The Dallas Holocaust & Human Rights Museum / OMNIPLAN
Text description provided by the architects. While no building can ever represent the inhumane injustices that occurred during the Holocaust, it can certainly be a vessel for the meaningful presentation of the repercussions, human experiences and realities thereof to ultimately influence impactful societal change. The new Dallas Holocaust & Human Rights Museum, dedicated to teaching the history of the Holocaust and advancing human rights, is in West End Historic District of downtown Dallas.
The overall building design amplifies the museum’s narrative by leading visitors through a physically changing path with a series of highly experiential spaces that allow the visitors to fully absorb the exhibits. The architecture is essentially reflective of this notion of a journey – expressive of movement from arrival to departure, designed to provide an intuitive path for all visitors so that the focus is on the experience that is removed from everyday distractions. The siting responds to a series of considerations – creating vibrant open urban space, allowing sunlight to reach the museum, and responding to view corridors from icons and landmarks nearby.
With its exterior clad in copper, which will acquire a natural patina over time, the DHHRM will become an architectural legacy distinct and impactful. The Museum was designed with the goal of being a LEED Certified. This project is located in the West End Historic District, formerly an industrial site adjacent to a former rail line. The design of the building seeks to limit the amount of direct sun light on the large expanses of glass. The wings of U-shaped parti shields the large curtain wall opening to the courtyard from the sun while the west wing overhangs the entry curtain wall limiting the effects of the western sun exposure.
The project takes advantage of its location to encourage the use of alternative transportation with the proximity to the DART light rail and bus lines, the utilization of bike racks, and the provisions for low-Emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles. The project focuses on water efficiency with drought-resistant and regionally appropriate landscaping, as well as high-efficiency plumbing fixtures. Additionally, the exterior and interior materials lean into the idea of material reuse and recycled content. The prominent use of copper as both an interior and exterior material has a high recycled content. Copper has an infinitely recyclable life making it highly reusable for future generations.