Architectural Design To Memorialize Assault On Free Speech In Turkey

turkey-sivas-memorial-parkAlthough they only received 2nd place in Turkey’s national design competition, 1/1 Architecture combines “green” with culture in this stunning design

True green architecture is rarely an end in itself. Many architects creating ecologically sensitive designs with a view toward sustainability have either a political underpinning, like Omar Yousef’s work, or a social motive, like Geotectura’s high-flying pieces.  Israel’s Azouri brothers openly admit that their eco-tower design reflects their personal values. But design also caters to a city or country’s cultural identity, or in the case of Turkey, protest against the attempted suppression thereof.Turkey-sivas-memorial-park2

In 1993, radical Islamists set fire to Otel Madımak, where several artists, intellectuals, writers and hotel workers were assembled for a controversial cultural event. Thirty-give people burned to death as a result, and those responsible sentenced to death. (This sentencing was reduced to life imprisonment, since the death sentence was abolished in Turkey.)

The event was seen as a conflict between secular and religious interests, and is memorialized annually on July 2nd. Calls to turn the now restored hotel into a memorial site were not heeded, but a national design competition was recently staged to create a memorial park.

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Inhabitat favors the 2nd place contestant, 1/1 Architecture, for its “ecological and sustainable design.”

“The design is focused around a central monument-square, which is made up of a series of curvilinear walls with water fountains. Writing on the walls memorializes those who lost their lives during the Sivas Massacre in 1993. The Memorial Park will also serve as a culture and arts center,” according to Bridgette Meinhold.

1/1 Architecture also incorporates native gardens, hybrid energy modules, and an easel installation for outdoor workshops, and observation terraces. All of these features are nature-centered tools that celebrate culture and free speech.

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First prize was awarded to Acik Ofis Mimarlik, whose design is definitely sleek and modern, but lacks the ecological ethos valued by eco-warriors such as us.

:: Inhabitat

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