Historically the architectural model of the memorial and memorial museum in the United States has been a voyeuristic experience where users approach and flee in a short period of time. Large monuments and museums freeze memories in time and allow individuals to travel to their locations as destinations for brief moments of gazing at statues, plaques, and educational walk-throughs, before departing and continuing with everyday life. New monuments are erected to memorialize events, detached from the human experience, and plopped down into the urban landscape. However, current social conditions and political uncertainty call for a new type of “memorial” in which experiential emersion becomes essential and integrates itself into the community of the passerby. By utilizing the existing building stock of historically collective spaces, churches, to host new forms of collective gatherings, these new “memorials” provide communities the opportunity to remember the past, vocalize concerns of the present, and utilize discussion to move to a different future.
Emma Camilleri received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Smith College in Northampton, MA. She will graduate in May from SAIC with a Master of Architecture with Emphasis in Interior Architecture. She currently works at Soucie Horner, Ltd. as an intern. Throughout Emma’s time at SAIC, her practice has focused on adaptive reuse of existing structures and the potential that their revival can have on their communities both economically and socially. She is extremely interested in combining the memories existing structures have with new programmatic purposes in order to develop certain experiences for users.