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Covid 19 - Pandemic Museum

Victoria Mishakova

Design description
«Memorial museums help to compensate for the terrible mistakes of the past in the only possible way: to make a “promise” to the future that such violence and such crimes will never happen again.»
Hannah Arendt

In 2021, the entire world was suffering from a pandemic. But the situation was especially difficult in India. The best description might be eyewitness quotes.
“People died simply because they did not wait for a hospital bed. Those who managed to negotiate hospitalization were often able to come to the hospital and find that their bed was already occupied by another person. And you had to look again, wait again "
Ralph Alex Arakal, reporter for the Indian Express.
«Mumbai is extremely hot and humid at this time of year. You are wearing a jumpsuit, personal protective equipment, two pairs of gloves. You sweat, you can't drink for six or eight hours, you can't go to the toilet. Terrible heat all around. Your patients are suddenly getting worse, they are dying, their beds are immediately occupied by new patients. This is something surreal. It feels like you were swallowed by a whale and you are sitting in its stomach»
Gautam Harigovind, MSF doctor.
This situation had a big effect on me and I decided to design something to capture the suffering of people and express it in the clearest way. The best answer in architecture was the memorial museum. The museum of the feelings of victims affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The museum is located in India, in the city of Varanasi, and is inspired by some aspects Hindu culture. The design of the entrance refers to the gopuram gate towers in Hindu temples and the burning ceremony - an important part of the funeral ritual (the body of a deceased person is hoisted on folded firewood, which is folded in a special way and poured with ghee and special aromatic liquids, and the son of the deceased person lights a fire with a torch and reads a prayer at the same time. Other family members at this moment scream and loudly mourn the deceased person with special ritual lamentations). I decided to use this reference after I saw a photo where the orderlies burn the corpses of those who died from COVID-19. The entrance faces east, as in Hindu temples.
The reservoir inside the museum represents the Ganges River, which plays an important role in Hindu funeral rituals (The Ganges River in India, however, like some other rivers, is used for burial rites).
On the underground floor there is a maze with commemorative plaques with the names of those who died from COVID-19. This room can help the living to come to terms with the loss of loved ones. This place makes it clear that the dead will never be forgotten, and society will do everything possible to prevent a repeated tragedy
A square is often used in the volume of the museum. This form is characteristic of Hindu ritual buildings and expresses harmony.

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