Kiwi designer a finalist in Pentagon Memorial Comp
18 October 2002
NEWS FROM LINCOLN UNIVERSITY
- for immediate use
Kiwi designer a finalist in world Pentagon Memorial competition
The creativity of a Kiwi could become part of American history as the United States settles on plans for a national memorial at the Pentagon in honour of those killed in the terrorist attack of 11 September 2001.
Lincoln University landscape architecture lecturer Dr Jacky Bowring is a member of a design team selected among six finalists in the Pentagon Memorial International Design Competition which drew 1100 entries worldwide.
Dr Bowring collaborated with an Australian design practice, Room 4.1.3., and their entry was called Pentagon Square: An American Elysium - 184 Black Box Life Recorders
Stage I of the competition, from which the team won their way into the final six, involved submitting a diagrammatic sheet explaining their proposal.
“Our concept is based on the symbol of the ‘black box flight recorder’ and our preliminary design is for there to be 184 ‘black boxes’ - one for each of the victims - in the form of illuminated wells of water. The names of the individual victims will be reflected upwards through the water from submerged mirrors. The boxes will be coloured orange because that is in fact the colour of aircraft ‘black’ boxes.
“Being reflected through the water the names will have the appearance of floating in space and surrounded by sky,” says Dr Bowring.
Other members of the team are the Design Director of Room 4.1.3., Associate Professor Richard Weller of the University of Western Australia, and Australian set designer Peter England, well known for his work on the opening ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
“The proposed memorial must bear witness to the raw emotion of the events of 11 September yet allow peaceful contemplation of the loss of innocent lives,” says Assoc. Prof. Weller. “Our ‘Black Box Life Recorders’ plan memorialises the life of each individual victim.”
The six finalists have now been given a grant of $(US)20,000 each to advance their designs to the development stage, from which one overall winner will be selected.
This coming week (w/c 21 October) Dr Bowring travels to Washington to meet the families of some of the victims as a step towards work on the next stage of the team’s “Black Box Life Recorder” proposal.
She has already spoken on the phone to Pentagon officials and understands that designers from the other five finalist teams will also be visiting the city.
The competition, organised by the US Army Corps of Engineers, closed on 11 September. Dr Bowring and the team of which she is a member started work on their entry in August.
Dr Bowring, who was New Zealand’s first doctoral graduate in landscape architecture, has developed a small specialisation in memorial type work. In the United Kingdom in the 1990s she was successful in a number of cemetery design competitions and, closer to home, in 2000 she won the Cavalier Bremworth national design award for an Otira Road Workers’ Memorial.
Ian Collins, Journalist, Lincoln University, Canterbury
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