Posts tagged with "Memorials":

Placeholder Alt Text

Kengo Kuma & Associates chosen to design Founders’ Memorial in Singapore

A competition to design the Founders’ Memorial, a multi-acre gallery and garden complex commemorating Singapore’s path to independence and historic accomplishments in its nation-building process, first launched in January 2019 and received 193 submissions from around the world. This month, the Jury Panel of the Founders’ Memorial Committee unanimously selected the design proposed by Japanese firm Kengo Kuma & Associates, in collaboration with Singapore-based firm K2LD Architects. “The winning design is sensitive and functional,” said Lee Tzu Yang, chairman of the Founders’ Memorial Committee, in a press release, “and embodies the spirit and values of Singapore’s founding team of leaders. It is a unique design, incorporating landscape and architecture, that brings visitors on a journey of discovery.” The jury also felt that the design meaningfully connected the site to public transportation nodes and other sites of local significance. The memorial’s organic rooflines will intentionally frame Bay East Garden, an adjacent waterfront whose pavilions and green spaces have quickly become a point of civic pride. The design team sought to emphasize Singapore’s global standing as a "City in a Garden" by creating a grouping of buildings that appears to rise from the landscape. In the process, they created a memorial that would allow for future growth. “Our design concept for the Founders’ Memorial originates from the idea of a path—a journey tracing the legacy of Singapore’s founding leaders,” said Kengo Kuma in a statement. “It simultaneously honors the past, and inspires the present and future. The design aims to be a ‘living memorial’, to be owned by each new generation of Singaporeans. There will be ample spaces for the celebration of milestone events, all set against the changing skyline of Singapore.” Renderings show amphitheater spaces, landscaped rooftops, large shaded areas, and other open facilities intended to benefit the public.  Now in its second stage of development, the Founders’ Memorial will be reviewed and modified in a series of community workshops, through which a more refined set of programs can be established. Construction is expected to begin in 2022 and be completed by 2027.
Placeholder Alt Text

Solo exhibition at ICA Philadelphia explores our link to monuments

The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at the University of Pennsylvania has unveiled Karyn Olivier: Everything That’s Alive Moves, on view through May 10, 2020. The Philadelphia-based artist and sculptor Karyn Olivier has readied a series of works centered around her personal explorations of monuments and memorials. With a particular focus on scale, Olivier describes her work as a combination of larger-than-life scale and the minute, modest gesture. Conceived as a revision and expansion of Olivier’s previous project, Everything That’s Alive Moves places monuments into new contexts that pose questions about the larger concepts of citizenship and responsibility. The exhibition includes a large-scale obelisk sculpture, a fully-functioning carousel for one rider, and a car built from repurposed shoes. In one installation, a floor-to-ceiling brick wall at the center of a gallery is intended to catch the eye as a spectrum of bright colors emerge from it—the piece, Wall (2017-2018), uses clothing wedged between the bricks in place of mortar, and the fabric cascades out of the rigid wall. “We are thrilled to present the work of local artist Karyn Olivier. Olivier’s ability to connect with the community and people through her work is profound,” said John McInerney, interim director at ICA, in a statement to ArtDaily. “She adeptly shifts our experience of the familiar to reveal the malleable and unfixed nature of objects and spaces, enabling us to ponder meaning, honor the past, while creating new possibilities.” Olivier has planned and built several memorials and public commissions herself, most recently being tapped to oversee the Dinah Memorial at Stenton, also known as the James Logan Home, in Philadelphia. Olivier also drew from her recent year of study in Rome, where she closely analyzed the intersection of the city’s public works with its history. “Karyn's searching curiosity is brilliantly indefatigable. Her sculpture incisive, her formal care and emotional responses to space simply searing,” said Anthony Elms, chief curator at the ICA. “What's more is that still her art contains enormous amounts of joy for and delight in our world and the people who, through gestures big and small, recognized or unnoticed, endure and thrive for all our betterment.” Karyn Olivier: Everything That’s Alive Moves is on view through May 10 at ICA. Admission is free and the show will be accompanied by a fully illustrated monograph set to be released later this year.
Placeholder Alt Text

