Japanese Firm Wins Design Competition For New Mehrin Jewish Museum In Centre of Brno

The design acknowledges the museum’s dual role as a sombre monument and a welcoming civic amenity. Credit: Mehrin.cz.

Brno, Oct 18 (BD) – Following an international architectural competition, a winning construction design has been selected for the planned Mehrin Moravian Jewish Museum, to be built on Benesova in the centre of Brno, in the empty lot opposite the Grand Hotel. 

The museum will explain the history of the Jewish people in Moravia, and commemorate the darkest period of that history. Four international studios entered the competition, with the Japanese firm Kengo Kuma & Associates submitting the winning design, beating teams from Denmark, Italy, and the Netherlands. The competition was organised by the knesl kynčl architectural studio, and costs were covered by the Moravian Holocaust Documentation Centre Endowment Fund.

On 1-2 September, the nine-member jury headed by architect Josef Pleskot met at the International Hotel, and unanimously selected the design from the Japanese studio as the winner. The design from the Dutch studio MVRDV finished in second place.

The jury praised all four submissions, which varied in their conceptual interpretation of the balance between the building’s dual roles as a sombre and unique monument on one hand, and an open and welcoming civic amenity on the other. “The model of an open house directly connected to the surrounding public at the ground floor was, after extensive discussion, chosen as more suitable for the comprehensive fulfilment of the assignment and for the city of Brno,” wrote the jury. “However, the model of the house as a certain symbol and monument was justified. The greatest openness, both in terms of content and form, was unanimously found for the proposal [from Kengo Kuma & Associates].”

An exhibition of all the proposals in the competition is on display until 15 November at the Brno Architectural Gallery at Starobrněnská 18. It is open every day except Monday and Tuesday from 2pm to 6pm.

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