MEMORIAL PLAQUE AT KAMPOR – THE ISLAND OF RAB
We were commissioned to do a work in the Memorial Cemetery honouring the victims of the Kampor concentration camp on the island of Rab, which is perhaps the most beautiful example of Ravnikar’s oeuvre. This superb work of his is marked by the resolution of the issue of conveying a difficult message in a poetic manner. It is shown in the sensitive ground layout design of the cemetery with the Mediterranean park arranged as a meditation site, through the application of cutting-edge technological and innovative possibilities of the use of the native stone and, last but not least, in extraordinarily subtle details.
The information of the victims was incomplete when the cemetery was built. An investigation by a concentration camp survivor which had lasted for many years resulted in a complete list. The issue was as to how the cemetery could be discreetly completed on the basis of this information.
The characteristics of the new element were meant to be analogous to the existing elements of the Memorial Cemetery, which are sustainability (i.e. indestructibility of the material), technological innovativeness, and modernity of execution.
It was agreed that the Ossuary was an appropriate location in the Memorial Park, which would match the importance of the message. In order to avoid an aggressive intervention into the quiet environment of the Ossuary, we set the new element atop the entire length of an existing parapet 18 m long in front of it. The plaque is designed as a ribbon hovering above the wall, easily readable to a standing visitor.
The new sustainable 12-mm thick stainless steel material forms an 18-m long ribbon “sewn” from seven pieces by means of laser cutting. Essentially, it is a plate made of two layers bound together into a stronger load-bearing composite by knuckle joints-spacers embedded with treenails in a hovering position in the existing low stone wall. The upper plate shows the laser cut names of all the dead separated by punctuation marks which are knuckle joints-spacers heads with a star, symbol of resistance, cut into them. The inscription plate’s surface was sandblasted to create a velvet-like surface which does not glare in the sun, is readable in the rain and in the darkness, and is simultaneously sustainable and indestructible.