Architectural Design 2
Salem Massachusetts will forever be notorious for what happened in the 1600's. I of course am referring to the witch trials that transpired in puritan controlled Massachusetts.
Many people imagine fire whenever someone mentions the witch trials, this is because it is common knowledge that witches were burn at the stake. The burning at the stake was a common practice but in America it was practically non existent. In America the puritans dealt with convicted witches with torture, imprisonment for life, and most famously execution by hanging. According to the Boston globe 25 people were killed during the trials, 19 by hanging at Proctor's Ledge, 5 died in jail, and a man was crushed to death by rocks.
Proctors Ledge will always be known and associated with the atrocities that happened during the witch trials. The Puritans would tie ropes to the trees overlooking a steep hill and they would push the accused over the hill until there necks broke or until they would choke to death by the ropes around their neck. 14 women and 5 men were hanged on the basis of using witch craft.
We were assigned to create a new memorial that commemorated the Salem witch trials and those who were accused. The parameters/limitations were that wood had to be used as the key part of the memorial. This meant no large usage of metals or concrete, wood had to be the main material.
The Previous Memorial
There is already a memorial is near the site for the new memorial most likely because the site has so much historical importance. The issue of the previous memorial is that it couldn't convey the importance of the site and the events that occurred. That is why we are being commissioned to create a new site that convey that significance.
Wood had a very large affect on the lives of those who were accused, mainly the end. That's why it makes sense to commemorate their life and death with something that deals with or uses wood to a large capacity.
The Souls of the Departed
The overall concep0t that I had imagined for this project was one that dealt with the people who were accused and killed during the trials, mainly those who were hanged. I wanted to focus not on their deaths but I wanted to focus on their spirits and souls to show how they are not forgotten.
I thought of fire when I would think about the word soul, to represent the soul in my design I created lanterns. The lanterns would be lit all throughout the site and since the site is in the woods I decide to hang the lanterns from tree limbs by ropes. The lanterns would be hung along a path that the community has been using for years. Only six will be placed along the path since 6 people weren't killed by hanging and the lanterns will be lit by a blue flame to show that they help lead the who were hanged toward their final resting place. these lanterns would powered by Propane.
when the path would end at the actual site there will be a house constructed of logs. Above the house in the trees there will be 19 lanterns hanging by ropes but instead of having a blue flame there will be a bright orange flame that would be fueled by flammable Citronella which is the chemical used to light Tiki torches while also being used to keep away mosquitos.
All the lanterns will be made out of glass like the lanterns used during the 1700's and they will have metal flaps on the sides so that when the wind blows they will sway in the trees as if a ghost/ spirit is still in the area. The fuel for all of the lanterns will be located beneath a hatch that will be buried underneath the tree that a lantern hangs from. The lanterns will only be lit from 2 am to 3 am to signify the witching hour and how spirits are most likely to be seen during that time
The Final Resting Place
The house on the site would be constructed in the way that cabins were constructed during the 1700's. This means only wood and nails while also having a roof that is open on the northeast and southwest sides. The house/cabin will be constructed right on the edge of the steep hill and will be made with it being 15ft by 15ft while also being 10ft tall with the roof adding another 5ft to the height. There will be a glassless window on the northeast wall which will look over the trees and into the lanterns throughout the site. There will be a bed built into the southeast wall to signify the spirits of the accused final resting place before they go and leave the site to go to a better place.
My Concept for the Site
The idea that I wanted to portray was that people would enter the old path used by the community. Along the path there would be blue flame lit lanterns swaying in the wind, leading the spirits as well as visitors toward the cabin which is meant to be the final resting place for the spirits of the accused.
The house will be pitch black, only light by the bright orange flames that surround it as well as the light of the moon. There would be a bed on the south east wall to show that the house is supposed to be a resting spot for the spirits of the accused before they leave the leave Proctors Ledge and go to a better place.
There would be a dense area of lanterns near the window on the north east wall which is intended to represent the spirits of the accused leaving out of the window and floating over the steep hill into the trees and eventually going into the sky to become stars. after 3 am the lanterns would be turned off and to signify that there were no more spirits in the area.
Final Concept and Model
For the model and my final design I created the lanterns and cabin concept. I felt that this portrayed my idea for the site and what it could be to the max of my ability. I built6 the model out of card board and used a 3D printer to make the trees. I used bass wood to construct the cabin and used hot glue to make sure that the wood would hold together.
everyone in the class helped construct the base and the area surrounding the site. The houses are also 3D printed eve though their role in the model isn't very important, it does tie in the whole project since it adds to the esthetic that is the model.