architecture : urban : visual culture

Memorial inspired by an identity disc

The war memorial design of Péter Márkus and Ádám Zsótér has a sensitive and mature take on commemoration. Its shape is inspired by an identity disc and the whole statue serves as careful reminder of the loss in Hódmezővásárhely.

In December of 2016, the city of Hódmezővásárhely announced a design competition to extend the city's WWI memorial, in order to exhibit the names of the city's heroes, who fought and died defending the country. The task for the competition was to show the names of the three thousand soldiers at Kossuth Square, in the area in front of the city hall.

One of the most important part of our concept was to design a memorial that fits into the surrounding environment. An important part of our concept was to have the horse rider’s statue (the existing WWI memorial), standing in front of the city hall, at a central location and keep it as the main part of the memorial composition. Another important part of the concept was to keep the pedestrian pathways and their usability in the park intact, to minimize the building costs and changes to the park.

Due to our basic design principles, we designed our memorial on the two sides of the pedestrian pathway, in front of the horse rider’s statue, with the city hall in the background. The shape of the monument was inspired by an old identification disc broken in half symbolizing the heroic death of the soldiers. The monument consists of two triangle based shapes, that emerge vertically from the pathway as two concrete wedges. They are pointing East and West, towards the two fronts of the war, where the soldiers have fought. Seen from the pathway, in between the two wedges, stands the horse rider’s statue.

On the inner side of the wedges, there are two small waterfalls flowing down. On the exterior side of the wedges, there are stairs going down next to the wall with the names of the soldiers. The lights under the stairs light up the sides of the wedges and the names of the soldiers, carved into bronze plates. The purpose of the floodlights is to light the bronze plates with the names and the steps leading down to them. The forms of the memorial consist of geometric shapes that show a square rotated inside a rectangle from above.

The exterior side of the monument is made of grey exposed concrete, due the darker colored concrete on the inside, the names of the soldiers are more contrasted on the bright bronze plates. The names of the soldiers show up gradually as the by-passers walk past, turning their sights into the direction of the names, inviting them to stop and to commemorate.

Péter Márkus



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