Ruins- Rebuild a Memory from the Bombing of Dresden

Sunyoung Lee, Dimokas Anastasis, Jacob Anson

The bombings of the past have not just left scars and voids in the places, but they left voids in time too. The innovations by mankind often led to undesired consequences on the society. The Dresden bombing during World War II is one such scar that reminds us of our tragic past. 

The journey through the infinity loop is a series of extreme multi-sensory experience. It takes the user through the tragic story of Dresden emulated by the extreme dark, bright, confined, and open spaces, and the rumbling sound created by the footsteps of the users on the metal floor. The experience of shapes from the insides are metaphorical to the shape of explosions viewed from a distance by the people in power who think they are in the light but are deep in darkness. The voids at the outer side exposed to bright sunlight are a representation of the people who vanished in the explosion into nothingness leaving a blank space in time. The striking contrast in the images so close in proximity is the highlight of the memorial. In fact, it is not just close, but it is the same place. 

‘Calling it the brighter future… They brought darkness upon themselves.’ 

While the inside keeps us locked in a box away from the reality of today, the outside has a sense of desolation with a pool of blood at its center as a reminiscence of the people who lost their lives in the unfortunate tragedy. While the inside is a series of sculpture narrating the story from far, the outside is an architecture that lets you step into the history and be a part of the tragic narrative. 

The blackened concrete structure in the midst of the white snow represents the dark past taken over by the recovering present. The memorial sits amidst a deserted setting with scattered ruins spread indefinitely. The 16,000 debris on the site and the same numbers of trees make a pair. The debris is a memory of 16,000 people who lost their life due to the Bombing, and the trees that outgrow the size of the debris represent reincarnation and a new life. The ruins will be remembered and recovered with their users.