In 2005, Luis Boza of reform, llc collaborated with architect, Lance Hosey, landscape architecture Peter O’Shea and exhibit designers Tom Hennes and Marc van den Broeck on the Tsunami Memorial Design Competition in Khao Lak-Lamru National Park in Phangnga Province.
Listen to the land. This place is filled with sound, the voices of nature. Breezes in the forest, streams rushing to the sea, birdsong. In the dense woods, ocean waves whisper in the distance. Unseen, the sea still fills this place. Dramatizing the existing character of the land, this place will reflect on loss but also celebrate life in all its forms.
The design focused on three types of visitors to the site — those who survived, those who lost, and those who empathize with the others. Each may have different needs, different paths to take. Some may linger at the Visitor Center, a communal oasis. Some may follow the forest paths, which recall the Thai forest tradition of walking meditation — movement aids contemplation of and interaction with nature. The pavilions echo portable canopies (“glots”) that monks carry with them in their meditation rituals. Some may take a direct route to the Hall of Voices. Collective voices fill the air of the open sanctuary, merging like waves of water. Voices surround us, bind us.
Finally, some may descend directly to the beach, where a memory pool comes and goes with the tide, a quiet reminder that something has happened here. Carved from beach stone, it is at once embedded in the land, reflective of the sky, and fed by the sea. Perfectly round, its shape is definite and clear, but its presence comes and goes. Memory shifts and needs to be revisited.
But it endures.