Traces of Death

A floating cemetery in the Evros Delta

  • AUTh Delft core studio I 2015
  • Location: Evros Delta, Greece
  • Mentors: Dr. Vana Tentokali
  • Collaborator: D. Kakoudaki, Aikaterina Myserli
  • Status: Invited to be presented in the international architecture conference “Human & Space” in Istanbul in April 2016

 

Evros Delta is located in Greece and is an important wetland on a national, European and international level. Structurally is characterized as a single surface, composed of large amounts of water, geological substrates and soil formations. Whereas in the past the main anthropogenic activity on the landscape was the development of farmlands, nowadays a new type of such an activity has emerged; it is reported that by 2010 every day almost 350 people illegally crossed the Delta, and, as it was expected, this number has increased significantly after the start of the civil war in Syria in 2011. Crossing the river is dangerous and several cases of deaths from cold and drowning have been reported.

Having as starting point the assumption that a memorial in the Evros Delta would contribute to the awareness of people in relation to this problem in the future and could express spatially collective memory, this project explores the creation of a space that will have as its point of reference a potential burial place for immigrants and refugees. The intention of this proposal is to examine how collective memory can be activated through the creation of a memorial in constant transformation and under the influence of natural phenomena. In the same way that Heidegger places the human being in the surroundings of a lived and felt space, this proposal places the visitor of the Delta on a way to a floating cemetery for the people who lost their lives while crossing the river.

 

 

Conceptual model of the Delta – Rifts mark the land and form spatial ‘‘receptors’’ for the burial places

 

Masterplan

 

Left: Subtracted soil pieces or “grave traces” & natural patterns investigation. Right: Zoom-in detail

 

 

 

 

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