Memory is for those who have forgotten. Plotino
Many suggestions appear when thinking on a funerary facility to contain the ashes of the dead, in niches. A main one: evocation. Evoke is bring to memory the beloved …who have disappeared, remember and recreate their presence.
The project seeks for a double memory –single and collective-, a place for thinking and remembering, for evocation. The Socrem temple builds an heterotopia that will detach the visitors from daily routine.
The project aims to create a place of places. A garden for remembering, a garden of presences and absences. Memory and oblivion are inseparable, the ancients knew it. Close to the Trophonios oracle, in Boeotia, there were two fountainheads where the consultants had to drink: the Lethe, fountain of oblivion, and Mnemosyné, the fountain of memory. Two essential springs, because, without some ability for oblivion, life will be unfeasible, but without memory life will be impossible. That´s why there are two fountains in our garden.
Vacuum is also a strong suggestion; vacuum as loss, like oblivion.
That´s why void is generator of the architectural design. The negative spaces and the interior voids configure the places. The external strolls are negative spaces, convex labyrinths; they are as important as the proper closed enclosures of the funerary niches; interior voids, quoting the roman columbarium.
The vacuum is the oblivion, the non-presence, the loss. Because of that, the void and the sky –always acting in the project- means the presence and the absence. Shadow and light are also substance of the project. That´s why the Socrem temple is a route of lights and shadows, of emptiness, of interiors and exteriors.
Emptiness, illustrated by means of the fragment and ruin, are also reminiscence and invocation, misty segmented memento. The fragment, the ruin (what has been) or the past shapes a place for evocation. That´s why the fragments of classical sculptures are embedded. That´s also why the patchwork construction, with different brick patterns and different construction elements defining the volumes.
The ensemble is designed like a fortress from the outside view and as a garden/labyrinth inside. The enclosures –always open, hollowed- are constructed by means of the intersection of extruded circles, squares and triangles, basic forms, that also draw the external streets.
Quotes are many: cypress, metaphysic, fragment, ruin, labyrinth, route, vacuum, interior/exterior, sky, loneliness, shadow, light, presence and absence, memory and oblivion, geometry, garden or the Strada dei Sepolcri of Pompeii.
Around 3.500 cells are constructed in eight open buildings, double height. Marble lintels and jambs will frame the niches. The exterior will be made of natural stone, solid brick and fragments of classic sculptures (copies). The inner wall will be made in reinforced concrete. The pavements by different cobblestone. The garden, a green rug and cypresses.
The layout is developed in ground floor, this, ensures the handicapped mobility. There are no architectural barriers.