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Heroes' Green

Counts Studio

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Project Description

Heroes' Green seamlessly blends memorial, park, and garden into a new type of public space. A highly integrated composition of topography, paths, walls, and plants create a landscape of dynamic views, distinguished prospects, shaded valleys, and woodland glens. 

Five 30- to 40-foot wide arcing, pre-aged copper walls embedded in monolithic earthworks render historic imagery through digitally perforated Ben-Day holes. These abstracted life-size images are woven into the landscape and become moments of reflection, while recognizing the diversity and scale of American contributions and sacrifices in the War. 

The Memorial Tree Garden is comprised of 116 Ginkgo trees planted within a sculptural composition of earthworks and meandering paths. The 116 trees give physical scale to the 116,516 American servicemen lost, while the landforms reference the iconic landscape of trenches and craters. 

Washington Monument Prospect, located in the northwest corner of the garden, rises 15 feet in elevation to create a symbolic gesture and elevated views towards the Washington Monument. Soldier's Glen is an elevated hillside landscape of native woodland plants and sweeping views, punctuated by 16 stately Tulip Poplar canopy trees that reference the total number of lives lost in one million per tree. The resulting grove of trees shades Doughboy Plaza, the symbolic heart of Heroes' Green. 

Dramatically sculpted image walls, a civic amphitheater, the Capitol Promenade, and robust topography shape this civic gathering space and place of remembrance. The Pershing Statue and walls are relocated at the plaza's south entrance where he faces east towards Pershing Lawn, the Capitol Building, and the rising sun. 

This entry is one of five finalists in the WWI Memorial Design Competition announced on Aug. 19, 2015. Read more about the competition here.
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