zaigas gailes birojs: zanis lipke memorial museum
original content
sep 17, 2012
zaigas gailes birojs: zanis lipke memorial museum


‘zanis lipke memorial museum’ by zaigas gailes birojs, riga, latvia
image © ansis starks

deeply rooted in world war II history, the site is the original woodshed where mr. zanis and mrs. johanna lipke hid more than fifty
jews during the nazi occupation of latvia, still standing today in kipsala. an NGO was formed in 2005 dedicated to those people
of all ethnic backgrounds who risked their lives to save others’, collecting donated artifacts and materials to display at the memorial.
latvian practice zaigas gailes birojs has recently renovated the building to create the ‘zanis lipke memorial museum’ in honor of
those selfless citizens.

the general form portrays an overturned ship, with very few windows and dark grey wood planks, representing the post-flood arch
harboring surviving life. it is also reminiscent of the barns typical to the area, with slightly angled walls that lean from the wind.
the entrance sequence begins in a long boarded tunnel, letting only slivers of light illuminate the way, built as the shed itself with a
light wood frame construction. the principle volume suddenly opens to reveal a three storey structure with a large open shaft cutting
through the floor planes allowing constant views into the basement where people weathered the life-threatening events occurring
above ground. the concrete bunker was kept at its original scale and dimension, with the wood being carried through in the textures
imprinted by the form work. nine bunks hang down the walls with a few objects that suggest a human presence.

‘zanis lipke memorial musem’ has been shortlisted in the ‘culture’ category of the 2012 world architecture festival.
see the complete list of this year’s nominated projects here.


entry tunnel leading to the main structure
images © ansis starks

the entry floor contains the sukkah, a temporary shelter used throughout
jewish history, maintaining the timber truss construction
embossing transparent inner walls made of paper. lightly drawn
landscapes on the thin partitions interpret this space between the
sub-grade level and the attic as an intermediary space between heaven
and hell. from the top storey, visitors can learn about the
zanis lipke family and observe through the lower floors at the story laid out by the architecture.


wood shingles line the exterior
image © ansis starks


weathered grey wood interior
image © ansis starks


concrete texture shows wooden form work
image © ansis starks


‘sukkah’
image © ansis starks


open shaft through the three floors reveals the basement bunker throughout the museum
image © ansis starks


dark wooden interiors create ambiance
image © ansis starks


entry tunnel
image © ansis starks


attic
image © ansis starks

project info:

architects: zaiga gaile, ingmars atavs, agnese sirma, ineta solzemniece, zane dzintara
concept authors: maris gailis, augusts sukuts, viktors jansons
artist: kristaps gelzis, reinis suhanovs
client: society “zanis lipke memorial”
project manager: maris gailis
main constructor: mg buvnieks
structural engineer: balts un melns

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