The design considers how the victim families faced the loss and absence that has occurred due to the crash and gives a response with the most suitable architectural design to their grief. It uses paths and spaces to help visitors understand the situation before the plane accident. The memorial park provides a peaceful environment that helps in the healing and alleviation of grieves for the victims' loved ones by nurturing a harmonious interaction with the surrounding environment.
Absence • Remember • Heal
The Accident Ethiopian Flight 302 crashed into the ground of a field 115 kilometers south of Addis Ababa six minutes after taking off from the airport in March, 2019. Passengers from 35 countries, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Slovakia, Germany, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sweden, India, Russia, Norway, China, France, Israel, and others, boarded this flight. To remember those who died in the tragedy, the Ethiopian Airlines Group (ETG) has secured the crash site and conducted a worldwide one-stage international architectural design competition. Alebel Desta Consulting Architects and Engineers' design was chosen as the competition's winning entry on February 12, 2022.
The Design The design considers how the victim families faced the loss and absence that has occurred due to the crash and gives a response with the most suitable architectural design to their grief. It uses paths and spaces to help visitors understand the situation before the plane accident. The memorial park provides a peaceful environment that helps in the healing and alleviation of grieves for the victims' loved ones by nurturing a harmonious interaction with the surrounding environment. The crash site is significant in and of itself because it is also the location where the victims are laid to rest. The idea of the design is to reveal the environment around the primary crash site concerning the site's character, narrate the flight's occurrence via the path that leads to the crash site, and blend in with the existing agricultural land to convey the story of the victims who are buried beneath the earth's surface. Thus, it can be thought of as a like storyboard for all 157 participants from around the world. The concept pays tribute to two significant pre-existing site elements: the burial site and the crash site, as well as offering a landscape-integrated memorial space. A memorial space, burial site, outdoor amphitheater, memorial planting area, water features, sculptures, and related facilities, as well as green lawns and sitting areas, are all part of the four-hectare design. Planting different varieties of trees around the burial site and creating a minimal circulation onto it helped to keep it sacred. It was then linked to the healing area, where victim families could begin their recovery journey by providing more flexibility in their sorrow and personalizing the process so that they always felt connected. The impact site served as a hub for all of the site's elements, with ripples flowing outwards to represent the impact of the disaster on those who had lost loved ones.
The crash site was a key story point revealed through landscape manipulation, which was then used to create the desired visitor experience. The victims' four continents were represented by four of the landscape features used to tell the crash site's story, with heights varying hierarchically to show the number of victims per continent. Intrusions on the sloping surfaces of the exposing pieces were used to portray absence, with intimate raised cubicle spaces functioning as a place of reflection for the victim's family. The central core has a memorial commemorating corners, names of the victims inscribed on walls and the center granite, candle lighting locations, and viewing platforms.
The Access The main entrance, which connects the crash site to the southwest main entrance, was designed to preserve the spiritual character of the burial place while also allowing people to conveniently reach various portions of the monument. This key access was a six-minute story thread that spanned ET Flight-302's takeoff to crash. The story was divided into portions and displayed on the main access via path design with surface modifications, guided movement, and element integration. As part of the six-minute crash experience, this path was altered into spaces, sitting spots, ramps, and falls. The North West entrance's alternative approach to the crash site was purposely built to represent a narrative shift after the crash. This transition in the story was symbolized by the connection between the existing burial site and the proposed healing area. The proposal takes into account the community by allowing the site to be used for a variety of purposes, such as community gatherings, reading areas, a community playground, and the provision of various visitor services. Overall, the memorial's design was influenced by the material, finishes, proportion, ornamentation, simplicity, and symbolism, as well as the inscription.