The memorial commemorates the tragic events that occurred in the town of Khojaly on February 25–26, 1992, during the Nagorno Karabakh war. It is a deeply moving four-sided monolith, fluidly modeled into a new square that has been laid out as a great carpet of flowers.
The individual sides are broken and open at the centers towards the four cardinal points, while on the south side the main entrance admits visitors to a protected place of peace and contemplation: a garden with a small thicket of almond trees irrigated by a regular grid of rills of water.
The thicket aims to be a place of contemplation, evocative and symbolic, in particular due to the annual flowering of the almond trees that will take place in about the second half of February, the month in which the date of the commemorated events recurs. The four pavilions that make up the building are designed as if they were parts of a singular mineral geoid, the outer skin being made of coarse rock, with a bright inner core containing precious crystals. Their form is partially enclosed, like paternal hands which gather and protect.
An internal path, leading through glazed passages, unites the four pavilions that comprise the museum, which also has an educational conference area organized in the basement level. The rough, compact stone that faces the pavilions is furrowed regularly by rills descending from the roof like tears, supplying the ring of tanks of pure water surrounding it.
All around the garden square there is a regular pattern of beds of low shrubs, whose flowering alternates through the year, while a square outer garden protects the memorial with rows of high fastigiate poplars.
YEAR: 2013-work in progress
LOCATION: Baku, Azerbaijan
TYPOLOGY: Museum and new square
CLIENT: Heydar Aliyev Foundation
WITH: Simmetrico Network and Studio AG&P Milano
CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Daniele Zambelli
COLLABORATORS: Simona De Capitani, Maurizio Fagiuoli