BHOPAL GAS TRAGEDY MEMORIAL

Government of Madhya Pradesh

Bhopal,Madhya Pradesh

2005-Ongoing

3,354,120 sqft

Cultural,Educational,Urbanism,Public Infrastructure

Architizer | Polis | Architexturez

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In 2005, SpaceMatters was commissioned by the Government of Madhya Pradesh as project architects for the regeneration of the UCIL site and the development of the Memorial complex for the victims of the tragedy. The design addresses the challenges of a toxic site and painful memory through a conservationist and in-situ approach, including slow and sustainable methods to reclaim this site while preserving the iconic factory structures as the monuments to the Tragedy. We imagine the site to become a space for commemoration and learning, a memorial and public park with research & cultural facilities. About a third of the site is earmarked for neighbourhood amenities - reclaimed for the affected community’s use as a public space, school-cum-youth centre, training halls and community halls.

 

The Bhopal Memorial project presents a unique intersection of domains ie. “Memorializing sites of conscience, in-situ remediation, heritage conservation.” All highlighted domains are in early stages of development in India. The inherent complexity of the ecology of the site combined with the complexity of ‘memorialization’ have been tackled through a three-pronged engagement that addresses the past, the present and the future.This translated into a proposal that stands at the intersection of healing, remembering and deterrence.

 

At its heart, the proposal stands against the human tendency to forget. Thus, it was critical that the site be opened to the city of Bhopal, so that it may transform from an abandoned post-industrial site to a productive, creative and contemplative urban space for its people.

More than 37 acre of the site is occupied by open landscape that weaves through the memorial, research & community functions and becomes the setting for the cultural revival of the area. The park, through its onsite labs, testing pits and wells,  greenhouses  and bioremediation plantation, becomes a dynamic public laboratory that raises awareness on issues of industry and ecology. 

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