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Memorial to Future Disasters

1 Memorial to Future Disasters imagined on a long-vacant lot in downtown Vancouver
2 Rammed-earth walls erode over time
3The memorial’s cut in the landscape descends at a gentle slope, allowing water to pool at the cut’s terminus
4Plan view showing the memorial within in its downtown context
5At the memorial’s deepest end, the path narrows and the walls heighten for an increasingly claustrophobic experience
6Sketch models
7Concept diagrams
8Concept model

Project conception, research, creation: Christen Oakes


A memorial to disasters yet unseen: earthquakes, erosion, and flooding, at the hands of human-caused climate change. A simple “cut” in the existing topography creates an canyon-like formation that feels claustrophobic and sublime. Rammed-earth walls lining the canyon erode at different rates than the surrounding site. Seasonally, the canyon fills and empties with water, periodically limiting access. By responding to these destructive processes over multiple temporal scales and resulting in eventual complete decay, the memorial’s ephemeral quality mirrors the precariousness of life as we know it.