During World War II the Chinese General Consul in Vienna, Dr. Ho Feng Shan, saved the lives of thousands of Jewish people from the devastation of the Holocaust by issuing visas to China.
In 2019, to commemorate Dr. Ho’s valiant efforts and the 10th anniversary of the collaboration with Petah Tikwa, the“Peace Visa for Life Museum ”was commissioned to be built in the city of Yiyang, China.
Being the key element of these historic life-saving events, the building takes the idea of the "visa", as the basic element to inform the language of space composition. Large corten steels plates represent the colour and shape of a visa document, creating a“visa plate” .
The museum is situated in the valley of two mountains. The boundary is designed to be open, with the elevation impression changing and evolving when viewed from the adjacent hiking trails. The overlapping plates allow a sunshade effect, but as importantly define an inner space of movement, symbolically forming a "channel of life " guided by the “visas”.
The A shape of the entrance hall referenced the feeling of pressure as the space is compressed. The sunlight remains visible at the top of the compressed narrow entrance. The space is simultaneously activated and reshaped, and when combined with the vertical circulation cores allow the upper entrance light hall, theme exhibition hall, projection hall and exit hall to be connected into a situational narrative space. As the visitor takes the elevator to the upper levels a sense of freedom is felt, comparable to the transition from oppression to release. Visitor immerse themselves in space situation, so as to awaken the individuals historical empathy, allowing life to be respected and peace to be cherished.