Location: Washington DC., USA
Program: Monument, Park, Pavilion
Client: The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission
Area: 1.8 acre
Built Area: 12,000 m2
Research area: Tall Wood Structure
Migrating Landscapes of War
Our architecture pays tribute to the 26,277 Americans who sacrificed their lives during Meuse-Argonne Offensive. It remembers their braveness, mourns for their everlasting absence and celebrates the life they gave the rest of us who lived and believed in changing the world for the better.
The landscape is a sculptural incarnation of Meuse-Argonne Offensive battlefield. The offensive’s front line map is then projected onto the fluid landscape to form pathways and trenches for people to follow, to witness and to remember.
The project embraces 26,277 gardens and 26,277 lights. The gardens are filled with the soil brought from the battlefield and planted with red flowers.
The gardens are connected through narrow, and at points, steep and uneasy curbs. Conscious of every step, one wonders between the gardens as did a soldier in the battlefield, awake in all senses.
At night the landscape finds a new spirit, serene yet epic. It blends with the sky as did the souls of who we lost in the war. A vibrant and inviting civic park the project relates to its surroundings while finding a unique identity required by its intentions and ambition. It offers a new aperture to perceive its context.
Pershing Park is the site for a national World War I Memorial in Washington, DC. It is a 1.8 acre parcel bounded by Pennsylvania Avenue NW on the Pershing Park over-head north, 15th Street NW on the west, E Street NW on the south and 14th Street NW on the east.
In its current configuration, Pershing Park is an urban open space that contains commemorative elements as a secondary feature. While the memorial to General Pershing is a contributing element within the Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site, the memorial function of Pershing Park as presently designed is diminished because the Pershing commemorative elements, including a 12-foot bronze statue of General Pershing and adjacent granite walls inscribed with maps and text, are located in a small corner of the site; are not well-integrated into the rest of the park; and do not focus on the service and sacrifice of American servicemen and women in the war.