Team Reich+Petch Architects

Team members

Tony Reich, Architect, Reich+Petch Architects
Catherine Widgery, Artist, Widgery Studio
Matthew Sweig, Landscape Architect, Forest and Field Landscape Architecture

Design intent

This memorial holds in one intimate space the dark of Communism and the light of freedom that is Canada. A luminous perforated cube holds quotes from victims of Communism on the walls. A Freedom bell calls visitors into its Room of Remembrance where a cloud of voices speak of repression. Freestanding columns with inset names honour the oppressed masses. A square within a square, expresses the confinement of Communism. On railings of the Bridge of Knowledge, posts record milestones in the history of Communism. The upper platform is the Refuge of Canada where visitors overlook institutions that protect our freedoms.

Transcript of the Memorial to victims of communism: Team Reich+Petch Architects video

The visual elements described in this video are in 3D animation.

[Text on screen:
Memorial to Victims of Communism
Their voices are with us still]

[Close-up view of the Memorial showing metal perforated with words in various languages]

Woman’s voice: “They made us fight each other – different social classes to fight each other … destroy our traditional culture.”

Man’s voice: “I came as a child, but what I do know is if I didn’t leave Poland, I would not be alive today.”

Man’s voice: “…to start a new life with my family in the safe haven of Canada to flourish in an equal society.”

Man’s voice: “See, we do not talk about these things.”

Catherine Widgery (Artist): “A luminous cube is at the heart of this Memorial. Quotes from victims of communism perforate the walls.

“A Freedom bell rings out calling us into the Room of Remembrance.”

[Views of the Memorial featuring a 4-metre high cube shape made of perforated metal topped by a viewing platform accessed by a ramp]

Catherine Widgery: “A cloud of voices surrounds us. They speak of repression and sorrow.”

[Visitors are shown within the cube structure]

Catherine Widgery: “Rusted columns mark the Field of Struggle, representing the masses who’ve suffered. Names of the victims are cut inside the channels.”

[Visitors are shown examining the 209 three-metre slim rusted columns surrounding the cube structure that are engraved with names]

Catherine Widgery: “A square within a square, expresses the confinement and control of communist culture, while paths like lightning bolts enter the squares, breaking them open. We walk freely through the space.”

[Overhead views of the Memorial highlighting the geometric arrangement of shapes and paths in a zig-zag pattern]

Catherine Widgery: “On the railings of the Bridge of Knowledge, tiny reflective squares cluster around posts that mark milestones in the history of communism. Moving in the wind, shimmering spirits of those who died live now in memory.”

[Close-up view of guardrails for the ramp featuring a grid pattern partially filled in with small metal squares]

Catherine Widgery: “The upper platform is the Refuge of Canada, where we look out at the institutions that protect our freedoms.”

[Views of visitors looking out from viewing platform on top of cube structure]

Catherine Widgery: “This memorial holds in one intimate space the dark of communism and the light of freedom that is Canada.”

[View of Memorial illuminated at night]

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