VOICES: MEMORIAL TO VICTIMS OF THE 2004 TSUNAMI, Thailand.
Collaboration with Sitework and Reform.
The program for the competition called for a museum, visitor center, and memorial to the 5,000 Thai nationals who died in the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004. The master plan is inspired by the Thai forest tradition of walking meditation—movement aids contemplation of and interaction with nature. A series of meandering paths through the woods reveal the land and the sea beyond. Along the way, pavilions provide places to rest, echoing Buddhist monks’ portable meditation canopies (”glots”). On a bluff overlooking the shore is the Hall of Voices. In a structure symbolizing a return to wholeness, visitors may speak the names of their loved ones and leave their stories as gifts. Individual testimonials are heard alone in listening stations below. Collective voices fill the air of the open sanctuary, merging like waves of water. Voices surround us, bind us. Below, at the beach, a Memory Pool comes and goes with the tide, a quiet reminder that something has happened here. Carved from beach stone, it is at once embedded in the land, reflective of the sky, and fed by the sea. Perfectly round, its shape is definite and clear, but its presence comes and goes. Memory shifts and needs to be revisited, but it endures.