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Monuments And Memorials: The Latest Architecture and News

Memorial To Victims Of Violence / Gaeta-Springall Arquitectos

16:42 - 7 April, 2019
Memorial To Victims Of Violence / Gaeta-Springall Arquitectos, Courtesy of GAETA-SPRINGALL arquitectos
Courtesy of GAETA-SPRINGALL arquitectos

Courtesy of GAETA-SPRINGALL arquitectos Courtesy of GAETA-SPRINGALL arquitectos Courtesy of GAETA-SPRINGALL arquitectos Courtesy of GAETA-SPRINGALL arquitectos + 17

How Will Future Generations Respond to Modern-Day Memorial Architecture?

09:30 - 27 July, 2018
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe / Peter Eisenman. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/dalbera/9617851018/'>Flickr user Jean-Pierre Dalbéra</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe / Peter Eisenman. Image © Flickr user Jean-Pierre Dalbéra licensed under CC BY 2.0

Graveyards full of names that have long been forgotten, plaques etched with portraits that you ignore on your morning jog, monuments with friezes that depict the triumphs of war—all these are examples of memorial architecture, which once held intense emotional meaning for certain individuals or groups of people, but have now gradually become tourist attractions or anachronistic sites within a changed landscape.

Since the horrors of World War II memorial architecture has changed drastically, from monuments focusing on names, heroes, and patriotism to abstract symbols of mourning and loss. How will this shift in the design of memorials change the way we experience them in the present and, more importantly, in the future? When generations pass away and the memorialized event becomes almost forgotten, how will we experience and remember?

The Failed Mexican Earthquake Memorial That Shows Protest Can Still Shape the Urban Environment

09:30 - 25 July, 2018
The proposed memorial to earthquake victims in Mexico City met with fierce resistance from residents who felt authorities had not done enough for the people left homeless by the tragedy. Image via Common Edge
The proposed memorial to earthquake victims in Mexico City met with fierce resistance from residents who felt authorities had not done enough for the people left homeless by the tragedy. Image via Common Edge

This article was originally published by Common Edge as "Letter From Mexico City: An Insidious Memorial to a Still-Unfolding Tragedy."

You wouldn’t think it looking at Mexico City today—a densely populated metropolis, where empty space is hard to come by—but decades earlier, following a devastating earthquake on September 19, 1985, more than 400 buildings collapsed, leaving a collection of open wounds spread over the cityscape.

Exactly thirty-two years later, the anniversary of that disaster was ominously commemorated with an emergency evacuation drill. Then, in one of those odd occurrences in which reality proves to be stranger than fiction, a sudden jolt scarcely two hours after the drill led to what would be yet another of the deadliest earthquakes in the city’s history. Buildings once again collapsed, leaving a rising-by-the-hour death toll that eventually reached 361, as well as swarms of bewildered citizens wandering the streets, frantically attempting to reach their loved ones through the weakened cell phone reception. “We’d just evacuated for the drill,” people said, like a collective mantra. “How could this happen again?”

MASS Design Group’s Poignant Memorial for Victims of Lynching Opens to the Public in Alabama

14:00 - 8 May, 2018
MASS Design Group’s Poignant Memorial for Victims of Lynching Opens to the Public in Alabama, Corridor at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice. Image © Equal Justice Initiative / Human Pictures
Corridor at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice. Image © Equal Justice Initiative / Human Pictures

The "National Memorial for Peace and Justice," designed in collaboration with MASS Design Group, has opened in Montogomery Alabama. Commissioned by the Equal Justice Initiative, the scheme is America’s first memorial dedicated to “the legacy of enslaved black people, people terrorized by lynching, African Americans humiliated by racial segregation and Jim Crow, and people of color burdened with contemporary presumptions of guilt and police violence.”

The memorial's April 23rd opening coincided with the opening of the Equal Justice Initiative's Legacy Museum, addressing similar injustices.

Memorial Monuments at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice. Image © Equal Justice Initiative / Human Pictures Hank Willis Sculpture at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice. Image © Equal Justice Initiative / Human Pictures Exterior of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice. Image © Equal Justice Initiative / Human Pictures Kwame Akoto Bamfo Exhibit at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice. Image © Equal Justice Initiative / Human Pictures + 9

Why We Shouldn't Build a Memorial for the Grenfell Fire—Not Yet At Least

04:00 - 18 April, 2018
Why We Shouldn't Build a Memorial for the Grenfell Fire—Not Yet At Least , The burned remains of Grenfell Tower in London. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/londonmatt/35651730645'>Flickr user londonmatt</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>
The burned remains of Grenfell Tower in London. Image © Flickr user londonmatt licensed under CC BY 2.0

This article was originally published by Common Edge as "Why the Best Response to the Grenfell Tower Fire Isn’t a Memorial."

