Nearly 1,000 migrant workers for the 2022 World Cup have lost their lives in Qatar. Controversy abounds over FIFA’s decision to host the World Cup in the scorching Middle Eastern country, as allegations of vote buying circle the long-criticized organization. The speculative architecture collective 1Week1Project has proposed a blunt, bleak memorial for the Nepalese workers who have already died and the migrant workers expected to die by 2022.
Their proposal features a towering structure made of giant stones, one for each dead Nepalese worker, who make up 400 of the approximately 1,000 deaths. A crane would be perched atop the massive structure, ready to add more stones as more workers die. If the death rate continues to climb as predicted, the hypothetical tower could rise almost a mile in the sky, far taller than any of the skyscrapers in the region.
The tower’s design is imposing and terrifying. A plan shows that each layer would be constructed from eight stones, representing eight deaths. Looking up from inside the proposed structure you see a vortex of interlocking bricks twisting towards the sky. “This structure offers Nepalese and Indian families as well as families of other nationalities a site for mourning removed from Qatar’s cities and skyscrapers,” the architects write on their site. “The project has a multitude of itineraries for visiting, on a basis of four modules per floor and two staircases per module.”
Of course, 1Week1Project’s designs are speculative, and it’s nearly impossible to imagine the same country that may have bought its way into the World Cup ever funding anything like this. But the design itself is powerful enough to evoke dread that the continued work on this project will keep killing the workers who FIFA is exploiting.