Date of Award
Master in Interior Architecture [Adaptive Reuse]
Psychological trauma arises through the experience of conflict, such as war, fire, and terrorism. People exposed carry fragments with them throughout their lifetime. Buildings hold a great significance in the fabric of the cities they inhabit, and can also become vessels for trauma. They carry the gift of keeping memories alive even as they succumb to ruins.
One such building is the RTS- Radio Television of Serbia, located in the center of Belgrade, Serbia. During the Kosovo War of the late 1990’s, NATO saw this media center as a target because of its communication ties to the Yugoslav Armed Forces as well as its unethical campaign of propaganda against the population of Kosovo. The building today stands just as it was after the bombing 18 years ago, a scar on the urban fabric of the city and a harrowing reminder of the lives lost.
Spaces affected by traumatic events become memorable through the context that defines them and through the process of memorialization. The memorialization process concerning a site of trauma must engage and interact with the affected community through program and function in order to address difficult history and allow victims to find solace. These spaces may hold connections to a negative memory with or without the presence of a concrete marker. Participatory architectural memorials engage and stimulate visitors, providing a platform for discussion that facilitates a cultural exchange while helping build a cohesive narrative.
RTS stands today as a ruin, cleanly sliced in section. It is already an inherent memorial, begging attention through the void, not only in the absence of lives but also in the destruction of an incorporated structure. The intervention engages with an archive and exhibition program that is housed in a form that frames and completes the void while an extension punctures the ruin without touching it, acting as a proliferation of public space from the historic Tašmajdan park. The exhibition highlights the generational conflict that creates a collective and transparent narrative.
Tepavac, Elena, "Purpose after tragedy" (2018). Masters Theses. 225.
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