- Title: USA-MEMORIAL/DESIGN CONTEST Finalists announced in WWI memorial design contest
- Date: 19th August 2015
- Summary: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES (AUGUST 19, 2015) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) EDWIN FOUNTAIN, VICE CHAIRMAN OF THE WORLD WAR ONE CENTENNIAL COMMISSION, SAYING: "Given the complexity of this, we wanted really to get as broad -- as large a number of concepts to consider as we could. We also felt that this is ultimately a public memorial and that it ought to be a public design process. And so we certainly did remember the Vietnam Memorial experience, where an undergraduate student won the, won the design and that was a great story and we wanted to create the possibility for that to happen. We also made it international given the international character of the event. And in Europe still today, there's still tremendous gratitude for the role America played in the war, and we wanted to give citizens of other countries an opportunity to, to express their gratitude by participating in the competition." TOURIST LOOKING AT WORLD WAR ONE SIGN SAYING, "THAT'S COOL" PAN SHOT TO WORLD WAR ONE MAP CALLED "THE WESTERN FRONT" TIGHT SHOT MAP VARIOUS OF "PERSHING PARK" SIGN PAN SHOT OF PARK EMPTY PICNIC TABLES WOMAN SITTING AT PICNIC TABLE WIDE SHOT PEOPLE SITTING IN PARK TIGHT SHOT WOMEN SITTING AT PICNIC TABLE WIDE SHOT PARK VARIOUS OF SHRUBS AND TREES PEOPLE WALKING OUTSIDE PARK IN VIEW OF U.S. CAPITOL
- Embargoed: 3rd September 2015 13:00
- Topics: General
- Reuters ID: LVA4B72MCI3EZ4RHISDQI70US7TV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The search for a new World War One memorial design in Washington, D.C., was narrowed to five finalists on Wednesday (August 19).
The U.S. World War One Centennial Commission made their announcement after wading through more than 350 submissions from 31 countries.
"I think most Americans don't realize that we lost more soldiers in World War One than than we did in Korea and Vietnam combined, yet we have national memorials to those wars on the Mall and there's none in Washington to World War One," said the organization's vice chairman, Edwin Fountain.
Standing at the proposed site for the project in Pershing Park, situated between the National Mall and U.S. capitol, he said the competition posed a particular challenge to the designers.
"This is a different kind of project. We are not on the Mall, and unlike sites on the Mall -- all those memorials have to do is be a memorial -- this memorial has to serve as both a fitting memorial to our World War One generation but also as a living, breathing urban park," he said.
The space is already home to a giant statue of John J. Pershing, leader of the American Expeditionary Force during World War One.
However, the rest of the park sits mostly empty, ever since a central basin that once served as a swimming pool in summer and ice skating rink in winter was closed.
Now, by injecting new life into the area, the World War One Centennial Commission hopes to also give visitors a chance to reflect on a war that killed more than 17 million people, including 116,516 Americans.
It also brought down empires and redrew national lines.
Fountain said that the memorial design competition was opened to foreigners in part because of the "tremendous gratitude for the role America played in the war." The U.S. entered the conflict, which lasted from 1914 to 1918, on April 7, 1917.
In addition, both professionals and non-professionals were encouraged to submit their ideas.
"We certainly did remember the Vietnam Memorial experience, where an undergraduate student won the design and that was a great story," he said.
"We wanted to create the possibility for that to happen."
The finalists include: "Plaza to the Forgotten War," submitted by Andrew Cesarz, Johnsen Schmaling Architects; "World War One Memorial Concept" by Devin Kimmel; "The Weight of Sacrifice" by Joseph Weishaar; "An American Family Portrait Wall in the Park" by Luis Collado, Jose Luis de la Fuente, Jose Luis Perez-Griffo, Ignacio Espigares, Marta Bueno, and Shoko Nakamura of STL Architects; and "Heroes' Green" by Maria Counts.
Their ideas ranged from blending old family portraits into the landscape to illuminating bronze markers and planting 116 Ginkgo trees to represent the U.S. dead.
All the finalists are American and will now compete in the second and final round of the competition.
The World War One Commission expects to announce the winning design by 2016.
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