Above, Around, Under, 2015 (A lost competition entry)
Frequently described as one of Modernity’s principal ushers, the First World War introduced a new kind of global conflict whose throes manifested atmospherically and subatomically. New methods of combat brought the fight into the air (gas); into the sky (planes); and below the ocean’s surface (submarines). Once a planar antagonism, war became a multi-dimensional proliferation at every scale. Indirectly, war became entangled in the gaseous, amorphous clouds of capitalism and culture. In the United States, this marked a deep conflagration of business and politics as the new War Industries Board bound raw materials and military into a hybrid whole that would restructure global economies.
Above, Around, Under monumentalizes World War I’s unique atmospheric conditions both as experience and material. The memorial is organized in three parts: the gaseous envelope, a cloudlike set of domes; the airwalk, a perforated cantilevered platform above a narrow pool; and below deck; a compressed space under the airwalk with a reflective canopy. It cuts diagonally across the site, bridging President’s Park with the existing Pershing Memorial. The proposed memorial is clad in the same materials that during wartime transformed the American economy: rubber, concrete, iron, copper, and zinc. Each of these industries was affected in profoundly different ways, and suggest the impact of a distal war on the local homefront. This material language - patinated metal, dull rubber, reflective ceilings, perforated surfaces - together structures a series of sensorial environments that depict the sublimity of modern warfare’s multivalent and affective atmospheres.
Site Plan (above)
Ceiling plan (above)