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University Of London

Forensic Architecture Digitally Reconstruct Secret Syrian Torture Prison from the Memories of Survivors

20:02 - 17 August, 2016
Forensic Architecture Digitally Reconstruct Secret Syrian Torture Prison from the Memories of Survivors, Courtesy of Forensic Architecture
Courtesy of Forensic Architecture

Forensic Architecture, a research agency based at the University of London, in collaboration with Amnesty International, has created a 3D model of Saydnaya, a Syrian torture prison, using architectural and acoustic modeling. The project, which was commissioned in 2016, reconstructs the architecture of the secret detention center from the memory of several survivors, who are now refugees in Turkey.

Since the beginnings of the Syrian crisis in 2011, tens of thousands of Syrians have been taken into a secret network of prisons and detention centers run by the Assad government for a variety of alleged crimes opposing the regime. After passing through a series of interrogations and centers, many prisoners are taken to Saydnaya, a notoriously brutal “final destination,” where torture is used not to obtain information, but rather only to terrorize and often kill detainees.

Located about 25 kilometers north of Damascus, Saydnaya stands in a German-designed building dating from the 1970s. In recent years, no meaningful visits from independent journalists or monitoring groups have been permitted, so no recent photographs or other accounts exist of its interior space, except for the memories of Saydnaya survivors.

Shortlisted Designs Revealed for Goldsmiths College Art Gallery

01:00 - 17 July, 2014
© Harry Gugger Studios courtesy of Goldsmiths College
© Harry Gugger Studios courtesy of Goldsmiths College

The shortlisted projects in the competition to design a new art gallery for Goldsmiths College at the University of London have been revealed. The project will see a new 400 square metre gallery created in the back of what was formerly a Victorian bath-house, and is now the college's Grade-II listed art studios. Six shortlisted practices were given six weeks to design a gallery which works with the existing industrial structures - including the building's old water tanks.

The designs will now be judged by Goldsmiths' competition jury, a panel which includes David Chipperfield and sculptor Antony Gormley.

Read on after the break for details of all six proposals

© 6a Architects courtesy of Goldsmiths College © Assemble courtesy of Goldsmiths College © Dow Jones Architects courtesy of Goldsmiths College © Jamie Fobert Architects courtesy of Goldsmiths College + 26