winning entry in the actual Holocaust Museum design competition, we will hopefully get to experience this design firsthand in the near future.