ACAI Designs the Newly Opened Holocaust Reflection and Resource
Room at Nova Southeastern
November 7, 2016
ACAI Associates provided the architectural services for the new Holocaust Reflection and Resource Room at Nova Southeastern University (NSU). The grand opening was held on Sunday, October 16, 2016 with 300 attendees, including Holocaust Survivors residing in South Florida, NSU staff and community leaders. The Holocaust Reflection and Resource Room is the first of its kind on any university campus in South Florida and was made possible by a generous donation from Craig and Barbara Weiner, co-founders of the nonprofit Holocaust Learning and Education Fund, Inc. (HLEF) (www.Holocausteducationfund.com).
“We must strive to provide opportunities for our current generation and those of tomorrow to reflect on the horrific events of the Holocaust and the lessons to be learned from it,” said Craig Weiner, President of the HLEF. Craig is also a member of NSU’s Ambassadors Board and Barbara is an NSU graduate in Elementary Education; hence, the dream of creating a place to maintain a historical record of the Holocaust as well as honor those who perished while preserving the memories of those who survived was decided to be built at NSU’s Alvin Sherman Library.
Located on the second floor of the library, the Holocaust Reflection and Resource Room is designed to educate and encourage reflection. ACAI’s interior design department developed a space that blended aesthetic, cabinetry selection, lighting, colors and security in seamless fashion. Careful attention was given to detail, circulation and all facets associated with the review process followed by NSU’s Facilities and Campus Security Departments.
One room features computers with headphones to research and watch survivor testimonies. Patrons have access to a Holocaust encyclopedia, photos and films linked to research museums and memorials around the world, including the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., Yad Vashem in Israel, and The Museums at Auschwitz, Buchenwald and Dachau.
The other room features a large flat screen playing continuous video from the Holocaust era and comfortable seating for reviewing books and historical newspapers from the 1930’s and 1940’s. Wall-mounted displays and bookcases hold artifacts, concentration maps and original drawings from survivors.
“As architects, we treasure the opportunity work on such a historically significant project,” says Adolfo J. Cotilla, Jr., AIA, founder and president of ACAI. “This is a space that will bring great meaning to many people, both today and for many years to come. We hope the sense of peace and tranquility we’ve create will contribute to learning, remembrance and reflection.”
The Holocaust Reflection and Resource Room offers educational resources for NSU students, staff and faculty and is open to the public.