Award-winning architecture and urban planning firm Gómez Platero has designed a moving tribute to the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic. The World Memorial to the Pandemic takes the shape of a circular disk set on the waterfront, making it a space for reflection and mourning. The Uruguay-based firm created the memorial to reflect a deep love for humanity.
“Architecture is a powerful tool to transform the world,” shares the firm's director and lead architect Martín Gómez Platero. “It is, above all, a collective and historical reality, made of small fragments which survive over time and become (part of) culture. It is a way to show who we are on this planet. Monuments, too, mark our shared cultural and emotional milestones. By creating a memorial capable of activating senses and memories in this way, we can remind our visitors—as the pandemic has—that we as human beings are subordinate to nature and not the other way around.”
The evocative memorial will be accessed from a long pedestrian walkway that serves to pull visitors out of their urban environment and into a different headspace. From there, they will step onto the circular platform that has a central cutout allowing the ocean waves to take center stage. With its minimalist design and expansive views, the impactful site will give visitors a sense of place while also allowing them to have their emotions shape their experience.
The disk will be 131 feet in diameter, with the center cutout measuring nearly 33 feet in diameter. Made from Corten steel, a highly durable material that can stand up to the elements, it'll have a concrete finish on the interior. The World Memorial to the Pandemic will follow current social distancing practices and hold up to 300 visitors at a time.
Gómez Platero is currently in talks with the Uruguayan government about site selection. They estimate that the coronavirus memorial, which will be prefabricated and assembled on-site, will take six months to complete.