The bustling traffic and the grind of an urban city like any other, almost achieves in masking the prevailing grimness of its people. A city like Bhopal with its glorious past is sadly only remembered for the Union Carbide gas leak which seems to eclipse all else that Bhopal stood for. Rather than this being seen as an isolated overpowering narrative, the design acknowledges the dark sides of the event in order to embark on a hopeful future. The existing chemical plant remains as a raw, vocal and lasting physical reminder of the unfortunate event. How can architecture be an instrument to illustrate this narrative of time and tragedy, providing an emotionally compelling archive of memories?
Instead of reducing the gravity of this incident to a statue, a wall or a park this design intends to stand as a potential icon of memory and redemption for the city of Bhopal and its people. The central plaza presents the juxtaposition of two forces; the sculpture piercing through the sky from among the surrounding exhibition galleries, showcases a ray of hope shining through the weight and power of this historic tragedy. The memorial recognizes the vocation of the site as a place of catastrophe retaining the character of the site. It addresses the greatest witness of this adversity, the UCIL chemical plant as a dark shadow that looms over the site. The storyboard evokes an emotional response through architecture that links the people with their identity and serves as a rightful memoir to the victims and the survivors of the Bhopal Gas Leak. The design emulates the guilt of the operator who pulled the metaphorical trigger, the seething pain of its victims and the chaos of the survivors trapped in eternal purgatory.