University of Maine, Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine

Augusta, ME | 2007

Sited on a hill on the University’s campus, this center for Holocaust education adjoins the existing library with which it shares an entrance lobby. Its location gives the Center a setting which is focused on education; the Center in turn provides the library with a powerful new teaching resource.

The design concept, based on the metaphor of a flower, creates fringes of a “calyx”: walls pull away to define the exhibit space, gather light into the building, and provide circulation. Symbolizing the fragility of democracy and human rights, the innermost permanent gallery is a “bud” tucked into the folds of a larger program space for learning and reflection. The outer, shell-like facades “protect” the interior, flower-like space. The permanent gallery features a sophisticated multi-media program.

To address the design and construction challenges of the complexity of the curved walls, leading-edge Building Information Modeling (BIM) software, an intelligent 3D modeling system, was used for the project.

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Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine


Shepley Bulfinch Team

Garry Baker
Angela Watson
Dawn Bridges
Nadine Cole
Alan Estabrook
Ken Gard
Harold Hon
Lee Lucas
Son Wooten



  • Winner, 2004 Holocaust and Human Rights Center International Design Competition

View awards list »

"Harold and Son's design clearly offered us a building that will serve our needs as an educational resource center and will create an architectural form on our campus that will soar with dignity and respect."

- Robert Katz, Professor of Art History and Chair of the Building Committee, University of Maine at Augusta; Board Member, Holocaust and Human Rights Center

©2017 Shepley Bulfinch