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Commendation (work 048)

Commendation (work no. 048), Entwurf: OP Architecture, Niels Petersen, Copenhagen, Denmark

Planners: OP Architecture, Niels Petersen, Copenhagen, Denmark

The planners’ design concept
“‘Absent Monument’ – the idea of the absent monument interprets the notion of deportation. By removing a section of the river the water’s steady flow is interrupted precisely at this point. The visitor will experience emptiness and thus comprehend the exclusion and deportation of the Jews from Frankfurt society in a predominantly visual manner.”

Verdict of the jury (excerpt)
“What catches the eye about this work is the idea of creating a void in space in the form of an ‘Absent Monument’. (…) The result is a very powerful and metaphorical installation that is unique in its kind. At first glance this approach is fascinating; however an in-depth examination also reveals some weaknesses. The idea is to implant a place of silence and reflection – but we can safely assume the original intention will soon be thwarted and the site will be perceived and received as something spectacular. The sweeping gesture that presents itself in a decidedly poetic and artistic way is wide open to interpretation and for this reason cannot do justice to the events we seek to bring to mind. Moreover, the distance to the authentic location is also felt to be a disadvantage, even if it were overcome by installing a hotspot on the Main providing information on the history of the location and of Frankfurt’s Jewish population. The fact that the wholesale market hall and railway complex have not been integrated into the concept is viewed negatively. (…) A brave and captivating proposal overall that would indeed be suitable for many places and themes, but is in itself a paradox – as the envisaged emptiness will no doubt transform into an inappropriate attraction for lookers-on.”

Commendation (work 059)

Commendation (work no. 059), Entwurf: Martin Ott, Matthias Marbes, Weimar

Planners: Martin Ott, Matthias Marbes, Weimar

The planners’ design concept
“‘Gazing back in memory – The proposal works by relying on the directions to the concentration and extermination camps to which the Frankfurt Jews were deported. The concept is visualized by a tower that has nine openings: one for the direction of each camp.

Verdict of the jury (excerpt)
“‘Gazing back in memory’, the design’s central theme, culminates in a truly impressive ensemble that has remarkable urban planning qualities and visualizes the key stages of deportation: the harp switch stand, the control tower, ramp and walk-in basement in the wholesale market hall. (…) Nonetheless the jury is doubtful as to whether the ‘ascent’ in the tower, arranged by distance from the place of deportation, will be accepted and used, indeed if it is even necessary. It is also questionable whether the tower should not be filled with content, given that the symbolic meaning of the gaze will hardly be inferred from the geographical alignment of the windows alone. Here the planner was not able to expand on his basic idea.”