'Museum of Memories'
The Museum of Memories explores a new way of remembering through collecting and experience. It remains in situ as a columbarium of artefacts. An urban grid of memory.
The theme of life and death has always pervaded the human consciousness. How society deals with death, memory, mourning and basic human senses are relationships that deal with the most fundamental experiences. When tied to a site that also has inherent meaning, these relationships can be explored further. The site chosen for the Museum of Memories plays an important part in the creation of the project as it is charged with emotion, history and cultural significance. It is located on the original site of the London Necropolis and National Mausoleum Company.
The Museum of Memories is a heterotopic space. Heterotopia, as coined by Foucault comes from ‘hetero’ meaning different and ‘topic’ meaning place. A heterotopia is the idea of hybridised time and space, history and reality. It is the idea of accumulating everything, of creating a sort of universal archive, the desire to enclose all times, all eras, forms and styles within a single places, inaccessible to the wear and tear of the years.
LIBRARY OF ARTEFACTS
The main building functions as a library of artefacts, or a modern day cabinet of curiosities. Moving upwards through the building takes the user to the library. Once reaching the library, circulation is maze like in form. The walls sit away from the existing brick ones, allowing light and sound to permeate the spaces. The station site exhibits a collection of artifacts that represent the lives of people and therefore all memories associated with them. The building is secured by a gate but is open to the public so anyone can place their object in the cabinet. Every individual cabinet has the same dimensions which enforces the idea that one object is not more important than another. It is a space that grows with the memories placed there.
Bachelard and Dalibor Vesely’s investigations of the surreal house and it’s vertical organisation influence the functional layout of the building. The experiential museum grows below the ground as a subterranean labyrinth of primal experiences. You descend the stairs to the Echo Chamber. A space in the basements of the station that consists of a pathway that rests above a pool of water. As you move through the space your movement reverberates causing echoes to bounce off the water. The pathway leads the user through to the Light Corridor.
THE MEMORY GARDEN
Taking a grid from the original necropolis station, the disused site is broken into open spaces of memory which break down the dislocation between the lived experience and the public reaction to it . The public can move through the site and experience memory in a physical way. The imposed grid creates a framework for a series of spaces that aid the user to explore emotions surrounding life and death. Memory is transformed into spatial events.
The 'Museum of Memories' has been short listed in the RIBA Forgotten Spaces Competition. The Exhibition opens on October 3rd 2013.
Her work can be seen in the press in the following places -
A family workshop at Somerset House has been designed around her concept of a Memory Museum.