OLIN receives design approval for D.C. Desert Storm memorial

Plans are well underway to build a National Desert Storm and Desert Shield Memorial in Washington, D.C., now that OLIN has taken over as lead designer. On November 21, 2019, the memorial’s design concept won approval from the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts (CFA), a milestone that helped push the memorial closer to the goal of completion by the end of 2021, as basic items such as the layout and structure were determined. The design approval from the CFA on January 17 of this year, but the National Capital Planning Commission still needs to review and approve both preliminary and final plans before construction can begin. Early efforts are owed to Indianapolis-based CSO Architects, who since 2012, dedicated much of their time (pro bono) in developing design concepts for the memorial. “If it wasn’t for CSO’s participation, this wouldn’t be where it is right now and in fact, it wouldn't have even got off the ground,” Scott Stump, president and CEO of the National Desert Storm War Memorial Association (NDSWMA), told the Indianapolis Business Journal Since 2010, the NDSWMA has secured a site for the monument, received concept approval, and raised almost a quarter of the $40 million needed before construction could begin. Stump is responsible for the idea of the memorial, wanting to preserve the memory and military significance of the Desert Shield and Desert Storm operations so it wouldn’t be perceived as a “footnote in history.”  It was the American Institute of Architects that recommended some “veteran-friendly” firms to Stump when he realized he was lacking in the visual representation needed to get the project moving. CSO had done numerous projects for military clients and principal Randy Schumacher took lead on the project. Landscape architecture firm Context Design has also contributed to the original design. Schumacher worked alongside Stump to develop ideas and also solicited feedback from veterans. The result was a design that featured a curved wall ranging in height from six to sixteen feet meant to suggest the “left hook” military maneuver. Once the site was secured (a location just north of the Lincoln Memorial and west of the Vietnam War Memorial) adjustments needed to be made to the design. The new design has lower walls that meld into the ground and includes a central water feature, which symbolizes a desert oasis as well as the international coalition that participated in the operations.  With OLIN’s work on the National Veterans Memorial and Museum in Ohio (which also features a similar swirling site plan), the U.S. Air Force Memorial in Arlington, and the grounds of the Washington Monument, they seem like a natural pick to take over as lead designer. CSO and Context still remain involved and Schumacher is honored to play a part in the project, saying, “It’s the most important thing I’ll ever do, as an architect and as an American.”  A few elements in the design are still awaiting approval and the push to raise the 110 percent of the funding required by law to begin construction is an ongoing fundraising effort. The association’s goal is to complete the fundraising by March.
Placeholder Alt Text

