Inclusive Ideas

onePULSE Foundation is soliciting ideas for a memorial to victims of Orlando shooting

Architecture East
The interim memorial commemorating the Pulse Nightclub shooting opened in May to the public. (Courtesy onePulse Foundation)
The interim memorial commemorating the Pulse Nightclub shooting opened in May to the public. (Courtesy onePulse Foundation)

Today, the onePULSE Foundation launched its Ideas Generator, an open call for designs for a permanent memorial and museum dedicated to the 49 lives lost in the 2016 Pulse nightclub tragedy.

The June 12th attack in which a gunman opened fire in the Orlando nightclub, killing dozens and injuring 68 others, was considered a terrorist attack on the United States and an act of hatred against the LGTBQ+ community. The planned memorial and museum is set to honor the lives affected by this event, including the survivors, victims’ families, first responders, and healthcare professionals.

According to onePulse Foundation board member Hilary Lewis, today’s announcement is meant to spark a national conversation on the need for the project and how it might turn the site of a crime scene into a place of hope and reflection.

“We are looking for the most innovative way to combine the idea of a memorial, a museum, and a gathering place,” Lewis told The Architect’s Newspaper. “The need is for something uplifting and we’re looking to create a space that moves the discussion forward in a positive way, while also helping us understand how to make the world a better, more inclusive place.”

The site to be considered for the permanent memorial and museum will include that of the former Pulse Nightclub and may also include additional land nearby. (Courtesy onePulse Foundation)

The Ideas Generator invites people from around the world to present ideas related to architecture, landscape, urbanism, and artistic intervention. The open call asks for both rough ideas and polished proposals. The Foundation recently opened its interim memorial in Orlando, which features interactive wall exhibits, lighted benches and a steel fence where visitors can attach messages and mementos. The design and program of the new memorial and museum will possibly feature these elements as well, but the Foundation has yet to release an official RFP for the actual project. 

“We recognize that the greatest talent out there may come from people who we haven’t heard of yet,” said Lewis. “If someone wants to submit a conceptual idea, whether it’s a sketch on a napkin or a poem, we’d like to see it. The Ideas Generator is designed to open the lines of communication so we can figure out the best way to develop the RFP and make sure we’re on the right track.”

The interim memorial commemorating the Pulse Nightclub shooting, which features interactive wall exhibits, lighted benches, and a steel fence where visitors can attach messages and mementos, opened in May to the public. (Courtesy onePulse Foundation)

Last fall, the Foundation hosted a public, online survey pertaining to the look and feel of the future memorial, as well as what issues it should address and whom it should honor. Answers from the family members of the victims and survivors were given top consideration. Many cited the Vietnam War Memorial and the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., the Oklahoma City National Memorial, and the National September 11 Memorial in New York as inspirations for the future Pulse project. Potential plans to demolish the former nightclub or keep it standing are also discussed. You can read their individual thoughts in the survey here.

The Foundation will be accepting ideas through August 31 and begin developing an RFP this fall. To learn more about the Foundation’s vision for the project as well as Points to Consider when submitting ideas, go here.

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