Gómez Platero designs the World Memorial to the Pandemic in a subliminal landscape
As a global symbol of unity, urban design and architecture firm Gómez Platero creates an arresting but hopeful sensory experience, celebrating the humbling power of nature and our shared humanity.
As an ultimate expression of hope in an uncertain time, renowned architecture firm Gómez Platero is creating the first large-scale monument to the worldwide victims of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aptly named the “World Memorial to the Pandemic,” the monument symbolizes a deep love for humanity and will stand as an emblem of the shared struggle and loss each one of us has endured in this frightful time.
Utilizing the lasting power of architecture, the monument unites all the people of the world, designating a safe, picturesque space for mourning and reflection that also allows its visitors to partake in the joy of knowing they are not alone.
The firm’s visionary Director and Lead Architect Martín Gómez Platero hopes visiting the memorial will provide a renewing emotional experience for those impacted by the pandemic in deeply personal ways.
“Architecture is a powerful tool to transform the world,” he explains. “It is, above all, a collective and historical reality, made of small fragments which survive over time and become culture. It is a way to show who we are on this planet. Monuments, too, mark our shared cultural and emotional milestones.
By creating a memorial capable of activating senses and memories in this way, we can remind our visitors – as the pandemic has – that we as human beings are subordinate to nature and not the other way around.”
Gómez Platero is one of Latin America’s best urban design and architecture firms, headquartered in noted innovation hub Montevideo, Uruguay, with offices in many other countries. Their work, ranging from hotels, corporate and residential buildings, commercial and sports centers, transport terminals, mixed-use complexes, and industrial parks, can be found in over thirty cities in eleven different countries.
They have been honored both nationally and internationally with awards including an Architectural Aesthetic Trends Award at the Latin American Real Estate Tech Summit, a LADI Award for Best Mixed-Use Project, an Award for the Best Masterplan from BR Magazine, and many others.
Gómez Platero has long championed respect for nature and a healthy balance between public and private spaces, and this is no different. 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 massive circular structure will serve as an affecting sensory experience that bridges the gap between the urban and natural worlds, creating an ideal environment for introspection.
It will sit on the edge of an untamed section of urban waterfront located in Uruguay, 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 – while concrete will finish the surface of the concave internal space.
At 40 meters in diameter, with an open center that is 10m in diameter, 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.
Discussions with the Uruguayan government are currently in motion to choose a specific site that allows for the least environmental impact with the most benefit to the community at large. The architecture firm estimates that, once started, the memorial will take six months to complete.
Reflecting a universal and inspiring message, “World Memorial to the Pandemic” continues the firm’s long-held mission to bring to life their vision of a better world. “With each project we carry out,” Gómez Platero continues, “we must create a piece of a better city.
Public space is the common space par excellence: it represents us as a collective, and it reflects what we are capable of sharing as a society. We practice architecture and design to have a positive impact on people’s quality of life. Improving the conditions of the global habitat with a broader inclusive and sustainable vision drives us to continue Making Earth the Best Place to Live.”
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