onePULSE Foundation reveals heavy-hitting shortlisted designs for new museum

The onePULSE Foundation and Dovetail Design Strategists have revealed concept designs from the six shortlisted teams chosen to create the upcoming National Pulse Memorial and Museum in Orlando, Florida. Each architect-led team proposed a series of interventions (below) that connect the former PULSE nightclub site with the larger SoDo district and the Orlando Survivor’s Walk.  In honor of the 49 "angels" who died on June 12, 2016, the designers were challenged to embody the foundation’s mantra within the architecture: "We will not let hate win." The public is allowed to comment on the designs here through Friday, October 10. Fly-throughs of the individual projects can be found here as well. Coldefy & Associés with RDAI French firm Coldefy & Associés has envisioned a striking three-pronged design for the onePULSE Foundation that includes a spiraling, open-air museum structure that towers over a renewed West Kaley Street. The memorial site below that is presented as both a lush garden planted with 59 trees and a piece of preserved architecture. Coldefy chose to integrate the existing nightclub into the new design, transforming it with cutouts that allow visitors to walk through the building on an intimate path. A reflecting pool encircling the club would feature a palette of 49 colors in its basin.  The design team has prioritized accessibility, walkability, and biking in its vision for memorial and museum, as well as SoDo. As the neighborhood grows, Coldefy aims to integrate more promenades, bike paths, and room for a shuttle to connect Pulse visitors to the train station. Further collaborators: Xavier Veilhan, dUCKS scéno, Agence TER, and Professor Laila Farah  Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Rene Gonzalez Architect with Raymond Jungles, Inc. DS+R’s scheme for the site centers around a contemplative sound garden with 268 reflective columns honoring the survivors. The original club structure will remain and be covered in a beaded shroud while a platform atop it would hold the sanctuary, a space featuring mementos and displaying the names and stories of the angels. Forty-nine rainbow-colored ceramic tail columns puncture the sanctuary and extend above a suspended canopy for passersby to see. Glass openings in the floor would provide views of the club’s dance floor below. At night, the lights dance.  heneghan peng architects, Gustafson Porter + Bowman The quiet and stately concept design from the Dublin and Berlin-based heneghan peng features an angular museum that, according to the architects, resonates with the energy of the nightclub. Along West Kaley Street, its facade curves and tilts upward, 'hugging' visitors as they walk in. The memorial also symbolizes a kind of embrace; the original nightclub building is surrounded by seven sections that come together as a shared space. The names of the 49 lost would be embedded into a series of colorful, vertical bands on one elongated wall. Though silence is a major component of this design, so is sound. Within the museum would be recording studios, conversation spaces, and community areas. Heneghan peng proposed the PULSE Music Label, which would spread music that shows the strength of the LGBTQ+ community.  Further collaborators: Wannemacher Jensen Architects, Bartenbach LichtLabor, Sven Anderson, and Pentagram MASS Design Group, Ralph Appelbaum Associates, and Sasaki MASS Design Group's monumental proposal frames the original structure of the nightclub in a sculptural embrace. With waterfalls cascading down the facade, visitors would be able to view the memorial from a contemplative seating area at the gathering space of the survivors. The memorial is accompanied by the Museum for Equality, aiming to position the tragic events at Pulse "in a global context of the fight for equality." Triangular motifs are a key feature of this museum's design, and colored glass window panels would give the building a sacred feeling, topped off with a "kaleidoscope atrium" that uses natural light to create a warm, reflective space. Further collaborators: Sanford Biggers, Richard Blanco, Little Diversified Architectural Consulting, and Porsha Olayiwola MVRDV and Grant Associates Inspired by the "midnight quality" of the nightclub's black exterior, MVRDV's monument design is a raised structure that seems to levitate over a landscape of small mounds and surrounded by 49 trees chosen by the families of the angels. The facade will remain black, with gold accents to highlight fractures along the surface. The memorial is a truly interactive site, as visitors would be able to pass under the floating structure and atmospheric lighting would allow visitors to connect with the space in deeper ways. Meanwhile, the design of the Pulse Museum is organized into four sections, which twist to form the word "love," visible from the street level because of its sloped construction. The extensive green roof of the building would be fully accessible and is intended as a communal space. Further collaborators: GSM Project, and Studio Drift Studio Libeskind with Claude Cormier + Associés Studio Libeskind has dubbed its design 'Perpetual Light' and it would feature a heart-shaped memorial surrounded by 366 colorful frames—one for each day of the year 2016. The memorial extends out and would connect to a Survivors Walk, a testament to the bravery and heroism that occurred at the site. The proposed museum is a towering structure that "connects the terrestrial to the celestial," shooting upward and ending in a display of 49 beams of rainbow light activated by human touch. An observation deck would give the opportunity for visitors to view the entire district from above and think about the legacy of Pulse in Orlando and beyond. Further collaborators: Thinc and Jenny Holzer
Placeholder Alt Text

Puerto Rican architecture students design counter-proposals to Hurricane Maria memorial

