Memorial to the Victims of Communism, proposal

This memorial, designed with the Reich+Petch Team, is one of five finalists for the new Memorial to the Victims of Communism in Ottawa, Canada.

This Memorial holds in one intimate space the dark of Communism and the light of freedom that is Canada. A luminous cube is at the heart of this Memorial. Quotes from victims of Communism perforate the walls. A Freedom Bell calls visitors into the Room of Remembrance where a cloud of voices speak of repression. Freestanding columns with inset names represent the masses who have suffered.

A square within a square expresses the confinement and control of Communist culture, while paths like lightning bolts enter the squares, breaking them open. We walk freely through the space. On the railings of the Bridge of Knowledge, tiny reflective squares cluster around posts that mark milestones in the history of Communism. These squares move in the wind, like shimmering spirits of those who died, and who now live in memory. The upper platform is the Refuge of Canada where visitors overlook the institutions that protect our freedoms.

Since 1918, there have been 100 million deaths, surely a holocaust that is beyond comprehension. We have tried to create a monument that speaks through the voices of the victims, one that is an experience that you move through rather than just an object in a landscape.

This was a true team effort, with input from members of the Reich+Petch Team and a a variety of consultants including: Gabriel Mackinnon Lighting Design, MorrowSound, Goodkey Weedmark & Associates Ltd., NCK Engineering Ltd., Rider Levett Bucknall Cost Consulting, and Creative Irrigation Solutions Inc.

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Memorial to the Victims of Communism, proposal description | video
© Catherine Widgery