Ralph Appelbaum Associates

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Holocaust Museum Houston

Houston, Texas

Holocaust Museum Houston
Holocaust Museum Houston_2

In June 2019, the Holocaust Museum Houston re-opened after a major expansion of RAA’s 1996 original design, more than doubling its exhibition spaces. This would support a broadened mission as not just a national hub for Holocaust education, but also a international voice for human rights and social justice. It is fully bilingual in English and Spanish.

Holocaust Museum Houston_4
Holocaust Museum Houston_4

RAA provided interpretive planning, content development, exhibition design, and media production for the entire 22,000-square-foot permanent exhibition. The new galleries included the Holocaust, Human Rights, and Diaries from the Holocaust and other conflicts. RAA worked closely with the museum’s teams to develop content and design approaches that would enhance their educational programming and objectives.

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At the center of the museum is a sculpture—a kaleidoscope of 1,500 butterflies that connects all three floors of the museum in an organically shaped swarm. The butterflies are captured within and juxtaposed against a sharp rectilinear volume created by a matrix of very thin cables. Each butterfly represents 1,000 children, and together, they are a memorial for the 1.5 million children who perished in the Holocaust.

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Holocaust Museum Houston_7

The new permanent exhibition revitalized the institution and provided a broader human rights and social justice lens through which the diverse residents of the greater Houston region can identify. On the occasion of its 25th anniversary in 2021, the museum seeks to be recognized nationally and internationally for keeping Holocaust memory alive in a post-survivor generation.

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Holocaust Museum Houston_9

Size 22,000 square feet

Year 2019

Architect Mucasey & Associates

Project Details

Lighting designTillotson Design

Structural EngineeringGarza + Mclain Structural Engineers

Project ManagementChristensen Building Group, LLC

Exhibit Construction Kubik Maltbie

AwardsGOOD DESIGN® Award: Winner, EnvironmentsADC: Art Directors Club Award: Merit AwardDecima Bienal Panamericana de Arquitectura, Quito, Ecuado, Biennial Exhibition / Competition – Architectural Works from the Americas: FinalistIndustrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), International Design Excellence Award (IDEA): Bronze. EnvironmentsCommunication Arts Design Award: Award of Excellence, Environmental Graphics

Photography Holocaust Museum Houston