Anchoring time to architectural space: Temporality and spatiality in places of memory

Sabina Tanovic

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientificpeer-review


    The architecture of memorial spaces inevitably operates with an aspect of durability. Historical memorial sites and memorials, for instance sites commemorating the two world wars, face this issue with a sense of urgency. When memorial sites succumb to time, questions arise about how to enhance the sense of place and help visitors trace the historical narrative. Many would argue that the natural ageing of memory sites is the most reliable in the process of remembering. Indeed, numerous contemporary designs, including cemeteries, are constructed in a way that integrates nature as a design element. In this approach, the visible ageing of physical space relies on the psychological concept of ‘healing’, as established in western societies. Conversely, the history of monument and memorial building is abundant with examples that aim to conquer time. A problem arises when projects designed to do precisely this, due to their technological shortcomings or a variety of other reasons, succumb to time nonetheless and therefore come in disunity with a given context. This paper aims to contribute to a better understanding of the spatial strategies applied in places of traumatic heritage, and to reflect on their implications for the transmission of historical remembrance. In a comparative analysis several case studies will be examined, namely the Westerbork memorial site in the Netherlands, the “Ring of Memory” memorial in France and the “11M” memorial in Spain.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProjecting Memory
    Subtitle of host publicationa Book with Interdisciplinary Concerns on Past and Space
    EditorsI. Moreira, E. Lacruz
    Place of PublicationWarsaw
    PublisherIRF Press Fundacja “Interdisciplinary Research Foundation”
    Number of pages25
    ISBN (Print)78-83-943632-9-1
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • memorial architecture
    • ageing
    • commemoration
    • contemporary
    • sense of place
    • preservation
    • reconstruction
    • design


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