Architecture students in Puerto Rico have responded with a counter-proposal to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recent request for architects to submit ideas for a Hurricane Maria memorial in New York. Francisco J. Rodríguez-Suarez, architect, professor, and former dean of the University of Puerto Rico School of Architecture (UPR-RP), posted a series of photomontages by his third-year students on Twitter (@paco-rsvp) last week—a competition project inspired by a class discussion during the first week of the semester. Some 16 pieces were made public on his feed, each depicting American and Puerto Rican symbols overlayed with contradictory images. One of the most scroll-stopping images features a group of construction workers raising an electric poll atop a pile of rubble. It mimics the famous photograph taken in 1945 of six Marines raising the U.S. flag at Iwo Jima. Rodríguez-Suarez told David Begnaud, CBS This Morning's lead national correspondent, that his students talked about the possibility of participating in Cuomo’s request for proposals, but ultimately decided to pursue making the anti-memorial imagery instead. They “unanimously felt the wounds had not healed enough and also questioned the appropriateness of the politics behind a memorial in New York,” Rodríguez-Saurez said in a quote on Begnaud’s Twitter. The journalist called the students' ideas "protest work" and an "academic critique" of Cuomo's RFP. In an email, Rodríguez-Suarez explained to AN that the project was part of a larger competition studio where emerging designers learn how to present strategy and develop critical thinking skills. They typically engage in four or five competitions per semester, he said, and the Hurricane Maria memorial was the first one they talked about doing. After debating the pros and cons, the students didn't submit work on an official submission but rather ended up experimenting with the photomontages as a set of counter-proposals. "Pedagogically, [the class] highlights the importance of architectural competitions as a means to provide society with better quality buildings and spaces," said Rodríguez-Suarez, "especially in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, where they are not the norm." It’s unclear yet whether Cuomo's memorial competition is gaining traction among professional architects or artists already, but given the support of the many New York-based Puerto Ricans who make up the 10-person commission to get it built, it seems the project will move forward despite criticism—even if it comes from the Puerto Rican government itself.  Regardless of the final chosen design, the UPR-RP students believe it's too soon for a memorial and that the American government doesn't understand their plight. "How does it occur to someone to make a memorial of something that's not finishing happening?" wrote Lourdes Sofia Jimenez-Rodriguez in an email to AN. "Much less in New York City, where I know there is a large population of Puerto Ricans who moved there after Maria and said they have done everything they can to help. But we're still living here every day." Jimenez-Rodriguez said the blue FEMA tarps that still cover homes around the country remind her of how far this disaster is from being over. It's a motif she focused on in her project. "For me, these represent the mismanagement of resources and aid after the hurricane," she said. "I wanted to make a photomontage of the capitol with broken roof and blue awnings because it is very easy to say that everything is fine when the one who is saying it did not really go through the situation."
Placeholder Alt Text

Some survivors and activists oppose Orlando's Pulse memorial and museum

While efforts to build the National Pulse Memorial and Museum at the site of the deadly Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, are moving forward, certain LGBTQ activists, survivors, and loved ones of victims are voicing opposition to the plan. Last month, organizers who are against the onePULSE Foundation’s initiative to establish the museum formed the Community Coalition Against a Pulse Museum (CCAPM), which aims to develop an alternative vision for how to remember the victims of the deadliest anti-LGBTQ act of violence in U.S. history. 

As AN reported earlier this year, six major architecture firms have already been shortlisted from an initial 68 submissions for onePULSE’s international design competition. The finalists include Diller Scofidio + Renfro, MASS Design Group, MVRDV, and Studio Libeskind. While no winner has been announced yet, the process of soliciting proposals and selecting the designer has progressed steadily since the shooting in June 2016. The foundation’s plan for the site includes using the original nightclub building and constructing an additional 30,000-square-foot museum nearby. There is also an effort to integrate the memorial and museum into a broader urban design plan that would connect the former nightclub to downtown Orlando. If this is executed, visitors will be able to walk along the planned Orlando Health Survivors Walk, leading them to various sites involved in the aftermath of the shooting.

As for CCAPM, activists argue that funds used for the construction of the museum building should be directed towards victims’ families and survivors of the incident, not towards a tourist attraction. According to the organization’s website, opponents of the construction project maintain that: “All funds raised should be used to expand existing services and ensure that all survivors get the financial support, medical services, community support programs, and mental health care they need for life.”

