Discussion with Stephen B. Jacobs, architect of the Holocaust Memorial in Tirana, Albania
Wednesday, September 30
12pm EDT | 11am CDT | 9am PDT
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The Holocaust Memorial in Tirana, Albania honors the more than 6 million lives lost and commemorates the courage of the Albanian citizens who bravely worked to save the Jews from Nazi forces. The memorial, designed by Stephen B. Jacobs, is prominently located at the Artificial Lake entrance of the Grand Park of Tirana. Three large curved granite panels set in a gently sloped paved berm, create a solace place for remembrance and reflection. Metal inlayed lettering along the granite pavers quotes the Talmud:
“Whoever saves one life, saves the whole world”
The panels are inscribed – one in English, one in Albanian, and one in Hebrew – with the following message:
From 1933 through 1945….
Over the past 50 years, Stephen B. Jacobs, FAIA has created a distinguished body of work in a wide variety of architectural disciplines, from adaptive re-use and historical preservation to high-rise residential and hotel development, to government-assisted affordable housing.
He was born in Lodz Poland, just weeks before the start of the Second World War. As a young child, he was interned in the Piotrkow ghetto labor camps, and was finally liberated in the Buchenwald Concentration camp on April 11, 1945. After spending three years in Switzerland, he and his immediate family immigrated to the United States in December of 1948. His father was a physician, and the family resided in Washington Heights in New York City, where his father maintained his medical practice.
He studied architecture at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, earning a bachelor’s degree in Architecture in 1963 and a Master’s in 1965. He started his firm, Stephen B. Jacobs Group, PC in 1967 and recently celebrated its 50th year. The firm is known for its ability to combine design excellence with the highest possible level of technical expertise.
Since the late-1990s, Jacobs along with his wife, Andi Pepper, his collaborator and affiliated interior designer has had a significant impact on the hospitality industry. Their super hip designs for the Library and Giraffe Hotels followed by the stunning success of the Gansevoort Hotel chain have led to extensive coverage and recognition in the national press. In 2012, they were both honored with a lifetime achievement award and inducted into the Platinum Circle by Hospitality Design Magazine.