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Covid-19 Community Memorial
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
The Covid-19 Community Memorial is located in the city of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The culture in Saudi Arabia is dominated by the religion of Islam. Islamic teachings do not encourage gigantic structures built for the people who have passed away. Muslims do believe in life after death but they believe only 2 things benefit the people who have passed away, that is charity and prayer. Therefore, this structure is anchored upon this belief.
The memorial is designed as an urban space in the form of a linear lane divided into smaller spaces that leads the visitor to revisit the series of events and emotions experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic. Each space holds a metaphorical concept.
The first space is the waiting area, that is designed to depict the 2 meters social distancing rule implemented to control the spread of the Covid-19 virus from one person to another. The space consists of low height walls placed at 2 meters from each other with alternate openings. Each visitor must wait at the opening, recreating the experience of 2 meters of social distancing. This space depicts the loneliness experienced during to the social distancing and quarantine period.
The second space takes the visitor to a descending ramp leading to the underground Museum of Covid-19 Pandemic. The decent of the ramp signifies melancholy, loss and visual disappearance.
The arrival at the Museum of “Coronalogy”, chronological digital display of events leading to the Covid-19 Pandemic in the underground basement that is dark and narrow signifies the burial of the people lost due to the pandemic.
Then the visitor exits the museum through a ramp ascending upto the Ground Floor space signifying hope and optimism of emerging successfully from the Pandemic.
The Wall of Memories
The visitor then arrives at the wall of memories, where they can share a few words for the loved ones who lost their lives to the Covid-19 Pandemic on the graffiti wall.
The Memorial Wall & Charity box
The lane ends at the Towering Memorial Wall displaying the names of the people who lost their lives to the Pandemic in the community. A charity box to donate and pay homage to the people who have left for heavenly abode is placed with the Memorial Wall.
The Mosque complex and Gardens
Finally the visitor arrives at the gardens of the mosque complex signifying the return to normal. The visitor can access the mosque as well and pray for the people lost to the Covid -19 pandemic.
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