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A Temple of Organized Chaos.

Shankra Festival 2022 - Horizon Floor

Design & Constructuion by UV LAB
3D Mapping: Axis Mundi ProjectKhAl
Technical Support: Impact Vision

Production Team: Khaled Alwarea, Mike Shnsho, Layla Abdulkarim, Batuhan Güven, Ivo May, Nour Alkhatib, Omar Al Nossirat, Michael Castalan, Fadi Idrees, Sarah Husein, Simon Deybach, Jihene Oueslati, Amal Shehab.

“Marduk Gazed at Tiamat's corps, then split it into two,

He raised one part as sky, Spread the second as earth.”

Enūma Eliš


The goddess Tiamat is mentioned in the Babylonian Genesis, she is the sovereign of the sea, and the chaos before creation, she is a generator of being and annihilator, represented as a serpent or dragon of the sea, her death was a sacrificial act in some way, her remains became the cosmos as we know it, sea and earth were created “from” her. Tiamat is what holds us together.


For this edition of Shankra Festival, we at UV lab chose to build a temple for Tiamat. A place to celebrate her and the “Creative” result of her loss that marked the base of our world.


The temple consists of four separated structures confined in a 50m diameter circle; Two pyramid-like structures mark the main entrances to the temple leading to a central cathedral 13m high, facing the altar of Tiamat. Those who walk towards her Alter find themselves after passing the two pyramids facing what we can consider a CARCASSE of her, where her parts are spread and exhibited as a witness of the act of creation, a carnivalistic trace of the act of creation. 



We emphasized in the design the duality that Timat represents, she is a creator of gods and cosmos at the same time a monstrous embodiment of primordial chaos. It is evident in the lines and shapes we experience when walking through the temple, there is a promise of something “new”, something that is about to “exist” yet it's threatened by the chaotic nature of Talimat, this juxtaposition can be seen in the fragility that our design adapts, where the shapes and structures are on the verge of being transformed at any moment. 


when you walk around, what looks organized and neat from one perspective looks chaotic from another, this sovereignty over order and non-order creates a sense of relief, no matter what happened, Tiamat is in control, and the sense of sublime the structure reflects enforces this duality of “order/non-order”, a balance is made to maintain the experience, releasing the tension from those who visit, since the order is nothing but one of the forms of chaos that Tilmat masters.


Using natural materials with earthy colors gives a grounding effect, where each structure seems rooted, and a celebration of the original sacrificial creation, as if the entire project is an homage to a monsters body that was slain so the what around it could “stand” and by that we mean the earth and the sky. The relationship between shade and light inside the temple mixed with earth and sky leaves sometimes uncertainty, are we part of Taimat carcass or not, are we inside or outside, that is exactly what sovereignty over order and non-order represents, the ability to remove boundaries and experience the “whole” itself.


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