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World War One Memorial Concept

Kimmel Studio

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One of the five finalists in the National World War One Memorial design competition. The World War One Centennial Commission announced the five finalists on Aug. 19, 2015.

Project Description


The style of the monument is inspired by the time of the Great War. The general layout is based on an ellipse with the main sacred space at the center, the relocated Pershing Memorial in the east, a new monument to the calvary horse in the west, and an urban picnic and family area to the north. The prominent Victory Tower is planted on a centralized, raised bluff and set back from the street in a beautiful garden park setting. From Pennsylvania Avenue it appears that the tower is the destination. However, once in the site the visitor immediately begins to descend into the heart of the monument. As the visitor moves down, the walls move up and in. The noise of the street gradually dissipates. Once in the monument's most sacred space, a still black pool of water seeps from within the rusticated stone base of the tower above. It becomes evident that the visitor is no longer in the realm of the street and of the smooth cut marble of the Victory Tower. They are in a space of in-between, caught for a moment between life and afterlife. This is the Grotto of Remembrance. It is within this grotto that the stones seems to morph into a natural form as thought this is where life joins nature. At the grotto's entrance burns and eternal flame signifying the lives given in the Great War.
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