The reason for developing the Margraten Memorial Center is the presence of the American cemetery. This is the primary visiting target. The plan is to realize a museum design that ensure visitors experience a substantive depth of meaning when visiting the cemetery. This will increase the quality of the visitor’s experience and reinforce the cemetery’s significance. Therefore, the proposed Margraten Memorial Center will complement a visit to the cemetery, in terms of the theme, atmosphere/surroundings and experience.
The central components will be the liberation, the American cemetery and its significance for those left behind, the Foundation for Adopting Graves at the American Cemetery in Margraten, those who live in the region and visitors from elsewhere. The emphasis on these aspects will give the visitors the opportunity to identify with the American liberators and enable the Margraten Memorial Center to establish itself as a unique and strong manner in relation to the existing war museum.
The associated concepts are commemoration, remembrance, honoring, informing and learning from the past. Therefore, the Margraten Memorial Center will provide space for a public dialogue, using the most modern interactive media.
The Board of Directors will work with creative and experienced people from the worlds of design and museology to develop the substantive concept for the Margraten Memorial Center. The concepts of similar museums in Europe will be used as points of reference during this process. These museums will include the Colleville-sur-Mer, the Vercors and the Flanders Fields. The way the pavilion fits into the landscape will form a significant point of departure for developing the architectonic and substantive concept.
The concept development will strive for synergy with South-Limburg society. There is still a great deal of information available about the cemetery’s lay-out, as well as the liberation and life stories of the buried soldiers and their families. This information has been disseminated widely, and it needs to be centralized. This must be done now, as the post-war generation is getting older.