SS 16

In 1937 Japanese troops occupied Nanjing. The six-week massacre carried out during this period continues to burden Chinese-Japanese relations to this day. In 1985 a memorial consisting of a museum surrounded by a park was built in Nanjing in order to commemorate the victims of the massacre. Its iconography mainly addresses visitors personally affected by the events.

This thesis attempts to develop design solutions enabling a younger generation of visitors to relate to this historical incident as well. In order to work towards these solutions, the historical background and Chinese memorial and mourning culture are examined alongside an analysis of the site and its urban planning context. The thesis suggests a cautious addition to the existing memorial that allows visitors to approach it on their own terms and find their own interpretation of the events.

The interventions accordingly focus on the positioning of six new entries. This kind of opening is supposed to strengthen the connection between the existing site and its environment.

The reduced and small-scale interventions serve to consciously build up a close relation to the individual visitor. In that respect, every entry represents a different focal point and offers a particular perspective on the site. The various entries should encourage visitors to develop their own reading of what happened.

MentorProf. Dipl. Ing. Katja Benfer,
Dr. Ing. Cyrus Zahiri
Author/sZhiyuan Peng
LocationNanjing China