An Inscription: The United States Fallen Heroes Memorial
Kennedale, Texas, 2010
In order to establish an environment of distinction, this scheme adopts a metaphor describing two ribbons which part the landscape to inscribe a new ground. The memorial is conceived as a pair of radiating, ribbon-like walls which carve a continuous ring of space from the landscape to offer a setting for the commemoration of the women and men who have died in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The walls, representing distinct but related conflicts, are lined with white granite niches which individually memorialize each of the fallen.
The memorial is ordered by regions of the United States; five zones representing the Northeast, Southeast, Central, Southwest, and West regions of the US have uniquely dedicated entrances, reflection pools, and overlook points. The ring of flags that surrounds the memorial abides by the same organizational strategy, thereby acting as a way-finding device for visitors entering the site. The plan-figures of the undulating walls sponsor multiple spatial scales, enabling visitors to engage the niches privately within the intimate setting of an individual alcove, while also providing larger, collective spaces for memorial ceremonies. The plan-configuration which is radially-organized anticipates the necessity to extend the lengths of the rays allowing individual granite niches to be added to the memorial as the number of casualties continues to rise. When the conflicts end, the memorial will provide a permanent symbol of the fallen through rays of varying lengths.
George X. Lin