The museum is expected to cost $45 million, including $40 million in construction costs and additional funds for staff salaries. As the Orlando Sentinel reported earlier this summer, onePULSE’s proposed budget includes a $150,000 annual salary for Barbara Poma, who established the Pulse nightclub in 2004 in memory of her brother, a victim of the AIDS epidemic. Poma is now the CEO of the onePULSE foundation. 

With an exhibition of the proposed designs set to open at the Orange County Regional History Center in Orlando this October, there is no sign that onePULSE will significantly alter its plan to construct the museum. According to NBC News, the foundation responded to continuing allegations that it is profiting off of victims’ traumatic experiences by assuring that it is listening to all concerns closely: “We respect the thoughts and opinions of everyone in the community who was affected by this tragic event and are taking them all into consideration on how we move forward.”

The memorial and museum are slated to officially open in 2022.

Placeholder Alt Text

Architects invited to submit designs for New York's Hurricane Maria Memorial

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Hurricane Maria Memorial Commission have put out a call for architects and artists to submit memorial ideas that honor the victims and survivors of the deadly hurricane that devastated Puerto Rico in 2017. Upon selection, the winning design will be placed in Lower Manhattan’s Battery Park City neighborhood along the Hudson River waterfront.  “Hurricane Maria claimed thousands of lives and destroyed countless homes in Puerto Rico, yet the resilience of the Puerto Rican community has shown the world anything can be overcome when we stand together in solidarity,” said Governor Cuomo in a statement. “We want this spirit of strength and community to be reflected in the Hurricane Maria Memorial, and we look forward to seeing how the experts capture it in their designs.”  Interested architects and artists are invited to submit a response to the RFP online by Monday, September 9, 2019, before 11:59 p.m. EST. Designers can submit one design for either proposed sites (the Esplanade and Chamber’s Street Overlook in Battery Park), but only one will be chosen. All submissions will be reviewed by the memorial commission, a 10-person group formed late last summer on the one-year anniversary of the hurricane’s landfall, and led by Congress members Nydia Velazquez (D-NY 7) and Jose E. Serrano (D-NY 15), Assemblymembers Marcos Crespo and Maritza Davila, and New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado. Members include local leaders of Puerto Rican descent such as Edwin Meléndez, director of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College; Casimiro D. Rodriguez, Sr. president of the Hispanic Heritage Council of Western NY; Hilda Rosario Escher; Former president & CEO of Ibero American Action League; Brenda Torres, executive director of Corporation for the Conservation of the San Juan Bay Estuary; and Elizabeth Velez, president of The Velez Organization and resident of Battery Park City.  Per Governor Cuomo, the memorial will serve as a physical reminder of the love and respect Americans have for Puerto Rico and will be part of the state’s ongoing support efforts both locally and abroad. In the last two years, New York State has dedicated $13 million toward 11,000 displaced victims living in New York and service organizations that can help them regain their footing.  According to the Pew Research Center, New York boasts the most amount of people of Puerto Rican origin of any state, with over 1.1 million residents—that’s 21 percent of the total 5.1 million living in the mainland U.S. It’s the second-largest Hispanic population in the U.S. with just over half of people concentrated in the northeast region, while 31 percent reside in the South and 19 percent are located in Florida.  Due to the recent political and economic turmoil in the territory, the mainland U.S. now has more Puerto Ricans than the island does itself, at 3.2 million residents. Recent migration patterns reveal that people are moving away due to lack of basic resources and frustration with systemic government corruption. The memorial solicitation opens just after weeks of protests resulted in the resignation of Puerto Rico’s former governor Ricardo Rosselló. But the fight to overturn the powerful Puerto Rican government isn’t over: the territory's Supreme Court just took up a lawsuit this week which aims to take down Pedro Pierluisi, who was sworn in as governor last Friday without proper consent from the Senate. 
Placeholder Alt Text

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

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." “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.
Placeholder Alt Text

