precedent: Memorial to victim of violence

Title: Memorial to victim of violence

Architect: Gaeta-Springall Architect

Location: Chapultepec, Mexico City

Year complete: 2013

Description: Forest of steel walls in different heights, densities, and conditions, surrounding by trees, water and concrete lanes and benches.


According to government report, released in January 2012, showed that 47,515 had died in drug war violence between 2006.12.01 and 2011.09.11, but that does not include the thousands who are missing. And the definition of “drug-related” has also never been clear. In 2013, The New York Times submitted public records requests with the attorney general’s office, the Interior Ministry and 10 states with the highest murder rates in an effort to review case file with basic data on the dead: age, gender, place and cause of death. The goal was to explore details of cases that were defined as drug-related and those that were not. But only one state delivered information. So the federal government has decided to broaden its tally: On 2013.08.09, officials announced that all murders would be included, whether drug-related or not.


In this project, the violence is suggested in two dimensions: the void and the built. The void is the space created between the steel walls and the trees. This void or empty space could remind people the concept of the no–presences and absences of the people to remember, and the surfaces of the steel walls, rusty or mirroring, show that we can lose ourselves, add ourselves, or multiply ourselves.

Corten steel has been used in three ways: natural, rusty or stainless mirroring, each of them with different meanings. The rusty steel means the marks and scars that time makes in our lifetime. The stainless mirroring steel is used to reflect and multiply the living: persons, trees, and the water of the central space; and the natural steel is used as an unperturbed element that remind us the main and essential values that societies must keep to live in peace.


The seventy steel walls are spaces for people to write the name of their victim, and express their pain, anger, and longings.



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