Course: ARCH 603
Students Involved: Deep Chaniara. Professor: Rob Whitehead
This project explores the potentials of redesigning the Salem Witchcraft Memorial (built in pre 20th century) in a contemporary way. The exhibits and the architecture are woven together to resonate and reinforce each other as a device of memory based on social terror and injustice. The architecture questions the social phenomena where suspects were put into water; survival suggest that a witch exists in the body. The redesign of Witchcraft Memorial comprises of 20 exhibits, each representing an individual victim of the Salem trial that one could experience when entering the gateway. The half floating porous metal plate in the water represents the body of the victim while the reflecting surface above represents the soul. The visitor walks through the reflecting lights and approaches the intimate space between each exhibit, allowing for reflection and empathy. The physical context of the memorial creates the setting for a horrific narrative, yet culminates an uplifting celebration of renewal.To preserve the character of the delicate site, the “body” of the Museum is hidden within the earth, only allowing the elongated central spine to break through the earth and convey a sense of its true scale.