a memorial for all wars: the Polynational War Memorial
Montage showing the underlying structure of a memorial module cluster.
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The Brief

 

It is estimated that around ten million people, including militaries and civilians, have killed in so called battle-related incidents since 1945. This is of course a rough estimation that does not include indirect deaths caused by war, such as famine, disease and tyrrany, which would make the figure considerably higher. The ten million names will be displayed at the Polynational War Memorial´s main memorial. The design brief for the main memorial included the following specifications:

 

The basic concept of this building is to:


  1. Display the names of the 10 million people that have died in wars since 1945.

  2. Enable visitors to view these names on the surface of the structure

  3. Enable visitors to locate and access the location of a specific name in the structure

  4. Function as a place for gatherings of up to 50 000 people at the same time.

 

A digital approach to the displaying of names

The names, as in (1) above, will be displayed using light-emitting OLED technology (or similar), possible to attach to any surface. Output of names is controlled by a mainframe computer connected to a series of research databases. This allows the display to be updated in real time. The default option displays all names in columns sorted by lastname. Consider the following options:

A. To only list the names of the killed in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict 1948-2005 during a special ceremony.

B. To display these names in Hebrew and/or Arabic

 

Enable access to a single name

To display such a quantity of names as 10 million at once will inevitably result in a enormous surface. If we would display them in a 48 points Times that would cover a surface of approximately 40 000 sqm. A low surface would be very long but allow for direct contact between name and visitor. In front of a short and high surface, a single name would be very hard to distinguish and the result would resemble stars at night. This effect may be desirable as long as there are structures for contact between name and human.

The prefered solution is to create a structure of halls and storeys where the names, using the same OLED technique as described above, are displayed in a way that creates an intimate connection between the visitor and the name. Visitors obtain information about the location of a particular hall from the database at variuos info-stations or over the internet.

 

Basic, preliminary list of constructions


  1. Plaza. Approx. 90 000 sqm. Can take up to 50 000 people. Entry points with elevators and stairs from the rest of the complex.

  2. Main display wall or construct surrounding the plaza. Approx 40 000 sqm. Entrances to memorial halls. Elevated section for appearances.

  3. A large number of memorial halls in connection to the display wall. Elevators and stairs for each section. Cloakroom and security units at entry point. Recommended height to ceiling for each hall: 3 m. Lounge area, cafe and helpdesk in each hall. Shelf for wreaths, flowers and other memorabilia.

  4. Roof or outer construction shielding the plaza and the "wall" from direct sunlight and rain. Ideally a "light", organic structure.

 

next: The Design >

 

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