Tsunami Memorial

(With Huo Ning)

This Tsunami Memorial is designed around two fundamental experiences of water: water as nourishment, and water as danger. From these experiences, the memorial reflects on our relationship with water, particularly when water, like energy, is increasingly one of the most important resources in our lives. The first aspect of water is created in the peacefulness of the expansive reflective pond; this also functions as the Memorial Walk. The expansive water surface extending into the horizon of the ocean is first revealed to the visitors on their entry into the Memorial. The second aspect of water is articulated as a waterfall, dropping 30 meters from the reflective pond and ending at a lower pool which merges with the natural stream. The sound and turbulence of water here forms a strong contrast with the silence and calmness of the pond above.

The functional blocks of the Memorial, located perpendicularly over the stream, are conceived as three “floating bridges” with minimum contact with the ground, thus preserving the natural terrain and vegetation of the site. The three blocks are “punctured” to create three 15m wide voids which memorize the destruction of the three waves of the Tsunami; the progression of the three waves is also marked by the reflective pond (turbulence vs. calmness) and the axis of circulation linking the three voids. The main functions form a sequence of activities which cascades down the three bridges and stretch towards the beach at the lowest level which is designed as a field of benches for contemplation.