Architecture – Dedicated to those affected by COVID-19 and other pandemics around the globe, the World Memorial to the Pandemic by international architecture firm Gómez Platero symbolizes “a deep love for humanity and will stand as an emblem of the shared and loss each one of us has endured in frightful times.”
Located on the coastline of Montevideo, Uruguay, the World Memorial to the Pandemic consists of a massive floating circular structure that will serve as an affecting sensory experience bridging the gap between the urban and natural worlds, thus creating an ideal environment for introspection.
“By creating a memorial capable of activating senses and memories in this way, we can remind our visitors — as pandemics do — that we as human beings are subordinate to nature and not the other way around.” Says the studio director and lead architect Martín Gómez Platero.
The memorial will sit on the edge of an untamed section of urban waterfront accessible only by a long pedestrian walkway which draws the visitor gradually away from the sounds and sights of urban life until they are fully immersed in the presence of nature. At the center of the platform, an open void to the rolling ocean beneath allows people to observe nature in its most majestic, purest state, reminding us of our own fragility.
The main platform and coating of the lower external face will be made from Corten steel, a highly durable, low-maintenance material that can weather the passage of time as well as terrain and water level changes. Concrete will finish the surface of the concave internal space.
The World Memorial to the Pandemic will be as environmentally conscious as it is emotionally impactful, designed to allow a high percentage of the structure to be pre-assembled in the workshop for on-site assembly, minimizing the impact on the natural environment.
The memorial can welcome up to 300 visitors at a time – while obeying current social distancing guidelines -, allowing for moments of shared grief and solidarity in addition to solitude.
Endorsed by the President’s office, the project is getting approvals from the corresponding government agencies and plans and it is estimated to be completed in five months. The cost of construction, approximately 1.3 million US dollars, will be privately financed.
All images by ©Gómez Platero.