On Thursday, the National Park Service (NPS), National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC), and Van Alen Institute announced the winner of the five-month-long Memorials for the Future contest. Drum roll please? The winners are Bay Area-based landscape architects Erik Jensen and Rebecca Sunter with their concept, Climate Chronograph.
The purpose of the competition was to reimagine what a Washington, D.C. memorial can look like. In a press release, the winning concept was described as "forward-looking" due to its ability to make climate change a "tangible, personal experience." The concept looks through a kayaker’s perspective that is able to view the ocean’s rising sea levels.
In a statement, Van Alen Institute Executive Director David van der Leer said, "The finalist concepts allow us to think outside the often-fixed nature of memorial design, looking beyond solemn marble statues of uniformed men on horseback, and envisioning emotionally resonant memorials open to varied interpretations."
In order to showcase the winner and the finalists, there will be a free public exhibition showcasing them at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ Hall of Nations. The showcase will run through October 20. The public will also be able to see the finalists presents their proposals at the National Capital Planning Commission meeting today at 1 p.m. with this live stream.
The four finalists were announced in June 2016. If interested in giving them a look, head over to this Curbed article. These finalists were awarded with honorable mentions.
The jury for the competition included: National Capital Planning Commission Executive Director Marcel Acosta; Jaklitsch/Gardner Architects Principal Mark Gardner; Van Alen Institute Executive Director David van der Leer; U.S. Commission of Fine Arts Commission Secretary Thomas Luebke; Marvel Architects Principal and Founder Jonathan Marvel; NAMES Project Foundation President and CEO Julie Rhoad; Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter; University of Pittsburgh Professor of History, Art, and Architecture Kirk Savage; National Endowment for the Arts Director of Design Programs Jason Schupbach; D.C. Office of Planning Director Eric D. Shaw; and National Park Service Superintendent of National Mall and Memorial Parks Gay Vietzke.