The Garden of Exile

Friday 24th August 2018, 11.50am (day 2,556)

Garden of Exile, 24/8/18

The building which houses the Jewish Museum in Berlin is one of the most brilliant pieces of architecture I have ever experienced. Even if it were empty of exhibits — and at the moment, due to a renovation, it nearly is — it would make you think. There are these great vertical voids throughout the building, including the ‘Holocaust Tower’, a vast blank space illuminated only by a sliver of light coming in through the top. Another is covered with these metal sculpted faces, representing the innocent dead, that you must walk across in order to traverse the space. Then there is this garden, the ‘Garden of Exile’ — its plants placed high up on these stone pillars. Walking around it, other people appear and disappear randomly from view. This is architecture of genius, and well worth visiting. Though don’t expect to come out of it feeling any happier about the world — except, perhaps, that it has been built in Berlin. That fact alone gives me some hope.

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