We Will Not Let Hate Win

Six big-name teams shortlisted for National Pulse Memorial and Museum

Top architecture firms, artists, and landscape architects from around the world have been shortlisted to design a memorial and museum dedicated to tragic June 12, 2016 shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, Florida. (Courtesy onePULSE Foundation)

MVRDV, Studio Libeskind, and MASS Design Group are among the six finalists shortlisted to design the future National Pulse Memorial and Museum in Orlando, Florida. The organizers behind the international design competition, the onePULSE Foundation and Dovetail Design Strategists, announced the teams yesterday after a two-month search that brought in 68 submissions from 19 different countries.

The architect-led multidisciplinary groups will move onto the second and final stage of the competition later this year, where they will propose a concept design for the memorial and museum to honor the survivors, first responders, and the 49 members of Orlando’s LGBTQ+ community who lost their lives in the horrific shooting at the PULSE nightclub on June 12, 2016.  

Check out the finalists below:

Coldefy & Associés with RDAI, Xavier Veilhan, dUCKS scéno, Agence TER, and Professor Laila Farah;

Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Rene Gonzalez Architect with Raymond Jungles, Inc.;

heneghan peng architects, Gustafson Porter + Bowman, Sven Anderson, and Pentagram;

MASS Design Group, Ralph Appelbaum Associates, Sasaki, Sanford Biggers, Richard Blanco, and Porsha Olayiwola;

MVRDV, Grant Associates, GSM Project, and Studio Drift;

Studio Libeskind with Claude Cormier + Associés, Thinc, and Jenny Holzer

According to the onePULSE Foundation, these teams provided the strongest credentials, relevant experience, and most compelling statements on how architecture can embody the organization’s mandate: “We will not let hate win.”

Photo of flags, letters, candles, and bears on a lawn

Memorabilia left on the site of the shooting as an interim memorial. (Via Creative Commons/davidmichaelkabot)

“Three years after the tragedy, the world continues to stand in solidarity with our community and in support of the 49, the survivors and the first responders,” said onePULSE Foundation CEO Barbara Poma in a statement. “This is reflected in the significant response to our competition announcement and the interest from architecture and designers from around the world.”

Susanna Sirefman, owner of Dovetail Design Strategists, dually noted the global response. “We were thrilled with the thoughtfulness of all submissions we received,” she said. “But we felt that these six finalists best understood the urban complexity and scale of the project, and their illustrated responses best embodied the six keywords we generated from early surveys on the memorial: People want it to stand for love, hope, unity, acceptance, courage, and strength.”

The onePULSE Foundation has already laid out a clear vision for the site, which will include utilizing the original nightclub in some way, as well as introducing a 30,000-square-foot museum, an elongated landscape, and an urban design strategy to connect the site to the city’s downtown. Dubbed the Orlando Health Survivors Walk, the connection will lead people north to the SoDO district to other local spots that were involved in the aftermath of the tragedy including a nearby hospital and performing arts center.

Over the next few months, the design teams will meet with onePULSE leadership, a victim liaison, and a survivor to help inform their proposals. The Orange County Regional History Center in Orlando will hold a public exhibition of the designs in early October and all schemes will be available for public view and comment on the onePULSE design competition website. The winning team will be announced later that month.

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