Steilneset Memorial / Peter Zumthor and Louise Bourgeois, photographed by Andrew Meredith

© Andrew Meredith

In memory of those persecuted in the seventeenth-century Finnmark Witchcraft Trials, the Steilneset Memorial rests along the jagged coastline of the Barents Sea in , . Photographer Andrew Meredith has shared with us his photo series documenting this masterpiece created by a unique collaboration between the world-famous Swiss architect Peter Zumthor (Basel, 1943) and the influential contemporary artist Louise Bourgeois (Paris, 1911-2010).

Zumthor simply describes his collaboration with Bourgeois in an interview with ArtInfo as the following, “I had my idea, I sent it to her, she liked it, and she came up with her idea, reacted to my idea, then I offered to abandon my idea and to do only hers, and she said, ‘No, please stay.’ So, the result is really about two things — there is a line, which is mine, and a dot, which is hers… Louise’s installation is more about the burning and the aggression, and my installation is more about the life and the emotions [of the victims].”

Continue reading to view the photographs and learn more about the Steilneset Memorial.

© Andrew Meredith

Zumthor’s pine scaffolding supports a suspended silk cocoon. Within the cocoon, visitors walk along a 400-foot long oak-floored corridor.

© Andrew Meredith

A hanging light bulb floats behind each of the 91 windows, illuminating them in memory of the 91 individuals who were convicted of sorcery and burnt at the stake. Each window is accompanied by a plaque that reveals the story of each individual.

© Andrew Meredith

Serving as Bourgeois’s last major installation, “The Damned, The Possessed and The Beloved” contains an endless flame burning upon a steel chair that lies within a hollow concrete cone.

© Andrew Meredith

Reflections of the flame bounce off of every surface as the chair is surrounded by a series of circular mirrors.

© Andrew Meredith

The installation is housed within a smoky, reflective glass structure that contrasts Zumthor’s long, wooden installation.

© Andrew Meredith

Reference: Andrew Meredith Photography, Nasjonale Turistveger, Dezeen

© Andrew Meredith

Andrew Meredith was originally commissioned by Icon Magazine.

Cite: Rosenfield, Karissa. "Steilneset Memorial / Peter Zumthor and Louise Bourgeois, photographed by Andrew Meredith" 01 Mar 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 Sep 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=213222>

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    There are not many architects really care about people’s feelings and human beings, but Peter Zumthor is the one architect digs through humanity and past in a way to create architecture that strongly responses people’s reactions and thoughts, reaching deep inside of human beings. Modern architecture in a way sometimes lacks of interaction between humans and architecture. With all values and advantages of modern architecture, Modern architecture could reach deeper into human beings if carefully design. In my opinion, this building not only addresses modern architecture values, but connecting humans back to the past. Sometimes, we have to look back instead of keep moving forward. When we are moving forward, we forget things which become oblivions. Just like what Louise Bourgeois quotes, “we creating oblivions when we are moving forward, in each oblivion, its where we may find inspirations from.” Steilneset Memorial not only conveys the ideas of modern architecture based on honesty and materials, but also connects human beings and architecture closer. Peter Zumthor’s design expresses not only a dignity of modest but so strong and powerful, taking both architecture and humans back to the origin point which connects all past together, but also an eternity which creates proofs of human beings, by responding humans’ actions and thought.

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