Memorials play an integral role in marking significant people, moments, or events. In recent years, they have become glorifications of tragedy by attempting to express unimaginable horrors in poetic and beautiful ways. The issue with the many forms that memorials take is that they seek to placate the immediate reaction and hurt of an event, an understandable societal reaction, but one that often feels rote and hallow.

But what if memorials sought to preserve the memory of those affected by offering a solution that addressed how the tragedy occurred? The international response to tragedy has, by default, become to install a statue, build a wall, create a healing water feature, erect an aspirational sculptural object, or simply rename a park. None of these responses are inherently bad—they’re usually well-meaning and on occasion quite moving—but there is another approach available to us: changing the public perception of memorials by looking at them through the lens of solutions, encouraging people to think of them as a testament or proper response to tragedy, not just a plaque that over time goes unnoticed. While this approach might be difficult in some instances, the case of Grenfell Tower fire in London presents a rather obvious solution.

Snøhetta and Local Studio Unveil Wooden Archway Honoring Archbishop Desmond Tutu in South Africa

12:00 - 8 March, 2018
Snøhetta and Local Studio Unveil Wooden Archway Honoring Archbishop Desmond Tutu in South Africa, Sited between South Africa’s National Parliament and St. George’s Cathedral, the seat of the Archbishop of Cape Town, the Arch frames the public entrance to a landscaped promenade known as the Company’s Garden, which boasts many of the city’s cultural institutions. Image © David Southwood
Sited between South Africa’s National Parliament and St. George’s Cathedral, the seat of the Archbishop of Cape Town, the Arch frames the public entrance to a landscaped promenade known as the Company’s Garden, which boasts many of the city’s cultural institutions. Image © David Southwood

The Arch for Arch, an intertwined wooden archway honoring Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, has debuted in downtown Cape Town, South Africa on a site near Parliament where Tutu held many of his anti-Apartheid protests.

Designed by Snøhetta and Johannesburg-based Local Studio, in collaboration with Design Indaba and Hatch engineers, the Arch for Arch consists of 14 woven strands of Larch wood, representing the 14 chapters of South Africa’s constitution. Reaching nearly 30 feet tall (9 meters), the structure invite visitors to pass through and be reminded of the location’s prominent role in their country’s history on their way to the Company’s Garden, one of the most popular public spaces in the city since its establishment in 1652.

© David Southwood © David Southwood Pictured at far right: Archbishop Desmond Tutu at the 2017 Design Indaba Conference, where the design was first unveiled. Image Courtesy of Design Indaba The Arch is formed of 14 strands of Siberian Larch wood, a highly durable and resistant material that will weather gracefully over time, taking on the elements of its surroundings. The warmth of wood was intentionally selected to lend the Arch an intimate, tactile quality, that invites people to interact with the structure in a way that differs from the conventional materials people might expect for a memorial structure, such as concrete, steel, or stone. Image © David Southwood + 13

Construction Begins on Frank Gehry's Eisenhower Memorial in Washington DC

15:06 - 3 November, 2017
Construction Begins on Frank Gehry's Eisenhower Memorial in Washington DC, © Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission
© Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission

The Frank Gehry-designed Eisenhower Memorial has finally broken ground in Washington DC following a tumultuous years-long approval process.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held yesterday at the National Mall site, located at the intersection of Maryland and Independence Avenues and across from the National Air and Space Museum.

© Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission © Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission © Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission © Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission + 4

Studio Libeskind's Canadian National Holocaust Monument Opens in Ottawa

14:00 - 3 October, 2017
Studio Libeskind's Canadian National Holocaust Monument Opens in Ottawa, © Doublespace. Courtesy of Studio Libeskind
© Doublespace. Courtesy of Studio Libeskind

The Studio Libeskind-designed Canadian National Holocaust Monument has opened to the public in Ottawa, honoring “the millions of innocent men, women and children who were murdered under the Nazi regime and recognize those survivors who were able to eventually make Canada their home.”

Located on a .79 acre site across from the Canadian War museum, the cast-in-place concrete monument evokes the form of the 6-pointed star of David, deconstructed to create an “experiential environment” laced with symbolism throughout.

