Highly Creative Minds recently prepared a design for the Sachsenburg Concentration Camp Memorial ideas competition, in and around what had been the commandant’s house. Rex Proctor supported the bid by providing an in-depth cost analysis, which was a key part of the brief requirements.
While Sachsenburg is not a well-known site its role as a prototype for later camps is significant. With this in mind the design evolved around an aggressive, sculpted tree thrusting up through the shell of the house hidden from outside view. Around and through which weaves a series of walkways rising past the jagged branches to a viewing platform overlooking the site of the main camp. By limiting natural light entering the space a dramatic pattern of harsh shadows is created, redolent of expressionist cinema: imagery that evokes this truly nightmarish period of German history.
Around the house is an area of water meadow: this outdoor space, prone to flooding, was worked into the overall design through a further set of raised walkways. These take you through the beautiful landscape, into the stark horrors of the house, then out again as a metaphor of the transition of time across the site, where after its stint as a camp in the mid-30s the buildings reverted to their original role as a clothing factory. A real example of the banality of evil in action.
03 / 2021