Camp Tower. Memorial to Victims of Political Repressions

The most recognizable and expressive symbol of the repressions is the camp tower. All the people around it are either prisoners or guards. The tower in the city blurs the boundaries of the memorial, spreading a symbolic and psychological influence on everyone around it. The tower is a stylized sculpture 15 meters high, painted black. This will make it a dominant feature in the surrounding landscape. In the visibility radius, it creates a zone of discomfort, where the observer finds himself in the role of an observed subject. Thus, the boundary of the memorial is blurred, not limited to the monument, but including the audience and the entire area around it. At night, the area behind the sculpture is illuminated by projectors from the tower.

The sculpture is put forward towards the avenue, allowing it to be visually separated from the facade of the building at the end of the square. Between the tower and the building, a memorial square is formed. The square is a large funnel prism filled with protruding memorial stones. Each stone represents 10,000 victims of repression. A person who sets foot on the square finds himself in an unfamiliar, distorted space, where it is difficult to keep balance and where gravity pulls him into the center of this funnel. The funnel is surrounded by rows of spruces on three sides. Most of the spruces are existing trees and some are new ones, allowing the area to be fenced off from the influence of the commercial building.

Location: Russia, Moscow. Intersection of Prospect Akademika Sakharova and Sadovoye Ring

Architects: Misha Krymov, Alexei Goryainov, Irina Cochouque, Mikhail Ivliev
Design: 2015

Second Variant.
In collaboration with the sculptor I. Shelkovsky

The Head

As a symbol of the victims of repressions, we see the conventional silhouette of a human head made of brick. Several large holes are gaping in the head. The brickwork is heavily damaged and symbolizes the firing squad wall. The bricks in the masonry are a symbol of the destinies of individual people adding up to a common tragedy. The head casts a black shadow on the square in the form of a hole 1 m deep. The existing spruces are preserved and symbolize those who served the criminal system. The head appears between two dense blue-green rows, which creates a dramatic image of hopelessness.

Behind the square is the massive volume of the bank building, which becomes the backdrop for the monument. As the monument should not be perceived as landscaping in front of the business center, we put the monument closer to the road, moving it as much as possible away from the building. We make the scale of the monument so that it dominates the square and is not suppressed by the building.