Museum Architecture as Spatial Storytelling of Historical Time: Manifesting a Primary Example of Jewish Space in Yad Vashem Holocaust History Museum


Source: Frontiers of Architectural Research Volume 6, Issue 4, Pages 442-455

Museums commonly adopt storytelling in their interpretive framework by use of audiovisual techniques to convey the meanings contained within artifacts. In addition to audiovisual mediation, this study demonstrates the idea that museum architecture itself can also be regarded as a medium of spatial storytelling, specifically of historical time, which is manifested spatially and cognitively for museum visitors.

The Yad Vashem Holocaust History Museum (YVHHM) in Jerusalem is considered a spatial storytelling tool that successfully establishes an architectural dimension and thus displays, reveals, and interprets historical time during the Holocaust. The research method of this study is drawn from a case study of YVHHM and consists of a literature review of scholarship in museum studies about artifacts and exhibition techniques of storytelling.

The study concludes that the architectural space and landscape of YVHHM create a primary example of Jewish space and its specific engagements with historical time by use of spatial layout and circulation, spatial form and symbolization, and spatial qualities of lighting and material. These components construct a tangible, sacred, and cultural artifact; such artifact inherits, preserves, and records Yad Vashem, Modern Jerusalem, and the Nation of Israel and is an ideal physical and spiritual “home” for Jewish people worldwide.

Updated: Feb. 13, 2018