Mariel Mora Llorens

Document Type





Spring 5-2016


architecture, memory, trauma, environment, history, hiroshima




Architectural History and Criticism | Architectural Technology | Cultural Resource Management and Policy Analysis | Historic Preservation and Conservation | Urban, Community and Regional Planning


This thesis proposes the activation and repurposing of buildings associated with traumatic memories as a means of studying the ways in which architecture embodies memories and aids in the process of forgetting. Architecture and the built environment are linked to the creation and recollection of memories because they trigger four of the senses that are related to memory.

To forget is an active, not passive endeavor. Conscious forgetting is not an act of erasing memories, but transforming them by removing the emotional responses that are produced by our recollection of these memories. Like memories in our brains, buildings that have been recognized as sites of traumatic events are held back in an endless cycle of recollection and repression of memories.

Opposed to demolition, this thesis explores the historic, material and structural value of sites of traumatic memory. Specifically, this thesis proposes the activation and repurposing of the Genbaku Dome and The Peace Memorial Park.

This thesis proposes to retroactively redesign the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park as an episodic overlapping of architectural and infrastructural interventions that represent the stages of acknowledgement, grief, remembrance and conscious forgetting. Rather than proposing a monumental or static memorial, the project takes and evolving/ transformative approach to sites of memories, influenced by methods of temporality and ritual in traditional Japanese architecture.

In the redesign of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, episodic overlapping of architectural and infrastructural interventions occurs over a period of 50 years. Each episode occurs within a 10-year period and is characterized by the addition and overlapping of specific formal interventions that challenge the ways in which the users inhabit the city. These five interventions are carving, bridging, framing, enclosing and programming. They work at different scales within a 500-meter radius of the hypocenter of the atomic bomb.


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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.