Le Memorial des Martyrs by Adjaye Associates

Adjaye Associates designs "labyrinth of abstraction" as martyrs' memorial in Niger

Architecture studio Adjaye Associates has revealed its design for Le Mémorial des Martyrs, which is set to be built in Niamey, Niger.

The foundation stone for the memorial, which is set to be built on the triangular Place du Petit Marché alongside Niamey city hall in the capital of Niger, was laid earlier this week.

Le Mémorial des Martyrs by Adjaye Associates
Adjaye Associates has designed Le Mémorial des Martyrs

"The martyrs' memorial is a commemoration to all those lost in the fight against terrorism along Niger's southern and western borders," said the studio.

"It is conceived as a monument to those who lost their lives, a tangible documentation of the continuous fight against extremist entities and the soldiers who have fallen in the process."

Memorial in Niamey
The memorial will be built in Niamey

The memorial will consist of a grid of 56 concrete, four-pointed-star-shaped columns that rise 20 metres into the air from a raised plaza within the triangular site.

The plaza will be flanked on either side by trees that will also be planted in a gridded formation.

Le Mémorial des Martyrs in Niamey
At night the columns will be lit up

"As visitors approach the memorial, they are engrossed in a labyrinth of abstraction through a rhythmic interplay of light, shadow and geometries amplified by the form of the 20-meter-high pillars," explained the studio.

"Each pillar symbolizes the individuals lost, extending towards the Niamey sky whilst grounded and situated in its urban context," continued the studio.

"At night, beams of light projecting from the pillars become part of the urban skyline, acting as both a beacon of remembrance and a visual guide toward the civic heart of Niamey."

Martyrs memorial underground room
A large room will be created under the plaza

Below the raised plaza a large room will be created to be used for civic events.

Described by the studio as an "underground cooling labyrinth", the space will be broken by the concrete columns that pass through it to their foundations.

These columns are designed to act as thermal chimneys to reduce heat build up around the memorial.

Martyrs memorial by Adjaye Associates
Concrete columns will pass through the underground room

Adjaye Associates was established by David Adjaye in 2000. The British-Ghanaian architect was recently awarded the RIBA Royal Gold Medal. To celebrate we rounded up ten of the studios most significant projects.

The studio previously created a simple memorial pavilion for South African trumpeter Bra Hugh, is working with Ron Arad to design a UK Holocaust memorial and designed a Mass Extinction Memorial Observatory for the Isle of Portland in England.

More images

Adjaye Associates designs "labyrinth of abstraction" as martyrs memorial in Niger
Plan
Adjaye Associates designs "labyrinth of abstraction" as martyrs memorial in Niger
Section
Adjaye Associates designs "labyrinth of abstraction" as martyrs memorial in Niger
Site plan
Adjaye Associates designs "labyrinth of abstraction" as martyrs memorial in Niger
Axonometric