Appingedam had a large Jewish community before the outbreak of World War II. This community completely fell apart during the war. The foundation responsible for protecting the heritage in Appingedam wanted to honour the community that once lived in this area with the synagogue as central point.
To this end, we made a very special bookcase with 56 books representing 56 life stories of members of the Jewish community. The stories describe what is known of their shortened lives and all have the same number of pages. Every book has a series of blank pages to illustrate the unfinished and abruptly ended lives. We wanted the bookcase to show the devastating destruction both war and the passage of time have on people and objects. We made the bookcase from rusted Corten steel. The lights in the bookcase come on if someone approaches it. It lights up and dims in a rhythm that resembles breathing.
Client: Stichting Oude Groninger Kerken
Concept, design: Paul&Albert
Production: Klaas van Driezum
Awards: European Design Award, Red Dot Award, International Design Award, German Design Award