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Nightclub Kiss 10 years: see what will be done in the place where the nightclub operated

The building where Kiss Nightclub operated, a nightclub where a fire caused 242 deaths exactly ten years ago, is still standing. The property, where more than 600 people were injured, is taken over by interventions on its facade, with requests for justice and tributes to the victims. The nightclub was located in the city of Santa Maria (RS), about 300 kilometers from the capital Porto Alegre.

The site, which serves as a concrete memory of what happened on January 27, 2013, will be replaced by a memorial when the long judicial process to convict those responsible for the case comes to an end.

Paulo Carvalho, member of the Association of Relatives of Victims and Survivors of the Tragedy of Santa Maria (AVTSM) explains that the project for the memorial has already been approved, and is in progress for the collection phase. He is the father of Rafael Nunes Carvalho, who died in the fire at the age of 32.

According to Carvalho, a competition was held to choose the proposal. Around 130 projects were sent and analyzed by invited architects from Argentina, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais and Rio Grande do Sul.

The ten final plans were forwarded to a commission made up of family members and “people from society” from Santa Maria.

The chosen proposal is by the São Paulo architect Felipe Zene Motta. According to the explanatory text of the memorial, “through the collective appropriation of the space, it is proposed to transform the existing perspective linked to trauma into a space of education, exchange and free interaction”.

“This is already approved. There would already be a very clear reference to fire safety in this project and it is well under way. There is no other problem to be solved, it just needs to be implemented”, says Carvalho.

“The Kiss Victims Memorial project seeks to re-signify the nightclub area into a place of respect for the past, comfort for the present and hope for the future”, he highlights.

How will the memorial

The facade will have a concrete and brick wall that blocks the view of virtually all of the interior. The entrance and exit is in an opening in the middle. According to Motta, “the austerity of the façade represents mourning”.

In the central part of the interior there is a circular garden surrounded by 242 wooden pillars. Each of them will have the name of a victim and a support to place a flower.

“By crossing this barrier through its central opening, one enters a space of light lines, delicate proportions and pleasant materials. A space that, being circular, has no sides, where all visitors see each other, identify and comfort themselves”, adds the architect.

“This way, the negative memory that exists there is transformed into an opportunity for reflection; the community seeks to welcome and support the families of the victims and the entire community of Santa Maria”, he adds.

There will also be three environments in addition to the garden: an auditorium; a multipurpose room, which will house the collection of a permanent multimedia exhibition; and a “single room”, which will house the AVTSM headquarters, as well as other meeting areas and collective activities.

All these areas can be accessed through “pivoting doors” made up of wooden pillars in specific sections.

Source: CNN Brasil

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