The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia is a horrific testament of what humans have done to each other. The Khmer Rouge killed an estimated 2 million people (30% of the population) in the late 70s through starvation, torture or execution. At Tuol Sleng, 20,000 died with only 7 known survivors.
It is a museum now, formerly a prison camp and originally a secondary school. Other than the barbed wire and the lack of happy voices, you might think it is still a school. There are blooming frangipani trees, clipped lawns and teenagers playing soccer. The building style is alarmingly similar to a typical Lao middle school.
Isn't it a problem in the design that a school can so easily be converted to a place of torture? Can't some master architect design a school so beautifully true to its mission that this can't be possible? Creative thinkers and free spirits need to defy the killers within us.