"montañas De Recuerdos"
FINALIST C: MOUNTAINS OF REMEMBRANCE
The project is inspired by the south east coast landscape of Thailand, the site which is of Khao-lak Lamru National Park and the symbolism of the project brief, to build a Memorial for the Tsunami Victims.
The main idea of the project is to recreate an artificial piece of nature integrated in the Park with the aim to provide people
of a natural symbolic place where to meditate experience and teach them to live with the force of nature.
The project is understood as a temple hidden in the forest, light, nature and silence.
The strong natural image wanted to achieve is inspired by the pacific atolls and limestone islands with their mountains rising from the lagoons and seas defined by rings of coral reefs which protect them from the open sea. Humidity and heat convection result in a rain cloud constantly enveloping the peaks. This coincides with the cosmographies of civilisations on either side of the Pacific Ocean. The waters of life, the sources of the great rivers of Asia, are shown gyrating down the Himalayas. This water culture is spread in Hinduism and Buddhism and temples such as Angkor Wat in Khmer culture, spread in Thai temples.
The project proposes a gate to the site as the main entrance with the parking area to receive people, a hall which invites to penetrate the forest. It is located on the esplanade by the side of the curved access road and melt with the surrounded landscape.
A journey through the forest leading to the site and the sea, with meeting point and resting areas.
Then nearby the sea and at the highest point of the proposed site, a cluster of five towers are erected. They limit a space among them and give form to two squares, one open and elevated square called lagoon square and one enclosed and underneath the first one called union square which link the towers and distribute people to he entrance to each independent tower.
This reflects the spaces contained in Phang Nga Bay's islands. They are riddled with caves many of which can not be safely explored. There you have to kayak through many stone caves known as Hongs and once you are inside a Hong you find a large space inside, opened to the sky and full of mangrove swamp.
To commemorate the Memorial Day each 26th of December the lagoon square could be used as a huge stadium using the tower structures to fix on at the slopes of each tower tiers with removable round colour seats looking at the middle of the square where a central stage could be fixed. This will allow having a capacity of about 2000 people.
The towers. The interior empty open space above is reinterpreted into every tower following the needs, creating five different internal spaces with a similar external shape, different structures but similar and differentiated skins.
The main structure of the towers is developed in height in seven different structural levels, also doing an analogy with Buddhism religion as a way to ascend to reach the nirvana, as well as pagodas in temples have been high level organised.
The Memorial Tower: the contemplative space. The tallest empty tower (30 meters high), organised at ground level with a glass pavilion on it and sculptured circle rings descending, with an artificial mangrove growing in the middle and water, representing the life tree. It has a very symbolic meaning because it represents the victims of the tsunami, having the same number of branches and leaves as victims. Vegetation covers the structure.
A lighting system will be fixed to the steel joints knots of the external structure. The way to perceive this tower at night will be as a lighthouse.
The Museum Tower: the belvedere. It is the second tallest and biggest structure (about 25 meters high). It has a spiral rising ramp that contents the program of the exhibition and leads you to the top of the tower.
In the centre of the ground floor there is a star with the names of countries with victims of the tragedy.
The Warning Centre: the the teaching space. It is the third tallest and biggest one (about 20 meters high). The plans are organized by a radial system of rooms around the vertical communication space.
The Restaurant and Shop Tower: the resting space. It is the fourth one (about 15 meters high).
The Amphitheater Tower: the representative space. It is the smallest one (about 10 meters high).