Klauzál square – Ghetto memorial competition


Open ideas competition by the Municipality of the VII. district of Budapest, to design a memorial of once existing ghetto, 1st prize

Architects: Balázs Biri, Levente Szabó
Co-designers: Anna Breuer, Borbála Surján, Szabolcs Szilágyi

Through our design we propose a memorial which instead of a focused intervention reaches for visualizing a certain context. The concept has two deeply connected elements at two locations. One is the former border of the ghetto running through public spaces without even being noticeable and the other is Klauzál square, which was the place where the habitants arrived and been looted, the biggest public space in the ghetto and also the location of the mass graves around the end of the second world war.

At the sixteen entrances (and also exits) of the ghetto a roughly noticeable network of small bronze nails can be seen while in the former geometrical centre of the area a stronger piece, a relief encircled by a written explanation can be found emphasizing the absence of the nails. Its goal is to symbolically mark the place, the whole square and to contextualize the aforementioned network of smaller elements.

The monument can gain its meaning by someone roving around the whole area or by stumbling into its smaller part one by one. Remembering requires work therefore the mental activity to understand the broad context and physical effort necessary to discover the whole memorial can also provide an opportunity for the act of remembrance for individuals and also for members of the most divers communities.