A detour . . .

Another great season of architectural endeavours has passed. University studios are now only a distant memory . . . [ or are they? ]

Anyway, after graduation the next obvious step is finding a job. However, for those of us who have not always been part of the Scandinavian education system which focuses on the importance and the cordiality of group work . . . well let’s just say we miss being right all the time in our own projects.

Therefore, as the selfish little professional that I am, I have decided to start off my career not by working in an office, but by doing a couple of individual projects. Funny enough, it seemed that I may have forgotten at the time that me, myself, and I aren’t always in the best of terms.

Nonetheless, I have set out into the professional world by focusing on a couple of projects of my own. Fortunately, I have been lucky enough to come across the opportunity of a design competition placed close to my heart.

The story goes something like this …

2 years ago, a fire at ‘Colectiv’ nightclub in Bucharest has put out the dreams of a handfull of young soles, gathered to celebrate the inauguration of their favourite band’s new album. The event has awoken a great sense of ‘collectivness’ in the cumulative memory of the Romanian community, going beyond the reach of the nation. Overwhelmed by the high number of victims, Romanian authorities appealed for help at an international level. Hence, a number of seriously injured victims have been transferred to hospitals in Israel, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, the United Kingdom, Norway, Germany and France.  Therefore, in the autumn of 2016, a competition to design a memorial site for the commemoration of this unfortunate event has been made.

Still being a bit restless and naive after graduation, I thought this would be the perfect window to promote the architectural and social qualities developed during my studies on Nordic Architecture, and place them at the intersection between the collective memory of young Romanians and of a socially fractured ‘Bucharestian’ society.

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Hence, I decided to propose a public space as a response to the desire of providing a venue for all, regardless of social/ political/ ethic background, a space that exists in a state of complete openness to the city and to the people.

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The architectural expression of the elements within the proposal, as well as the materials, carry a symbolical meaning which can be interpreted differently depending on the viewer’s personal beliefs and ordeals.

As a result, an interplay between concrete, corteen [weathered] steel and water has been manipulated to shape the metaphorical meaning of the proposal. Therefore, while the verticality of the elements suggest an analogy to the doors opening towards the heavens above, the colour and materiality [red, rotten steel] addresses the memory of the fire. Furthermore, water is a motif used to describe purity, and is the source of life itself. Hence, while the portals look at the extinction of life, the water ponds emphasize the renewal of it, completing the cycle of life.

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It is an amazing opportunity to get to work on a project that is close to what you consider ‘home’. This was also visible in the result of the competition, as I am very grateful to have received an honorable mention for the proposal.

If you guys think that my ‘Walk of Remembrance’ is an interesting proposal, and you want to read a little more about it, click here. [don’t worry, when I say ‘a little’ I actually mean it 🙂 ]

Until next time,
Cal 🙂

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