National WWI Memorial moves ahead with controversial Pershing Park plan

Years ago, Frank Gehry asked sculptor Sabin Howard to help him design a memorial to Dwight D. Eisenhower in Washington, D.C. Though the job didn’t pan out for “stylistic reasons,” Howard said, it planted the seed that grew his interest in creating commemorative spaces. “I proved to have too much of an opinion,” Howard told AN. “I said to Frank, ‘Look, do you want me to be your in-house sculptor or you want me to tell you what I really think?’ He goes, ‘Shoot,” and I said, “Well it looks like you designed the Natural History Museum here.” Had he taken the job, Howard would have been engulfed in what’s turned out to be a two-decade-long controversial battle to get the memorial built ahead of the 2020 Victory in Europe Day. While he didn’t end up on this monumental project in the nation's capital, he did venture into the complexities of another. This spring, the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) approved Howard’s sculptural contribution to the upcoming National WWI Memorial in Pershing Park, a 1.76-acre landscape set along Pennsylvania Avenue in D.C. Designed by Joseph Weishaar,The Weight of Sacrifice” is the result of another two-decade controversial effort to pay tribute to an often overlooked period of history. A Soldier’s Journey, Howard’s massive, 60-foot-long, 10-foot-high bronze figure sculpture, will be the centerpiece of the renovated landscape, and a major component of the project that took years for preservationists and the U.S. government to sign off on. “As an entire team, we struggled with the urban context at the beginning,” said Weishaar, who was selected for the project just a few years after graduating from the University of Arkansas’s Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design in 2013. “Where do you draw the boundaries between urban park and memorial?” This was one of the biggest questions that needed to be answered. Unlike most major war memorials in Washington, D.C., this one is not located on the National Mall, though in late 2017 it was hoping to be moved there. It’s slated for Pershing Park, steps away from the White House. Opened in May 1981, the park was an instant success, featuring a design by award-winning landscape architect M. Paul Friedberg. Among its most distinctive features is a monumental fountain that flows into a pond that becomes an ice rink every winter, protected by subtle grade changes from the surrounding hustle and bustle. In recent years, the revered landscape had begun suffering from neglect and underuse. The new plan to restore 95 percent of the protected urban park has been met with major contention, despite the efforts of Weishaar and The U.S. World War One Centennial Commission, the group created in 2012 to fundraise and lobby for the project, to respect the site’s historic legacy and help it stand out. “We want to recapture some of the energy the park had when it was first completed and then overlay this new design element of the memorial so that it won’t take away from the landscape,” Weishaar said. “If you make memorials too big and too oppressive, then that’s all anybody can focus on. They won’t sit there and eat their lunch. They’ll always feel like they have to be reverent.”
Everything visible in current renderings of the memorial is the result of several redesigns, all to make the architectural intervention smaller and smaller. Since Weishaar’s design was selected out of 360 entries in January 2016, he’s reworked the scheme to appease preservation groups as well as the CFA, National Capital Planning Commission, and the National Park Service. Though the largest addition to Pershing Park will be the memorial sculpture itself, not everyone is satisfied with the final look. Charles Birnbaum, president and CEO of The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF), has both testified before the CFA and submitted a letter to NPS about his concerns. “I’m about as glass-half-full on this as I could probably be, but I’m proud of the public process that TCLF participated in,” he told AN. “At the end of the day, it’s unfortunate that the central water feature will not remain and I still believe that having a wall of this length and height will significantly alter the visual and spatial relationship between the upper and lower plazas.” Weishaar’s plan integrates water as a focal point but has significantly reduced the size of the park's existing water feature to allow people to walk up close to the relief sculpture—a moment on the site that Howard was keen on highlighting. The story unfolds before the viewer’s eyes—a person of average height will see the knees of the figures straight on. “I want people to have a visceral reaction to this,” Howard said. “It reads like a film.” Though the sculpture seems traditional, Howard utilized a contemporary process called photogrammetry to create it. He took images with his cell phone of actors portraying scenes from wartime and then combined the individual shots to find the pattern that would create the best flow for the visual story. It took him 12 versions, done over nine months, to determine the final relief. From there, he spent 700 hours over two months drawing a detailed mock-up of the piece. “For this part, I wasn’t even sculpting,” Howard said. “I was creating a hierarchical construction, a system of design that we could break down to do the sculpture quickly.” This kind of commission, he said, is something that would have taken him 15 years to complete, but he’s been charged with doing it in four. He begins sculpting in August now that nearly all approvals have gone through, and he'll be working with the Pangolin Editions sculpture foundry in England to assemble the figure molds. “I’m trying to be as disruptive as possible,” Howard said. “I never thought my career would take this kind of turn into using tech to create classical figurative art, but I don’t think I can go back now.” As for the potential collaboration with Gehry, Howard's not sure where that journey would have taken him. In working with Weishaar, however, he's impressed himself with the lengths at which he and the design team have been willing to go to make this memorial happen.  “To me, art is not democratic,” he said. “But the park is. I was very stubborn with the sculpture design, but Joseph had to be very flexible with the landscape.” When Weishaar submitted his design for the commission, he was just 25 years old, about the average age of a soldier who fought in the war. While making his proposal, he learned more about the history of WWI than he ever did in grade school, he said. It's become his mission—and his job—to spread the word.  “Not only are we turning this park into a memorial, we’re also putting both the landscape and the war back on the map and on the minds of people.” Originally, the National WWI Memorial was supposed to be completed by November 2018 ahead of the war's centennial. Now, the project is estimated to be done in late 2021, pending fundraising. The design team will meet with the CFA again this summer to further discuss the site plan.
Placeholder Alt Text

