Diploma 2017: "112 DARI SÊO - a living memorial" by Shepol Barzan

Tutors: Susanne Puchberger (APP), Eva Kun (DAV), Harald Røstvik (sustainability), Sigurdur Gunnarson (TTA)


In March 1988, Saddam Hussein unleashed an chemical attack on the Kurdish town of Halabja in the north of Iraq. An estimated number of 5.000 men, women and children died in the immediate aftermath of the attack. 

During my study trip to Halabja I got to learn the story of 112 children, that are still not accounted for after the brutal attack in 1988. Their family's still living with hope, that one day they will meet their loved ones again.

My interviews with some of the families revealed a need for help to find answers and a memeorial place. A place where they can share their memories and sorrow, and where their memories are kept safe. It should be a place where the 112 children are remembered and becomes a part of the city. 

Some of the families still live on the dark side, and have not been able to move on.

One of the goals is getting these people back in to society and on the bright side.

I chose a site in the city center that used to be a primary school before the attack, with only some walls standing after the attack in 1988. With only some walls remaining the place has become a playground for the children in the neighborhood. I decided that the site was a perfect location for a living memorial with the spirit and qualities of this place is still present.

My project, the building is designed to have a shape which makes three open spaces where the different programs and memorials are connected together.

The city is also well known for their tradition of apple fruit gardens. 

The project consists of a living memorial place where the families will grow 112 dwarf apple trees to represent the 112 missing children. A laboratory and a tracking center which will help the families find their children, is a important part of the program.

The program has the potential to develope the city to meet the future and to give the population new hope to be recognized by the rest of the country.