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Designing for remembrance

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Garden of Remembrance, Marburg, Germany, by scape Landschaftsarchitekten GmbH, Düsseldorf, Germany

There is an open space in Marburg’s otherwise built-up city grid, a space that marks a significant absence. A synagogue designed by architect Wilhelm Spahr stood here from its completion in 1897 until its destruction on “Kristallnacht” — Nov. 9, 1938. From that point forward, the Nazi regime escalated the persecution of the Jews in Germany and Austria. Many synagogues were destroyed, along with the communities that built them.

All but annihilated in the first half of the 20th century, Marburg’s Jewish community has since begun to rebuild itself, and its members have been determined to turn what had long been a gap in the urban fabric into a space that would be both a meaningful memorial to the people and culture destroyed in the pogroms and a public space integrated into the life of the city.

Read the full article here.

Narrative in design

LAN logoIn this article for Landscape Architecture Network, Can landscape architects use history to make a city stronger?, I explore the importance of a strong narrative – in this case the city’s history – in creating a new design to revitalise the city centre.

Cities must adapt if they are to survive. Faced with a shrinking, aging population in its city center, the municipality of Celje resolved to redesign and revive Celje’s open public spaces. For the most recent stage of this work, they engaged Darja Matjašec, Sergej Hiti, and Klara Sulič of LUZ. As landscape architects working in Slovenia, LUZ’s designers are experienced in negotiating the delicate balance between honoring the past and creating spaces for the future.

Read the full article here.