Critique at University of Virginia
Critique at University of Virginia

ANI, An heterochronic memorial

This project was developed by François-Xavier Poudroux as a student from ENSA Paris-Malaquais and was submited to the WAS awards 2017 under the Facilities category.

ANI, An heterochronic memorial, Experience sensual bodies from ruins

Site and Topic

Ani is located in North-Western Turkey, at the edge of the Armenian border. If in the past the city was a relevant commercial site called the «city of Thousand churches», it became a no man’s land. A touristic ruin that struggles to deliver its memory and its possibilities nowadays.

Here is the root postulate of the storytelling project: to conserve ruin as it is today and accept the wear of time, and keep / identify universal bodies -we’ll call persistant – or architecture that have made monumentally the history of the place. Learn and get inspired from them as referent architecture to feed the site treatment and to enrich the discovery of the medieval city.

The project of a pro-active memorial

This project has been made before the UNESCO clearance as a architectural and landscape culture heritage in 2016. It is based in 7 narrative bodies – called sensual bodies (S.B.)- which enable memory resurgence and dialogue with their mimetic referent (persistant bodies).

Sensual is lato sensu linked to every senses proper to human living. Sight, contact, light or thermic are many translated principles that push visitors to “live“ the experience through different memorial programs: equestrian center, therms, shelter, maze, oil press, urban sundial or oneiric totem.

Those so-called bodies will be, by analogy to the ruin, some active memories: memory of the past, the action and event to live in present and possibles for future.

Materiality and Concrete DNA

Based on volcanic stones and sand material on site and building process from past architectures (or present ruins), the 7 bodies are made of pouzzolane concrete by defining their DNA in the accurate place of their location.