Studio Libeskind creates outdoor installation to honor liberation of Auschwitz

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp complex, Daniel Libeskind, photographer Caryl Englander, and curator Henri Lustiger Thaler of the Amud Aish Memorial Museum have teamed up to produce a public outdoor exhibition at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oświęcim, Poland. Through the Lens of Faith will run from July 1, 2019, through October 31, 2020, and will present museum visitors with reflections—both literal and figurative—on the immensity of the Holocaust. Twenty-one ten-foot-tall steel slats will be installed along the path to the museum in an arrangement akin to prison bars or prisoners’ stripes, while the side of each monolith facing away from the path will be finished to a mirror sheen. The textural interplay is intended to reference the struggle between freedom and oppression, depicting the yearning for freedom felt by the interned. On the path-facing side, each of the panels will hold a recessed portrait, shot by Englander, of an Auschwitz survivor in their home. The photographs, taken over three years and of Jewish, Polish, and Sinti survivors, are of volunteers drawn from a network of Holocaust survivors associated with Brooklyn’s Amud Aish Memorial Museum. A darkened pane of glass inscribed with the subject’s first-person account of their internment, and retention of faith, will be lain over each photograph. Below that will be information compiled after the Holocaust on the subject’s family. “We can’t understand the millions that were murdered in the Holocaust, but we can understand one person’s story," said Daniel Libeskind in a press release. “This exhibition brings the stories of the survivors into focus, while weaving their intimate accounts into the context of the camp and contemporary life.” “The project asks an often thought of question,” explained Englander, “but never so purposefully explored in visual and discursive terms: How did a largely religious population maintain their sense of identity and culture in a Deathworld, called Auschwitz? This place was structured to disarm any form of dignity and resistance. My work is a visual testament to the absolute endurance of human courage. With each person I had the privilege to meet, I felt their resilience, their hope and their joy for life.”
Placeholder Alt Text

