There are places in which history is extremely meaningful. There are spaces where memory becomes nearly physical, tangible and where the memory of the past is stunningly real and intensively present.
The military fortress of Capo d’Orso in Palau is one of these places. It is sculpted in the granite of a monumental coast. From its bastions, the luxurious yachts sailing in the Mediterranean Sea evoke the English galleons, which chased the Napoleonic fleet in the same sea stretch centuries ago.
Here wars have ended, soldiers are gone. However, the barracks, the shooting stations, the arsenals have lived on. They are forgotten pieces of architecture that have survived their own purpose. They are the legacy of difficult times when the pages of history were written by the steel of bayonets and cannons. To a certain extent, it is a history that is too recent and too hard to tell. However, it is crucial to pass this history on to the new generations.
That is the reason why Military Museum was launched. This is a YAC competition in collaboration with the Italian Government in order to transform the Military Fortress of Capo d’Orso into a museum of the military, marine and navigation history. It will be a place where the account of the events that occurred in this sea stretch can originate one of the most fascinating museums of the Mediterranean. It will attract the millions of tourists who crowd these coasts every year. It will be the new foundation to build a civilization of peace and solidarity.
How to transform war architectures into new tourist and cultural architectures? How to harmonize a past of conflicts with a present of entertainment and escapism?
This is the challenge of Military Museum. This competition will offer designers the opportunity to design the most important center for the discovery of the Military History. It will be a place where to get involved with the account of ancient events and a time when the sea was tamed by the sweat of man and the roaring of cannons. Renewed by culture and new architectures, the fortress of Capo d’Orso will no longer serve the logic of violence. It will rather enrich the contemporary society by giving the world one of the most fascinating museums in Europe. This museum will be set among the rocks of wild nature and located in one of the most majestic landscapes of the Mediterranean.