Air India Memorial (1st Place), 2009
Bathurst, New Brunswick; Civic
The memorial commemorates one of Canada’s forgotten terrorism tragedies – the fallen Air India Flight 182. On 23 June 23, 1985, the Boeing 727-237B was hijacked and then fatally descended into the waters near Ireland. Today, families of the victims gathered together to host a design competition for a memorial in Bathurst, New Brunswick.
One of the central themes of the memorial is the “Canadian Home”. The memorial breathes Canadian air, inhales Canadian water, and is carved out of the Canadian landscape. Circled by two long accessible ramps, the symbolic descent desensitizes its visitors down to a quiet sanctuary below grade. There, the names of the visitors are carved into the walls. These names are arranged in the polar direction to where they originate in Canada – their home. In the same space, the sounds of the Canadian waves washing in cannot be ignored. The soft, steady, and low rumble humbles its visitors. Looking up, an oculus to the sky brings light and brings hope. Similarly upon exit, visitors ascend up another ramp and arrive at a garden, planted with native vegetation; it too brings light and brings hope.
The memorial was well received for its humility, scale, and presence of site. It received 1st place honour amongst 32 teams.
[Click Images Below]
Bathurst, New Brunswick, Canada
The Santuary: water and light flowing in from below and above, respectively
Long Ramps: the long descent of the plane
The simple, defined geometry
The Plan, in context
The Garden was an integral part of the design
Circulation with accessible ramps
Oculus as urban furniture
Polar Direction to Home