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ARCHITECTURE

PLANNING

URBAN DESIGN

Garner War Memorial

Garner, North Carolina

The proposed memorial speaks to visitors through basic elements of human experience: scale, permanence, stillness, and passage of time.  The memorial is intended to be encountered at various distances through a processional sequence that slowly unveils different levels of understanding.  The focal point of the memorial is a monumental weathering steel pavilion that stands as a significant landmark in the landscape, clearly visible from the road and park entrance.  From a distance, the pavilion is striking in its context, yet enigmatic.  As visitors approach the memorial, a tree-lined sloped pathway is revealed drawing them down to an outdoor room beneath the pavilion.  Here, visitors discover the pavilion as an open box that is a window to the sky, reorienting their posture of remembrance towards the heavens.   In this outdoor room secluded from surrounding distractions, visitors are given space for stillness and reflection, encountering name plaques for each fallen soldier permanently mounted into the stone and concrete walls accompanied by historical information about each war.  Beyond this room of remembrance, there are graciously inclined steps with benches to provide a place of rest, gathering, and casual interaction.  Here, within the paving, will be etched the names of those who honored the life and memory of the fallen soldiers by supporting the erection of this memorial.  At the very top of the steps, at the level of the field, are flagpoles dedicated to each of the armed forces and for North Carolina and the United States.  Larger scale, ceremonial gatherings would be conducted here encompassing the space of the field as part of the memorial.

 

Materials for the memorial were chosen to economically convey a sense of permanence.  The retaining walls are cast-in-place concrete while all paving is permeable concrete pavers.  Benches are also concrete.  The aluminum name plates are mounted on a stone surface.  The pavilion is made of weathering steel: a highly durable, yet cost-effective, steel alloy that forms a naturally protective oxidized coating that requires no coatings or maintenance.  While durable, weathering steel is ever-changing and highly expressive of the passage of time.  This phenomena is accentuated in the design as run-off stains are captured and diverted into rills, recording the passage of water into the earth in expression and in memory of the blood of honorable men and women shed on the battlefield to defend this country.

 

 

332 St Paul Place

Suite 120

Baltimore MD . 21202

(410) 928-4056

info@livingdesignlab.com

 

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