Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Memorial_ New York_ 2013
In memory of the victims of the 1911 Shirtwaists Factory Fire
The design talks about the mundane traces of the victims who saw the factory as a source of life. In harmony they moved up the building; In harmony they sat and worked; until the unfortunate moment when the fire burnt those homogenous paths, resulting in total chaos and tangling of many routes, all of which strived for life that it never reached.
The façade attempts to narrate this memory by reflecting the duality of this incident, from the rhythmic harmonious routes to the endless intertwined web of the victims.Today, the only survivors of this tragedy are: the victims’ legacy, the safety awareness it left behind and the building itself. The intervention tries to circulate this lingering story from the walls of the building to today’s generation as a constant reminder to enrich their awareness of social justice.
The vertical memorial uses the urban and industrial aspect of New York City to convey a warm honor to each of the one hundred forty six souls of this tragic event.146 pipes, each carrying a victims name on the ground floor, within reach to the public, start traveling on the buildings façade in congruity. They then form a mass of interlocking webs on the higher floors, each carrying at its end a diffused light source that honors the memory of its owner named below. In parallel these webs become a circulation medium of audio notes for each person and the event itself by whispering into the publics’ ear when visiting a certain victim by activating its light above. As much as the intervention is subtle during the daytime it is pronounced in darkness, with its glowing spots touching the skies and shining names appearing on the sidewalk that used to be theirs.