Exploring Memory, Life and Recovery through Architecture
KAIRA LOORO PEACE PAVILION
Project Site: Sedhiou, Senegal / 2017
Team: Christina Zhang + Kaifeng Wu + Emily Hsee
The memorial imagines an interactive pavilion that creates a sequential journey: a voyage that evolves and changes as one walks through the space. Architecturally a uniform grid, the memorial relies only on the Casamance River waterfront--where the land gently dips to meet the water--to provide a dynamic experience. The ground elevation change defines the different programs: the moments for reflection, and the space for gathering. Pieces of fabric of the same length hang from the simple bamboo grid throughout the pavilion. With collective creative effort, the community can paint, write, or weave on the fabric to complete the pavilion.
Plan & Sections: On west side of the pavilion at the highest elevation, the fabric hangs relatively close to the ground, acting as partitions that divide the space into small units. People must lift up or push aside the fabric in order to move through the space. There is a physical interaction and labor that must occur in order for people to keep walking ahead. There is also a sense of confinement. They might sense a silhouette walking by, but they will not be able to meet the eyes of those close by. We imagine the experience here to be one of isolation and contemplation, as one can only look at the artworks on the fabric, and look up to the sky above.
As people continue to move through the pavilion, they will reach a gathering space at the waterfront, where the ground dips down. As they sit or move into the water, they will begin to see each other freely. As the pieces of fabric (painted with collective memories and intents) gently flow above their heads, they will be able to share stories, teach history, and more.
When people walk further into the river, either on boat or by foot, the fabric will be completely above their heads, allowing for an open exhibition: people will be able to enjoy the artwork on the fabric overhead and interact with those around them.
The memorial suggests a progression from a darker, individualistic experience to a completely open, expansive one. Often times remembering loss goes hand in hand with envisioning peace. We hope to reflect the intertwined and gradually-changing nature of these two states in this immersive memorial.