MH17 Memorial site and park
with Eugen Zvonimir Čanić and Ivica Keršić
“Life is a journey, not a fast run. The project is based on the procession that glorifies the lives of the unfortunate passengers of the down casted airplane, as well as all other victims who have suffered great injustice and harm. This project is offering people empathy, but also a peaceful place and a space that invites us to think about the future and freedom.
Spiral shape as a base of our design suggests energy flow which leads us through stages of human emotions, manifested after the suffered trauma. Formed spaces are symbolizing emotions of mourning and grief, proposed in the model of psychologist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, which are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
The process starts with the forest; vast green fields wrapped in the enchanting atmosphere where reality becomes indiscernible. A landscape as an epitaph of denying what terrible sequence occurred. Landscape of denial.
Continuing our path we approach the phase of anger. Once unshaken illusion, now transforms into rough and unstable terrain. The cubes are eccentrically popping out of the field, inviting us to feel the rage toward human kind, while looking in the reflection of ourselves and others in the mirrors.
As the life circle goes on, the journey continues to a phase of bargaining. Space where you found yourself wondering what you can do to restore back time. Abstract theme is hidden as properly set up grid of columns, symbols of all the lives lost.
When a person realizes that the history has already been sealed, depression retrieves him. He enters the space of meaninglessness, numbness and disappointments. Still a place where mourners can plant a flower, small gift but a great symbol of love. The smell of the fields that permeates us from all sides, evokes memories of former celebrations, hugs and kisses, and all those friends and lovers, un-offered forgiveness and comfort, greetings and agreements that were once considered as unimportant.
Finally, realizing that the only thing we can do is to reconcile with the situation, with the inevitable and accept. We arrive in a circle, the center of our travels. The space of contemplation. The space of acceptance. It is also an entry to the memorial center, the spacious open tunnel with an indoor multi-purpose spaces designed as translucents envelopes. Diffused light from the ends of the tunnel and the pattern holes ceilings of the rooms create an atmosphere for different gatterings, events and exhibitions.
Irregular shape of the island is derived from the urban surroundings, with ferry station is embracing the island as points of entrance and exits of the procession. The whole area of the island conceived with its paths, denivelations, and penetrations of water, makes unity with plateau of different festivities on the northeast edge. Invisible grid spreads over the island unifying all spaces. The grid is made in sequence of 7.5 meters going both sides which allows us to place all of the elements (woods, pillars and cubes) within the grid, creating a complex and organised layout of paths, natural and architectural structures. The path is created from smaller triangle ( approximately 14 square meters per element) derived from the grid square making a path that leads us through the procession but also allows us to get lost in swirls path of the design story.
Architecture, as emotional initiator assisting in promoting a better vision for the future, is here to send a message. Message of compassion, love and peace. We create an environment that invade into the center of our existence and starts a flood of emotions.”