© Doublespace. Courtesy of Studio Libeskind © Doublespace. Courtesy of Studio Libeskind © Doublespace. Courtesy of Studio Libeskind © Doublespace. Courtesy of Studio Libeskind + 4

Georgia's Soviet Architectural Heritage Captured by Photographers Roberto Conte and Stefano Perego

09:30 - 21 September, 2017
Tbilisi. The Palace of Ceremonies/Rituals, by Victor Djorbenadze (1984-1985). Image © Roberto Conte
Tbilisi. The Palace of Ceremonies/Rituals, by Victor Djorbenadze (1984-1985). Image © Roberto Conte

The Republic of Georgia’s past is defined by turbulence and a struggle for identity. A former republic of the USSR, Georgia is perhaps best known as the birthplace of Joseph Stalin. The nation's history has been anything but calm, and remnants of the architectural past provide a glimpse into the nation that was.

The country's remaining Soviet landmarks give Georgia an air of being caught between the past and the present. Italian photographers Roberto Conte and Stefano Perego capture this in their photo series, Soviet Architecture Heritage in Georgia, with a compilation of photos that highlights the existing Soviet heritage in Georgian architecture today.

Tbilisi. Archaeological Museum (1988). Image © Stefano Perego Zhinvali. Aragveli monument. Image © Stefano Perego Tbilisi. Technical Library, by G. Bichiasshvili (1985). Image © Roberto Conte Tbilisi. The Palace of Ceremonies/Rituals, by Victor Djorbenadze (1984-1985). Image © Roberto Conte + 12

AD Classics: Al Shaheed Monument / Saman Kamal

04:00 - 11 August, 2017
AD Classics: Al Shaheed Monument / Saman Kamal, © Steve McCurry
© Steve McCurry

It is difficult to imagine how the serene curves of the Al Shaheed Monument, reflected in a glimmering lake in the ancient city of Baghdad, could have been built in a time of conflict and genocide. Commissioned by Saddam Hussein’s regime as a memorial for the fallen soldiers in the Iraq-Iran War of the 1980s, this graceful structure exudes a quiet beauty that belies the turmoil of its birth.

8 Models of Memorial Architecture from Different Cultures

09:30 - 5 May, 2017
8 Models of Memorial Architecture from Different Cultures

In most architecture projects, the input of the end user of the space is an important consideration; but what if those users are no longer living? Memorial architecture for the dead is a uniquely emotional type of design and often reveals much about a certain culture or group of people. Especially in the case of ancient tombs, archaeologists can learn about past societies’ customs and beliefs by examining their burial spaces. The personal nature of funerary spaces and monuments conveys a sense of importance and gravity to viewers and visitors, even centuries after the memorials were created.

The list of 3D models that follow, supplied by our friends at Sketchfab, explores memorial spaces and artifacts that span both space and time, representing a variety of cultures and civilizations.

This Campaign Envisions a Three-Storey Lightning Bolt in Honour of David Bowie

08:00 - 2 March, 2017
This Campaign Envisions a Three-Storey Lightning Bolt in Honour of David Bowie

A year since the passing of David Bowie, one of music and pop culture’s greatest icons, fans have launched a fundraising campaign to support the erection of a permanent memorial statue in London, in honor of the late musician.

“We’re taking the lightning flash from the cover of Aladdin Sane, and turning it into a three-storey tall sculpture,” explains Charlie Waterhouse of This Ain’t Rock ‘n’ Roll, one of the organizations behind the campaign, working in conjunction with David Bowie’s team.

10 Shortlisted Designs for London Holocaust Memorial Revealed

09:45 - 27 January, 2017
10 Shortlisted Designs for London Holocaust Memorial Revealed

The UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation and Malcolm Reading Consultants have revealed the designs of 10 teams shortlisted to design a new Holocaust Memorial, to be located in London's Victoria Tower Gardens next to the Houses of Parliament. After a call for expressions of interest was launched in September, 10 star-studded teams were selected in November and invited to submit their designs for an "emotionally powerful and sensitively designed memorial."

With the designs now revealed to the public, competition organizer Malcolm Reading Consultants and the government-led Memorial Foundation are now consulting with the public and are inviting people to submit feedback about the designs here. The feedback received in this consultation period "will play a crucial role in informing the jury’s final decision on the memorial," they explained in a press release. Read on to see all 10 shortlisted designs.

