Title: Thousand Flowers of Sichuan
Architect: CJ Lim Studio 8 Architects
Location: Sichuan, China
Year complete: 2008 (proposal)
Description: A convoy of inflatable canopies that floats over the devastated area like clouds sailing across the skies.
In May 12, 2008, An 8M (surface wave magnitude) earthquake hit Wenchuan, Sichuan. The earthquake’s epicenter was located 50 mi west-northwest of Chengdu, the provincial capital, with a focal depth of 12 mi. The earthquake was also felt in nearby countries and as far away as both Beijing and Shanghai—930 mi and 1,060 mi away. Strong aftershocks, some exceeding 6M, continued to hit the area up to several months after the main quake, causing further casualties and damage. Over 69,000 people lost their lives in the quake, including 68,636 in Sichuan province. 374,176 were reported injured, with 18,222 listed as missing as of July 2008.
CJ Lim is the Professor of Architecture and Cultural Design at the Bartlett, University College London. And he won the Finalist Award for the Sichuan Earthquake Memorial Landscape.
This proposal is temporary, functional and flexible intended for multi-locations. A convoy of inflatable canopies will float over the devastated city of Wenchuan, which was at the epicenter of the earthquake. It is conceived as a poetic skyscape, drawing on the motif of flowers as a symbol of remembrance.
“The vibrant colors and forms aim to bring energy and reassurance back to the community and represent a new spring as Wenchuan and the Sichuan Province undergo reconstruction. ”
The floating flowers can extend their petals and transform into a temporary shelters for aid distribution. The system of loosely connected canopies gives refuge from rain and fierce sunshine to workers and volunteers who cleaning up the damage. At night, the floating flower can turn into light source to give light to night shift workers. Once they return to Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan, the floating convoy can be used to take large quantities of rubble to and out-of-town designated recycling zone.
Rather than a real memorial proposal, this proposal is a direct critical response to the Government’s post-disaster rescue method and how they handled various controversial issues.