An 8th-grade class project in 1998, turned into a $3.6M capital campaign establishing a forever home for the Holocaust Museum and Cohen Education Center. This historic and groundbreaking construction project was a full buildout of classroom and administrative space, and a fully curated gallery featuring 22 years worth of artifacts and stories that have been accumulated and donated by local members of the community. The mission: Teach the lessons of the Holocaust to inspire action against bigotry, hatred, and violence. The space, initially designed only for retail, was transformed into an impactful space that required specific design elements: -HVAC System: Designed for delicate temperature control and maximum air quality necessary for the preservation of the displays and comfort of the guests. Humidity sensors placed throughout the museum, ensure standardized humidity and temperature. A generator was installed to mitigate any disruptions should a natural event cut power. -Lighting System: A multi-pronged system with fixed LED light fixtures and adjustable tracked lighting allows the Museum the flexibility to change direction when needed. -Front Façade: A west-facing building, custom shadow boxes were built to minimize the heat load and light coming in. Storm rated glass was also installed to protect the displays. -Polished Concrete Floors: One of the first things to be completed after demolition, it was vital to ensure its 100% protection throughout the project. This finish allows images to be projected onto the floor. -Custom Millwork: Throughout the front entry and highlighted by a Jerusalem Stone at the reception desk. -Floating Walls: A critical design element to feature art, custom-built with metal reinforcements used to maintain architectural integrity and ensure safety of the public. -Sound System: State of the art technology and acoustic engineering is used so guests can hear specific stories without being disturbed. -A Minimalist Approach: Designed specifically to allow the artifacts speak for themselves and tell the story of this historic time. -The first section evokes the feeling of oppression by using dark walls, and projections of red barbed wire on the floor. The second section’s walls are white with projected white butterflies symbolizing the freedom of prisoners liberated and memorializing those whose lives were lost.
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