David Adjaye and Ron Arad revise design for the UK Holocaust Memorial

David Adjaye and Ron Arad’s design for the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre planned for London looks distinctly more understated in the most recent set of renderings released by the duo. Crafted in collaboration with landscape architecture firm Gustafson Porter + Bowman, the updated version of the memorial project was created in response to concerns from neighbors and the local Westminster City Council. Planned for a site next to the Houses of Parliament in Victoria Tower Gardens, part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the project has been highly contentious. For years, Britain’s government has been seeking a way to honor Holocaust survivors and the lives lost under Nazi persecution, but a cross-party group of Jewish leadership, as well as local residents, have been against the memorial, saying it would present an inaccurate attitude of national guilt. Still, in 2016 the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation launched an international design competition, which attracted high-profile firms and artists like Zaha Hadid Architects, Anish Kapoor, MASS Design Group, Studio Libeskind, and Allied Works. Though the jury unanimously selected Adjaye and Arad’s proposal in October 2017, the winning design was criticized from the start by the public, and even UNESCO, for its size and location. Concerns were raised over the Foundation’s plans to put the Learning Centre underground, which would disrupt the site during construction, and people feared the memorial wouldn’t be built in dialogue with the existing monuments on site or with the nearby Imperial War Museum, which has planned its own Holocaust tribute. Adjaye and Arad’s revised design features a new, single-story entrance pavilion that’s lighter, more transparent, and more in sync with the existing landscape, according to Adjaye Associates and the planning application submitted to the city this January. Its roofline has been changed to allow for better views across the entire site, which was a major change to appease critics who argued the memorial blocked sights towards Parliament. The bronze fins that signal the memorial’s presence, arguably the most striking part of the exterior design, have been subdued and pulled away from the old plane trees that surround the structure. Visitors will still be able to walk through the rows of fins and into the subterranean Learning Centre below. Overall, Adjaye and Arad’s new plan for the memorial, which is now under a public commentary period, is better integrated into the landscape of Victoria Gardens and doesn’t pose as serious a threat to the surrounding historic views or the existing native plantings. Walking from the Houses of Parliament, the grass sweeps in an upward motion towards the memorial, becoming a part of its roof. From the other side, the stark fins still seem to stand out, but maybe in the summers, when the site’s flora is in full bloom, the structure will surprise visitors who stumble upon it amongst the luscious greenery. 
Placeholder Alt Text

onePULSE Foundation announces competition for National Pulse Memorial & Museum in Orlando

Today, onePULSE Foundation announced it will hold an open two-stage international competition to design the new National Pulse Memorial & Museum in Orlando, Florida. Architects from around the world are encouraged to submit their qualifications by 3 p.m. EST on April 30, 2019. In collaboration with Dovetail Design Strategists, one of the country’s leading independent selection firms, the Foundation will pick six studios and their proposed teams by late May to create concept designs for the overall project, which will sit on the site of the PULSE nightclub and nearby properties. The original building, in which 49 members of Orlando’s LGBTQ community were killed in an early morning shooting on June 12, 2016, will be incorporated into the new memorial masterplan. Per the competition website, the “focus of the memorial will be the victims, survivors, and first responders, not the tragic event.” For Stage II of the competition, entrants will be challenged to reimagine the sacred site with a sprawling landscape and comprehensive urban design that honors the lives that were lost, while simultaneously bringing hope and joy to visitors and the families of the victims. The site will feature a new, 30,000-square-foot, “architecturally iconic” museum that will educate and address issues of tolerance, diversity, and inclusion. Outdoor space for community gathering and performances will also be woven into the new construction. An integral part of the site’s extension will be the pedestrian pathway known as Survivors' Walk. It will trace the three-block journey many victims and survivors took to the nearby Orlando Regional Medical Center that fateful summer night. The Walk will additionally stretch further north to the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, where the first community vigil was held for the tragedy three years ago. According to the Foundation, this link will further deepen the site’s connection to downtown. The six shortlisted firms will be selected by a jury of onePULSE Foundation leadership, local Orlando stakeholders, and architects Laurind H. Spear, co-founder of Arquitectonica and principal of Arquitectonica GEO, Sarah Whiting of WW Architecture, and Yolanda Daniels of studioSUMO. This September, the top concepts will be showcased at a public exhibition at the Orange County Regional Historic Center in Orlando, Florida. After a public commentary period and presentations to the jury, the winning team will be announced in late October. Each team will receive a $50,000 honorarium for meeting the Stage II requirements of the competition once the final design is chosen. The new National Pulse Memorial & Museum is slated to cost $45 million and expected to open in 2022. The memorial site will be free and open to the public year-round, seven-days-a-week, 24-hours-a-day. For more information on submitting, visit the onePULSE competition website.