Daylight in Buildings

Stairway to Heaven


Rana Ibrahim, Sedrah Alayoubi


Ziad Malla


Damascus University



Stairway to Heaven

Project Description

Velux international competition is a great opportunity for us as students and architects to express reality and bring a positive impact where we can change the built environment simulating to the general mode. Therefore, our world has been recently suffering from wars, injustice and much more catastrophes. we are Syrian architects and have studied, worked and lived in very forested situations. People are suffering, families are losing their settlements, young people are dying from war, homeless children are increasing and much more. Each person suffered in his way, but what is common is that we all have lost souls, souls of ambitious youth who dreamed of a better place, souls of children who in whom we believed in. Therefore, this competition gave us the advantage of turning this tragedy into a symbol , in Qasyoon mountain which is considered as a very important landmark located in Damascus city / Syria, we chose to replace the famous unknown soldier structure with a high cone monument that includes a floating metal tree with illuminated leaves that refers to the souls of the dead that we lost in the ten years – war. With a shaded tunnel with a scalar path beneath the main site of the project people will travel into the cone, this tunnel represents “THE PASSAGE “ that speaks about the anonymous trial that the martyrs experienced during their lives , with the transition from the surface (land) which refers to the physical world tried in their lives and the ascend which symbolizes the consequences of their martyrdom (the ascent ). Therefore, reaching the space of the cone in where it defines the title “Stair Way to Heaven“the visitor will go through the feeling of reverence, where the floating tree is lightened up in the embrace of the seasonal materialized cone. According to our appreciation of nature, we chose various metals, each metal enunciates the feeling of every season’s characteristics by its type. For example, we choose to reflect summer vibes with brushed gold metal, winter vibes with bead blast black, spring vibes with brushed rose copper and autumn vibes with brushed copper ..each creates its atmosphere with the tree that is built up from nickel roots covered with carbon particles that express earth , nickel trunk and branches and leaves made from glass solar panels which absorb the daylight and transform it to electrical power that plays a primary role in the incitement of the magnetic field between the surrounded nickel rings and our tree, besides lighting up at night. The floating tree embodied a mystical sense: a floating spirit of the martyrs that surrounds the livings in all time. To sum up, war is a dark action that decimates the population and human existence, for that the impact of light is the viability of hope, peace and a promising new world. The cone with its embracing environment and leading illuminating tree is an incredible expression of the natural light beauty with all its moral concepts and senses.