Dezeen Magazine

Video shows pop-up synagogue in Ukraine unfolding like a book

This short film by photographer Iwan Baan shows the Babyn Yar Synagogue designed by Swiss studio Manuel Herz Architects opening and closing.

Located at Babyn Yar, the pop-up synagogue comprises a pair of 11-metre-high walls that unfold using a manual winch to reveal its decorative and detailed interiors.

As the building opens out, a roof pops up to shelter a wooden balcony and seating area inside that drop down from within its walls.

Babyn Yar Synagogue was designed by Manuel Herz Architects to mark the 80th anniversary of a massacre that took place at the site during the Holocaust.

The studio's founder Manuel Herz said he did not want to create a sombre memorial and instead opted for a building that "creates a feeling of wonder and awe".

"The pop-up book, when transformed into a building, with its transformative quality, and the collective ritual of opening and closing it, seemed to be the perfect leitmotif for the Babyn Yar Synagogue," he told Dezeen.

The project is shortlisted for the cultural building of the year in the Dezeen Awards 2021 and was also recently named the public vote winner for the same category.

Find out more about the Babyn Yar Synagogue here ›

The video is by Iwan Baan.