Miles of barbed wire in double lines separate what was once the same land. Today the narrow stretch of no man’s land marks the tension between two nations. Except for the military surveillance posts, the 1800 mile long stretch remains unpunctuated. The inherent quality of a borderline to separate is challenged in a bid to seek the potential of this very line in bringing together peacekeepers from both sides.
Not uncommon to the geography surrounding the north-west border of India are the man made walled-gardens or pardezas. Over the ages the pardeza acquired deeper meanings of ‘promised heavenly garden’, originating from the root word ‘daeza’ which meant wall or constructed out of earth. Here the walls, more the demarcate, contained the ideal. Recalling the ancient picture to this modern volatile context, a prototypical walled grid is envisioned in proximity to Wagah. Encapsulating an instance of the vast stretches of farmlands, the old blocked canal, stemming from the Indus basin, running across once diagonal and the barbed-wire border across the other, the four walls close in on quite powerful symbolism of this geography. This grid invites voluntary prisoners of peace from both sides of the border.
The positivity of the architecture and representation creates a sense of no-place, allowing the pavilion to proclaim itself in any environment, culture and situation as a platform for liberated living.
Viewing tower is a physical manifestation of the willingness to look both ways, at the line that divides the two nations at Wagah and at the same line that dissolves into nature upon passing through the walled prison of voluntary peacekeepers.
The design is a careful selection, organization and representation of autonomous archetypes, liberating the pavilion from politically biased signifiers often assumed through architectural form.