Chesney Fries, “Museum #9066,” Design III, Fall 2013
The Rohwer Museum, a project erected to give the victims of the Japanese relocation center, a place to honor this time in history. Many stories of relocation have been overlooked by what many think were bigger things in history. Little is focused on this event in American history, but it should have a larger place in American history. My design for the museum strives to educate and link current visitors with those interned long ago.
When learning about this time in history, I found the emotions from the people became the most important aspect in the concept of my design. My design for the museum strives to educate and link current visitors with those interned long ago.
One approaches the Museum after having passed a large row of trees and entering a gap in those trees, then traveling down a large drive to the current cemetery where the museum sits across from it. Visitors will notice the museum is shaped like the barracks that were once located in the camps. As you are driving down the gravel path you come to realize how large in scale the building is.
The outer permanent exhibit space of the museum gives the visitor a feeling of intimidation and quiet through extreme height allowing visitors to connect spiritually with those interned long ago. The space is well lit with natural light at the top of the space.
The inner exhibit space in the museum, for traveling exhibitions is made even more dramatic by limiting natural light. The space creates a feeling of the unknown that allows the visitor to link with the victim on an extremely emotional level. It signifies to the visitor what it was like to be placed in a camp with no warning while, moved away from everything that was familiar.
The last space is located in the back of the museum, elevated and open to the outside. This outdoor space allows you to view the surrounding landscape and evaluate what use to be the barracks to the relocation center.