zaigas gailes birojs: zanis lipke memorial museum
zaigas gailes birojs: zanis lipke memorial museum zaigas gailes birojs: zanis lipke memorial museum
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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