Pentagon Memorial

This memorial intends to address loss as both an individual experience and as a collective reality. To accomplish this, one hundred eighty four individual memorials totaling the number of victims of the attack will be dispersed throughout the world and one collective memorial will remain on the Pentagon site.

Recognizing that “loss is inseparable from what remains and that what is lost is known only by what remains of it,” the collective memorial stands in contrast to the seamless renovation of the Pentagon in which the physical void created by the attack was filled within a year’s time. Given that each void in the collective memorial stands in place of an absent individual memorial, a visitor is left with the indelible impression that the events of 9/11 reach far beyond the Pentagon site. It is important that the collective memorial left on the site is incomplete and cannot be put back together by any intuitive process.

Physically the individual memorials represent the positive form of a subtraction from the collective memorial. They link together in complex ways, sharing volume as they overlap, making specific niches in the wall. The subtractive interaction between them results in unique forms representative of the victim’s individuality and of the inevitable convergence of personal loss experienced by the victim’s friends and families. Each victim’s family will receive a unique piece and each will have a different way of expressing the memory of their loved one. Some of the memorials will find a home within the intimate setting of a garden or yard while others will be located in more public contexts like town squares and urban centers. They can be inscribed with the family name, a favorite quote, or a meaningful image. They may be left anonymously in a field, by the shore, or in the woods. We cannot be prescriptive, but only inspired and taught by the many different ways that these memorials will be interpreted.

This memorial intends to address loss as both an individual experience and as a collective reality. To accomplish this, one hundred eighty four individual memorials totalling the number of victims of the attack will be dispersed throughout the world and one collective memorial will remain on the Pentagon site.

Project News

“Process and Individuation: Designing for controlled indeterminacy” at ACADIA

Shane Williamson, "Process and Individuation: Designing for controlled indeterminacy" In Connecting: Crossroads of Digital Discourse, Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Association for Computer-Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA). Edited by Kevin Klinger. Mansfield, OH: Bookmasters Inc., 2003. 29-36.

Pentagon Memorial published in Competitions Magazine

Frimmel Smith, "Remembrance as a Family Affair: The Pentagon Memorial Competition," Competitions Magazine; vol. 13, no. 2, Summer 2003, 48-61.

Pentagon Memorial exhibited at the Urban Center Gallery

The six finalists’ projects in the Pentagon Memorial Competition are currently on exhibition at the Urban Center Gallery in New York. The show is sponsored by the Municipal Art Society of New York and is held in conjunction with a public lecture and symposium moderated by Terrence Riley and Reed Kroloff.

Pentagon Memorial profiled in Architectural Record

Sokol, David. “Pentagon Memorial Competition Winner to be Named Soon.” Architectural Record, February 2003, 54.

Pentagon Memorial published in National Post

Lianne George, "They Didn't Want Angels," National Post Canada, January 13, 2003; AL1, AL4.

Pentagon Memorial published in New York Times

Fred Bernstein, "At the Pentagon, Visions of 184 Pieces for the Missing," New York Times, December 22, 2002; p. 43.

Pentagon Memorial published in Savannah Morning News

Jennifer Rose Marino, "Building Solace," Savannah Morning News, November 7, 2002.

Pentagon Memorial published in The Globe and Mail

Lisa Rochon, "The Architecture of Grief," The Globe and Mail, November 2, 2002; R13-14.

Pentagon Memorial exhibited at the National Building Museum

“Pentagon Memorial Competition – Stage One Entry Display” opens on October 30 at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC. More than 80 of the 1200 entries submitted to the competition are on display at the Museum and the proposals by the six finalists will be featured. The exhibition runs through November 9, 2002.

Pentagon Memorial published in Toronto Star

Jim Wilkes, "Remembrance Given Solid Form," Toronto Star, October 22, 2002; B3.

Pentagon Memorial published in National Post

Tom Blackwell, "U of T Profs Finalists for 9/11 Monument," National Post Canada, October 21, 2002; A1-2.

Pentagon Memorial profiled in Architecture

Cramer, Ned. “News.” Architecture Magazine, vol. 90, no. 9, September 2002, 17.

Pentagon Memorial Competition Finalist

WILLIAMSONWILLIAMSON are finalists in The Pentagon Memorial Competition, a two-stage, open international design competition for a memorial to the victims of the September 11, 2001 attack on the Pentagon in Arlington, VA.  More than 1,200 architects, artists, designers, school children, and members of the general public from around the world submitted concepts for consideration. Six finalists were chosen by a jury chaired by Reed Kroloff and Mark Robbins and including Terry Riley, Mary Miss, Walter Hood, and Gregg Pasquarelli.

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