Memorial Space at Mari

Mari | September 2013
Competition Entry
Design Team
Angelos Savvides Lead Architect
Poly Cleovoulou - Savvidou Architect
Lorenzo Ruggieri Architect
Anna Christou Architect
Marios Haggiyeros Architect
Christina Nearhou Architect
Philippos Yiapanis Sculptor 
Architectural / Artistic Competition for the Designing/Shaping the Memorial Space at the Naval base “Evangelou Floraki” in Mari

The place

What shocked when you first visit the site of the tragedy, is the contrast between the destruction and the landscape of the area, the sea, the horizon. The balance, between the memory of the Death and Life of the visible, seems to be disturbing by the beauty of the surrounding landscape, the pear-shaped coastline and endless sea.

“Through its countless alveoli, space contains concentrated time”. Bachelard

From a careful “reading” of the Place and the Time, we distinguish two sub-regions, opposite to each other, containing the following meanings :

I – destruction, pause, stop, death, past.

II – feelings, motion, continuity, life, present, future.

The point belongs to the language and means the Silence. It is the symbol of pause, expressing the deconstruction, the absolute disintegration of steady presence. The point is the contrast of the monument. This symbolized the Crater.

The line is the trace of a moving point. Born from the hustle and expresses feelings, life and intensity. This symbolized the movement but also the experience of browsing through the monumental space.

The Surfaces are the traumatized landscape, the religious space and the green space.

The Chronicle

The beginning of the events that led to the disaster is the moment that decided to store the container at the specified point in Mari.

From this moment, we witness the evolution of a drama – a tragedy – where all the protagonists are in a Labyrinth trying to find a way out, to get rid of the damn load. The drama culminates with the ignition of the containers, the effort of the people to prevent the destruction and finally the explosion, which in an ancient Greek tragedy – that captures what is humanly possible – could be the “Solution”.

Managing the Memory – Literary and Philosophic Support

“To give form to a course is a requirement of beauty but also of memory. Because the Amorphous is Elusive, not memorize”. Milan Kundera – The Slowness

The ancient art of memory, as preserved in the works of Cicero, select memory locations into which place the images of things and concepts that form the subject of remembrance. The Organized class of sites and the arrangement of images within sites facilitates remembering the sequence of things and concepts that are represented by these images. The places of memory based on real architectural spaces. Thus, the memory function acquires spatial features and the sites of memory make the conscious recall of mnemonic traces ( Aristotle) ​​with the actual architectural space.

Rationale – The Proposal

Topography of the Experience

We propose the creation of a path “activation of memory”. The route is participation of the visitor with body and soul, and the method that reads the Memorial Site. It is the Topography of experience. It is necessary, along with the management of the Site, to highlight the way and the fact, through which the Place was born.

We submit a proposal of creative reconstruction of the subjective time, corresponds to the historical formation of social time. The aim is to encourage, the involvement in a teaching experience of memory enhancement. An experience that will constitute the record of the past in the lives of generations to come.