KOFUN, MEMORIAL PARK FOR MH17 VICTIMS, 2015
International Competition, Horourable Mention, Pedro Duarte Bento 2015
“Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) was a scheduled international passenger flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur that was shot down on 17 July 2014, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew on board”. An international competition was launched to create a Memorial Park to remember and honor the victims and their families. “Participants were asked to design a new island for the MH17 Memorial in the Amsterdam “Internal Sea” - IJmeer, situated between the Java-eiland and Amsterdam-Noord, the rapidly developing part of the city”.
The fundamental aspect of this proposal relies on a sensorial experience offered to every visitor in a form of a ritualistic sequence. Through this sequence, the visitors will be able to juxtapose a series of different visual, audible, spatial and cognitive perceptions. To achieve a maximum effect, this proposal considers the full allowed foot-print of the site to implement the artificial island and park. Its character, from afar, should be the one of the woods, or a forest. The tall trees create a dense filter that acoustically and visually protects the center of the park from its urban surroundings. Placed on the west side and narrowest part of the island, close to the ferry dock, a building will host the programmatic and administrative functions of the Park: from staff requirements to Visitors’ Centre, also housing the cafe and the multifunction rooms. From there, visitors are encouraged to experience the woods — crossing it or staying in it. Once amongst the tall trees, looking to the center inland, visual fragments of the Memorial occupy the focal point. Reaching it, the visitors discover that is surrounded by water — an island within an island — and has one access only, on the far, east side. Spatially, the Memorial itself is characterized by a trinity of layers: the perimeter arcade (open, repetition), the access chamber (dark, ritualistic passage), and the inner courtyard (vertical reflection, emotional center). Each of them suggest some particular aspects that once combined will culminate in a spiritual reclusion, a place for Memory and Remembrance: an open room where the relation between earth and sky is celebrated in calmness and tranquility.