Border of Peace

Honourable mention.

The aim of the competition was the creation of a shared space along the border of the two countries through an architectural/design intervention.
The border must not remain a mere division between the two countries, but aim at rejuvenating the community life on both the sides by activating the public spaces in and around the design intervention.
It should educate people about the virtues of social and religious harmony and promote the mutual coexistence of friendship and peace between India and Pakistan.
It should propagate the message of peace and harmony through the dual language of art and architecture.

Francesco Nicolai · Border of Peace
Francesco Nicolai

I do not know why, I do not know how, but after walking through deserts and forests, I found myself in front of a huge stair, so high that I could not see the end.
A high colonnaded skirted the ladder, on the one hand and on the other tall pillars, high enough to seem slender.
On it rested a cover that stretched across the grandeur of the building.
I remained down to observe the stairs for five minutes or maybe ten. Motionless.
Meanwhile hundreds of people going up and down, stopped, reflected, spoke.
I could feel a strange euphoria and a sense of well-being in the arid desert air.
At some point something or someone touches my shoulder and when I turn around a woman's voice takes me by surprise
"I can't go alone, I'm afraid, can you accompany me?"
"But what is it? Why do all these people?"
"I heard that up there are not wars, there are not conflicts, they said that is a place where people admire
and respect each other.
We climb.
As we start to go up, the air of the monsoon from the south shakes her hair and refreshes us.
In front of us the building appears: the two wings at our sides are two paths, starting from the ground they
arrive at the top, people who don’t want take stairs can walk through this route.
During their walk people are surrounded by different kind of plants that are everywhere: on the ramps, on the pillars, on the steps, hundreds of varieties of plants and flowers populate the path and theirs fragrances come down to us.
There are many people going up walking through this “Promenade” that looks like a vertical forest some people stop, there are tables, chairs.
I can see the pavilions where someone speak, I can see areas where there are artworks, galleries, open-air museums, where everywhere can express themselves and exhibit his works.
There are exchange of view, Ideas worth spreading.
“Do you know what there is inside?” she say to me.
"Inside where?”
“In the heart of the building!”
“No I don’t, what is inside?”
“There is a tower! An invisible tower, where people go to meditate, to read, to talk, some people dance,
someone sleep, someone else pray or just remain silent.”
We arrived, I seem to have walked hours, I am tired.
We are on the terrace, in front of us the infinite stretches, you can feel the grandeur of the entire world.
There are so many people but you don’t hear voices, everyone is thinking.
The wind blows, it’s nearly evening and the light became orange.
We walk along this mystical place, I’m lost.
All of my thoughts do not exist anymore, war, hunger, enemies, my mind is finally empty.
A feeling of well-being around me, I feel like being in a place that is above.
For the first time in my life I can see the sincere smile on the face of the people. I get emotional just
thinking about it.
I turn around and I see her, instinctively I hug her and we remain in silence with our gaze turned to the
distant lands but closer from here.

Francesco Nicolai · Border of Peace
Francesco Nicolai

Francesco Nicolai · Border of Peace
Francesco Nicolai
Francesco Nicolai · Border of Peace
Francesco Nicolai
Francesco Nicolai · Border of Peace
Francesco Nicolai
Francesco Nicolai · Border of Peace
Francesco Nicolai