Ghetto Fighters' House Museum

Location: Western Galilee
Original architect: Samuel Bikeles
Client: Ghetto Fighters' House Museum
New addition: 1,500 sqm
Project architect: Keren Avni
Project Management: Barnea Engineering and Building Ltd.
Structural Engineering: Kidan Structural Engineering Ltd.

The Museum was built in the 50’s by the founding of the Kibbutz, whose entire population were survivors of the holocaust. The members wanted to establish a place for ongoing testimony and education concerning the holocaust and the rebellion of the Warsaw Ghetto.
GFH was built as an active repository of first-hand testimonies and personal biographies, asking to memorize history as a continuous present, and to emphasize the relation between individual testimonies and the collective experience. The big narrative offered by other museums is here toned down into direct, subjective, spoken, intimate and unmediated meeting of the speakers and the listeners of the testimony. For us, the architectural task was clear, but rather unusual: how to maintain the existing building and to keep it as reverberation chamber of live testimonies, when the transmitters themselves are no longer there to meet the visitors and guide them through the building. In other words, the conceptual challenge was not to reproduce or simulate, but rather to re-enact the original situation of GFH.