Challenging an archetypal relationship between collective memory and traditional memorials, [ME]morial presents a new concept in commemorative architecture based on the reinterpretation of Freud's and Bergson's ideas of memory.
[ME]morial emphasizes a new relationship between memory and the individual to offer a new way of experiencing memorial spaces. Contemporary architecture's focus on communal memory has led to the primacy of a single image or rendering. Thus, memorial architecture tends to miss opportunities for deeper explorations and individualized experiences, beyond simplistic representations of memorialized events or figures.
This thesis project proposes a memorial architecture for the victims of the March 11th earthquake and tsunami in Sendai, Japan. Three spatially different [ME]morials are the starting point for this open-ended project. The goal of the project is to create a new relationship between individual memory and the individuals, such that each individual will have personalized experiences in each [ME]morial. [ME]morial will serve as a space not only for soothing victims' wounded hearts, but also for letting people memorialize their individual memories. The project seeks to challenge and extend traditional architectural definitions of memorial architecture.
Study of memorial archetypes.
Diagram of concept
Proposed site plan
[ME]morial 1: Memorializing in the Air
Floated steel and glass plates are projected into the air based on the existing foundation of the housing of the past on the site. It gives the individual an opportunity to experience the memory of the site.
[ME]morial 2: Memorializing Under the Ground
Space of individual memory and path to reach the space are projected underground. Individuals experience an individual memory of the past by walking down the steps to he destination under the ground.
[ME]emorial 3: Memorializing Above Water
Glass plates are floated above water based on the foundation of the past house on the site.
Our current paradigm of memorial architecture stems from a consideration of communal memory of events or figures only. This obelisk-like memorial architecture foregounds a singular symbolic communal memory and creates a unilateral relationship. In contrast, [ME]morial offers an experience of individual memories and generates reciprocal relationships.
The earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011—which damaged the Fukushima nuclear power plants in Japan—has been one of the most devastating catastrophes in history. Over ten thousand people lost their lives, and millions evacuated their homes because of nuclear radiation inthe Tohoku region.
Three years after the tragedy, this project is proposing a memorial architecture for earthquake and tsunami victims in Sendai. In spite of the fact that the earthquake and tsunami in 2011 left a trail of casualties, there have been only temporary memorial observancesin Japan.
The Sendai coastal area has been divided into four regions for restoration. Among these four regions, a site for this thesis project is in the middle of the region that has been designated as 'Seaside exchange/ revitalization zone', planned as coastal parks and memorial facilities with beautiful landscapes. When we take a closer look at the site, it is full of memories. Numerous foundations of the housing of the past remain, extending over severalkilometers on the site. These remnants become spots for offering individual memorial spaces.
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