In 2014 Shiro Studio was selected to participate to the "The saved to the rescuers" international competition. The brief was to design a Commemoration honouring those Poles who rescued Jews during the German occupation in Warsaw during World War Two.
We asked ourselves how to materialize, how to turn into physical reality those values that can describe the rescuers: bravery, loneliness, moral character?
How can we visualize the effort of few individuals that, together, achieved unity and gave us an exceptional moral example? How can a contemporary monument be visible and yet be humble, silent, discreet, like those rescuers?
Our Monument is a "porous" entity, spreading across the west area of the park. A total of 200 stainless steel vertical rods, 8 meters high, springing from the grass.
The rods are made of durable polished stainless steel, so that they can reflect the surrounding environment. They reflect the grass, the leaves, the clouds and the buildings. So they become discreet, sometimes almost invisible. Very much like the rescuers. Their height will bring the visitors' eyes towards the sky, allowing for a serene contemplation and prayers. The same sky the rescuers' eyes looked more than 70 years ago.
These thin rods will gently move with the wind. With the slow, graceful movement they will look alive, a perpetual oscillation that will remember the rescuers forever.
In plan the rods will feature a variable density: scattered around the grass they will symbolize how few individuals changed the course of history, giving to our society the greatest gift. When the rods will become thicker, getting closer to each other, visual unity will be created. The unity of our contemporary society.
In plan the rods will be positioned where the Barracks building once stood: we overlaid onto the existing plan the perimeter of the former barrack building. All the 200 rods will be positioned along and inside this perimeter.
By recreating a partial volume of the Barracks building, we will remember history, the specific history and context in which the savers lived and operated. This will resurrect a portion of the local context that disappeared in 1965, despite the community protests.
Client: Remembrance and Future’ Foundation, Warsaw
Status: Honourable Mention
Budget: £0.5 million