October 16, 2018

SCI-Arc exhibit reconsiders a future for Auschwitz

The word Auschwitz connotes more than just the concentration camp in Poland that carries the name. It’s shorthand for the horrors of the Holocaust and evidence of man’s capacity for extreme inhumanity to man.

And perhaps because the place is such a symbol, nearly 70 years after World War II ended, a sometimes heated debate continues among historians, architects and archaeologists about how to properly preserve the site of the atrocities, including the neighboring site of Birkenau, or Auschwitz II.

Two Los Angeles-based architects, Eric Kahn and Russell Thomsen, partners in IDEA Office, developed their own unsolicited proposal for the site. Although Kahn died in June, Thomsen carried on, and now the fruits of their work are on display through Nov. 30 at the downtown campus of the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in an