MEMORIAL HONOURING VICTIMS OF THE WAR OF 1974
FACTS + CREDITS
PROJECT TEAM: TEREZA KOURRA, KYRIAKOS MILTIADOU
STAGE: COMPETITION ENTRY, 3RD PRIZE
The brief of the competition asked for the design of a Memorial situated at the entrance of Pera Orinis, Nicosia CY, in the honor of six missing persons, victims of the Turkish invasion on 1974. The central idea raised at the very beginning of our design process was to compose an installation with intense conceptual content; an enlarged sculptural gesture that will emerge and unfold ideas, thoughts and memories around the sacrifice of the six honored victims. What we propose is the formation of a spatial narrative that adopts the typical compositional structure of an ancient Greek tragedy: Exordium, Plot, Catharsis.
The Exordium is signaled by six marks carved on the existing ground, each representing a missing hero, which directly drive the spectator towards the Central Monument. These are six water tanks that can be illuminated during night; they indicate linear paths as they develop a continuous flow of motion and interaction between the spectator and the Central Monument.
The main sculptural installation is where the Plot of our spatial narrative takes place. This has the form of an eroded, cubic volume measuring 5x5x5 meters. An "explosion" in space and time seems to have been occurred in the structure of the cube, reducing it to a fragmentary spatial element. The result is the creation of a valley consisted of six vertical scraps, which remain within the boundary of the original cube. Six “Doric bodies” that evoke multiple correlations with the honored heroes hermetically protect the content of the cube, thus stimulating the curiosity of what can be hidden inside. The only element that interrupts the simple, surfaces is the engravings with the names of the missing persons carved in each of them.
Through the cracks resulting from the explosion, the spectator can penetrate into the cube and confront its labyrinthian spatial structure. On the surfaces one can read carved poems and other literature pieces written for the six missing persons. A path composed of steps and turns is created offering an enriched spatial experience around the emotion and memory of the six heroes.
This spatial mystagogy gradually drives the spectator towards the center of the fragmented cube where Catharsis occurs. An underground chamber is sited at the heart of the installation acting as a sacred space of meditation. The six water tanks of the Exordium meet here, in a circular reservoir inside the chamber. At the center of this water reservoir there is a Cypriot olive tree - symbol of peace and tranquility. The blinding Cypriot light passing through the top of the sculptural volume interacts with the water and natural element, creating the conditions for a place of devotion and reflection.