White Arkitekter A/S has revealed its plans for Arven fra Havet, or Legacy of the Sea, a World War II memorial to be built at the Mindelunden site in Ryvangen, Denmark. Arven fa Havet will honor the 2,000 Danish sailors and more than 800 Danes who died in merchant ships serving the Allies, and in Operation Overlord, respectively.
Currently, the Mindelunden site is a graveyard bound on one side with dense bushes and trees. With the new memorial, the site will be better framed by creating a symmetrical boundary, mimicking the proportions of the low tombs, but at a larger scale to represent the common grave of all sailors, the sea.
The walls of this silent monolith hover still above a pool of water. The profile and texture of the concrete exterior will patina, helping to embed the monument as a timeless addition to Mindelunden. Two axes cut through the enclosed space, one oriented North-South, an important direction for maritime navigation; the other directly connecting Copenhagen and Normandy, where many sailors lost their lives during ‘Operation Overlord’.
Inside the memorial, a narrow path restricts visitors. Beneath the surface of the pool lie other pathways, broken and shattered, which at times become accessible with the rise and fall of the water, like that of the tides. Engraved on each path are fragments of oral history: the voices of the sailors lost at sea.
Generally, the memorial will be a space of solitude, with the exception of one day of remembrance, when the water changes from a barrier element into an interface of connection. On this day, visitors are able to place flowers and candles on the surface of the water as a signal of respect, turning the space into a symbol of hope and confidence for the future.
News via White Arkitekter A/S.