Landscape of Memory, Gallipoli Peace Park
Forming one edge to the Dardanelles and situated at the meeting of the Balkan, Anatolian and Aegean cultures the Gallipoli peninsula has been witness to and bears the traces of inhabitation from ancient times to the present. The events which, taken together, have shaped the history of Gallipoli -in places hidden and only known as a historical fragment or monument- can be understood as a manifestation of a marginal condition.
“...the repeated confrontations, environmental as well as social, that took place from the very first moment of settlement...those were part of the story of the landscape and we can see their scars even now; for if the landscape is often divided and analyzed into natural or topographical spaces - and the tendency to do this is becoming stronger - instead of into political or “civic” spaces, that is because the landscape is now interpreted as a way of adapting to the natural order”.
J.B. Jackson, from “A pair of ideal landscapes, discovering the vernacular landscape”.
AN UNTOLD HISTORY
The peninsula is understood as a configuration of both natural and constructed layers.
This configuration being variously concealed and exposed across the terrain lack coherence and, as such, embody a yet untold history within their layers. The aim of the project is to locate the development of the park within a coherent historical context, through restoration and conservation projects based on the mapping of the margins of these layers. The new planning document is considered as but one more layer in the evolution of such edge conditions.
In this sense the project draws less from an urban tradition of ‘master plan’, but more from a living tradition of man adapting to the natural order.
“ No group sets out to create a landscape of course...it sets out... to create a community and the landscape as its visible manifestation is simply the by-product of people working and living, sometimes coming together, sometimes staying apart, but always recognizing their interdependence.” J.B. Jackson.
The purpose of conservation and restoration of the park is to continue this tradition of man adapting to the natural order in an active sense, so as to counter the tendencies of short term development that currently threaten its vulnerability.
Whether the margin or edge is the coastline, or the boundary between the highland and lowlands, along the frontline of military conflict or between farmlands and forest the mapping of their spatial layers is most evident at their edges where the different layers touch one another, meet, overlap or conflict.
MAPPING THE EDGE CONDITION
Mapping the different layers at their edges begins to reveal the temporal order in which the layers became manifest in the landscape and hence the qualities of a place become framed by a history.
In this way the peninsula is understood as a landscape of memory.
GENERIC EDGE CONDITIONS AND INTERVENTIONS
Field boundaries are a clear example of a historical layer belonging to a long tradition - that of land inheritance - made manifest in the landscape. This contrasts with less tangible historical layers such as the front-lines of conflict, the scars of which can be barely percieved.
By a strict mapping of the edge condition between historical layers, more informed and measured development can be made. Locating specific interventions in these margins begins to reveal an untold history but as in all retellings becomes itself an elaboration of a history. This elaboration is the new historical layer upon which all physical interventions are both orientated and themselves shape.
INTERVENTION AS HISTORICAL NARRATIVE
Revealing and concealing the layers is determined by the narrative or aspect of history which it is intended to retell. Principle themes are drawn out, two from each of the three focus areas: the main gateway, the battlefield and the forum. Together they form the basis for constructing narratives and hence developing the park.
CHOREOGRAPHY AND ORIENTATION BY MEMORY
In order to relate the interventions laying within the Main Gateway, Battlefield and Forum focus areas to each other and to the park as a whole, a study of the different ways in which the park is traversed clearly shows the different dynamics at work.
The tourist, the visitor to the commemorations and the local inhabitant all have different patterns of movement resulting from their specific interests. Addressing these contemporary and often conflicting needs, yet respecting the history of the park, together create the identity of the park.
Overlaying these patterns of movement with the identified edge conditions result in diagrams of the perception of the cultural and historical landscape.
By articulating the thresholds between movement and edge condition - modelling the paths and the roads in relation to the particular character of the landscape, choreographies are created which guide the temporary inhabitants (tourists) and contemporary inhabitant (settler) through the park.
Specific choreographies such as the Walk of Memory which follows the ”no man’s land” of the former create a tangible sense of memory through walking. Through choreography, the trenches and graves, hills and valleys reveal their hidden context, the landscape becomes animated, and the visitor orientated by memory.
AN EVOLVING PLANNING POLICY
1. Comprehensive mapping of edge conditions based upon historical documentation techniques and working alongside the relevant experts in the different disciplines that are covered by the site, for example achaeologists and historians.
2. The status of all classifications of land-use, ecology, conservation, forestry, building and amenity areas to be orientated upon the new mapping.
3. Archaeological and other related excavations or investigations to proceed all intervention so that interventions are informed by history.
4. The six thematic edge conditions form the basis for a first wave of generic interventions after which a further development of the park would follow. A period of “maturing” of the planning process would allow reflection and reorientation before proceeding with the second wave.
Client: Gallipoli Peace Park International Competition Office & IUA, open competition, Turkey