Dark Light

Cultural and memorial building of 175 martyr diver

This museum is designed as a memorial for the 175 martyr divers. This project aims to visualize the relating events indirectly and symbolically by careful extraction of the concepts and traits of the operation.

The most important key word in this operation is “opposition”: truth and reality, inside and outside, conscience vs sensation, light vs dark; opposition of the move towards death or ascend to perfection.


Date: 2016
Location: Tehran, Iran
Type: Conceptual project, Cultural building
Second Place in 175 martyrs diver memorial competition
Third Place in poster design of 175 martyrs diver competition
175 Diver Memorial design Exhibition | Aye Gallery, Tehran, Iran
175 Diver Memorial design Exhibition | Sustainability Cultural Center, Mashhad, Iran    



At the entrance there are some public spaces like restaurants, libraries and shops, having cubic forms as a symbol of materialism. So, before entering the main space of the museum, the visitor leaves the materialistic attachments behind. After that there are five galleries depicting the transition towards the final destination, martyrdom.

Main concept

Opposition of Truth and Reality

Opposite elements of inside vs outside, full vs empty, light vs shadow are used in the project design. What is visualized outside the building is a symbol of the appearance and sensation of the events during the operation, while inside the building is a visualization for the soul and conscience of the operation. Hence external side of the museum is designed as a rigid cube, as a symbol of the physical thoughts that covers the inner spherical space depicting the truth. The museum trail is also designed based on the consequence of events that happened to the Martyr divers during the operation.


First gallery | Farewell

The divers knew that there’s no return to their journey, so they said goodbye to all they had in the world. Each of the cubes depicts one of the materialistic desires.


Second gallery | Doubt and confidence

The way was dark and unclear to the divers and a doubt made them unsure to move forward, but their belief made them confident to move towards their goal.

Third gallery | Scream and silence

The divers need to remain silent while there was a huge excitement screaming inside them.

Fourth gallery | Darkness and light

While the divers were moving in the darkness of night, there was a thrilling light of belief inside them.

Fifth gallery | Enslavement and freedom

In the end some of the divers martyred and the rest were arrested. In any case they were free afterwards.

The last compartment and the endpoint of the design depicts martyrdom: Tree as a symbol of love, sky as a symbol of spiritual peak, sea as a symbol of infinity.


End space

After going through the five galleries and observing what happened to the divers, at the end of the path is a death and martyrdom space. Martyrdom means love (symbolized by the willow tree) and highness (symbolized by the sky) and infinity (symbolized by the sea). The end space reflects the love story of the 175 martyrs who are moving towards the Qiblah with the symbol of lights.



You can see other images of this project in the image gallery.

© 2021 Tarkib Studio All right reserved.