M9 Memorial / Gonzalo Mardones Viviani

© Nico Saieh

Architects: Gonzalo Mardones Viviani
Location: Santiago,
Contractor: COVALCO
Lightning: Paulina Sir
Project area: 160 sqm
Project year: 2011
Photographs: Nicolás Saieh

© Nico Saieh

The place opens like a dialogue from the love of Mary at the foot of the Cross.

The Manquehue hill is the backdrop that contrasts with the sky. The evocation of nature reaches the relief of a sacred place. The superposition of the inner circle in front of the geometry of the ramp that descends makes clear the connection between the spirit and human reincarnation. Between the sacred – divine and reason. The work takes primary forms which are easily recognizable. Should be left to attract curiosity and fall within the oratory ‘Virgen del Parque’.

© Nico Saieh

The work is constructed from the underground and opening up to the sky through a concrete cone of nine feet in diameter. 9 lanterns, 9 modules symbolize the 9 girls who left earlier. Is the presence of divine light, light that allows gravitate concrete forms, its contours, its plains, leaving them in the park in order to make apparent the dimension of sky. In other words: the interiorization of the sky and the light into the center of gravity of the ground. Above is sky. The folds of concrete were shown as a human gesture with which the architecture welcomes a gathering place, a place of refuge, a meeting place within the park.

© Nico Saieh

It is accessed by a ramp 16 meters long with a 12% slope to reach the memorial oratory. In the geometric center were planted a magnolia, this tree is the only of nature that has 9 leaves into each one of its flowers. From a constructive point of view the oratory is resolved with concrete incorporating titanium dioxide and a system of phenolic molds. The floor is paving stones the manner to a carpet horizontal and inclined in a green slope of grass.

© Nico Saieh

As protection guardrail system used a tempered glass embedded in concrete elements. A band of concrete on the paved surface to create a bench that faced with the presence of the Virgin welcomes 9 candles and 27 smaller candles which are inserted into the folds of concrete.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "M9 Memorial / Gonzalo Mardones Viviani" 14 Apr 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 28 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=127198>
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  • jbinsb

    Do you have any idea who the “9 girls” memorialized by this monument were? Every arch. blog I see has simply repeated the English-as-second-language description of the project, which is fairly mangled and essentially impossible to decipher. Additionally, it doesn’t say anything about the girls, only that they “left earlier.” I read somewhere about a bus crash in Santiago in which 9 girls died who were returning from a camp or a school trip. Do you know anything about that?

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  • GM

    jbinsb – I agree, this is gibberish and Archdaily should have endeavoured to have a proper English translation. Also, its not particularly useful for the project architect to offer a description of the project as if it were an internal memo i.e. the rest of the world who know nothing of the “9 girls who left early” are left to the mercy of imagination to figure out gist of the project. Its rather unserious.