AD Classics: Roman Pantheon / Emperor Hadrian

04:00 - 26 December, 2016
AD Classics: Roman Pantheon / Emperor Hadrian, Courtesy of Flickr user Phil Whitehouse (licensed under CC BY 2.0)
Courtesy of Flickr user Phil Whitehouse (licensed under CC BY 2.0)

Locked within Rome’s labyrinthine maze of narrow streets stands one of the most renowned buildings in the history of architecture. Built at the height of the Roman Empire’s power and wealth, the Roman Pantheon has been both lauded and studied for both the immensity of its dome and its celestial geometry for over two millennia. During this time it has been the subject of countless imitations and references as the enduring architectural legacy of one of the world’s most influential epochs.

The coffers in the Pantheon’s dome, aside from their aesthetic qualities, serve to reduce the weight of the dome on the support structure below. ImageCourtesy of Flickr user Michael Vadon under CC BY 2.0 Courtesy of Flickr user Michael Johnson (licensed under CC BY 2.0) The interior of the Pantheon contains a perfectly spherical volume – a cosmic symbol which triumphantly asserted the authority and might of the Roman Empire. ImageDrawing by Francesco Piraneni. Via Wikimedia user Bkmd under Public Domain Although the original Pantheon built by Marcus Agrippa burned down after his death, Hadrian ordered that its replacement bear an inscription stating that Agrippa had built it as a tribute to his predecessors. ImageCourtesy of Flickr user Michael Johnson under CC BY 2.0 + 16

Studio Libeskind Reveals Plans for Holocaust Monument of Names in Amsterdam

12:00 - 21 December, 2016
Studio Libeskind Reveals Plans for Holocaust Monument of Names in Amsterdam, Courtesy of Studio Libeskind
Courtesy of Studio Libeskind

Studio Libeskind and the Dutch Auschwitz Committee have revealed plans for the Holocaust Monument of Names, to be located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Jewish Cultural District. Incorporating the letters of the Hebrew word לזכר (meaning “In Memory of”), the memorial will be the first to memorialize the names of all 102,000 Dutch victims of the Holocaust.

Courtesy of Studio Libeskind Courtesy of Studio Libeskind Courtesy of Studio Libeskind Courtesy of Studio Libeskind + 7

9/11 Memorial Visions: Innovative Concepts from the 2003 World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition

04:30 - 26 September, 2016
9/11 Memorial Visions: Innovative Concepts from the 2003 World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition

More than a billion people watched the 9/11 World Trade Center destruction unfold on television, making it the greatest shared event in world history. Reflecting this fact, the 2003 World Trade Center Memorial Design Competition was open to anyone, drawing 5,201 entries from 60 countries, all of which were posted online.

Frank Gehry's Eisenhower Memorial One Step Closer to Realization After Finally Receiving Family Support

15:45 - 20 September, 2016
Frank Gehry's Eisenhower Memorial One Step Closer to Realization After Finally Receiving Family Support, Rendering from the memorial's most recent iteration. Image © Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission
Rendering from the memorial's most recent iteration. Image © Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission

After years of steadfast disapproval of the proposed design for the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial in Washington, D.C., the Eisenhower family has finally voiced their support for the Frank Gehry designed park and monument – once a few more minor changes are made.

The 15-year-long process has already seen a multitude of design tweaks and revisions, but it appeared to have been decisively green-lit last summer following final approval by the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC). In the past year, however, the project has once again stalled, as the Eisenhower Memorial Commission has struggled to find private donors following the withdrawal of congressional funding for the project in 2013.

Zeller & Moye Wins Competition to Design Martin Luther Memorial in Berlin

12:13 - 4 July, 2016
Zeller & Moye Wins Competition to Design Martin Luther Memorial in Berlin, © Zeller & Moye
© Zeller & Moye

Zeller & Moye, working alongside artist Albert Weis, have been selected to design the new Martin Luther Memorial in Berlin. The competition, initiated by the Protestant Church of Berlin and the Berlin City Administration, asked entrants to design a memorial to Luther in central Berlin at the former Neuer Markt next to the St. Marienkirche—in the same location as a previous memorial to Martin Luther that was constructed in 1895 and destroyed in the Second World War. The brief also required designers to incorporate the existing statue of Martin Luther that survived from the earlier memorial.

In response to this brief, Zeller & Moye has envisaged a memorial based on the mirroring of the 1895 memorial: a negative form of the original plinth is carved into the ground in medium-gray concrete, while the statue of Luther is joined by a second, slightly abstracted replica, cast in aluminium with a mirrored finish.