pentagon memorial

… every bit of mortal go the same place … all happen as of the dust … and to dust all return …

Contemplation is the whole matter of The Pentagon Memorial. As been said in the term of reference, this memorial would be a solace, healing and peaceful place for visitors, especially family members, to think over the meaning of the tragedy. To help the family members healing their wound of loosing people their loved and to erase the hatred and anger inside their heart, we would like to ask them, including visitors, to contemplate the meaning of let go.

… and nothing lasts forever everything in the universe will die and there is nothing essentially exist everything can be divided into pieces and pieces into other pieces
(Zen principles)

Nothing in this world lasts forever; the only thing that stays is change. In order to understand the word let go we quoted one phrase, which universally understood for people who has religion and believe. DUST-TO-DUST is a very familiar phrase, which often said when someone dies. These words will remind us that every human created from soil and when he/she dies, will become soil again.

This phrase is the concept of our design. This concept is present to make the family members realize that eventually very person will die on unexpected time, whether today, tomorrow, weeks or some years to come. Maybe the day when the tragedy happened was ‘the time’ for their loved ones. Therefore, they can open their mind, forget and loose the sorrow or anger, and let go their family and move on with their lives.

To transform the concept into a physical form, we use some humanistic and natural design approaches. We would like to take the visitors to contemplate the tragedy in a solace and peaceful place. Therefore, we translated the DUST TO DUST into quiet place, which speaks’ not much. This place should be a ‘silent magnet’ on a crowd environment.

To create such a ‘silent magnet’, we build a plaza, which has linear shape, parallel to the path of the crashed plane and lies on the site from southwest to northeast. Sense of silence attained by using lesser materials, object and colors inside the plaza. It is designed to bring in a contradictory condition between the memorial and the environment, which fill with so many objects, materials and colors.

Sand and stones, which spread out along the plaza are the objects that use as the memorial. The sand, which spread out like a carpet, represents the dust, and the stones, in different shapes and dimension as the object represent the human or things.

In the memorial visitors expected to contemplate and having anxiety of mind with the objects as they reach their silent, therefore they can understand what is the meaning of the tragedy for them. The stones and the sand reflected that even a big solid and heavy stone would become sand someday, and become nothing. This will show that there is nothing in this world lasts forever. Therefore, visitors, especially the family of the victims can effortlessly let go their love ones without anger or hatred.

Inside the memorial, visitors are asked to contemplate the meaning of the tragedy, instead of memorizing the terrible tragedy. Therefore, alongside the sand and stones we designed seats, which also have function as border of the sand. In the role of natural visual barrier, those seats are set to distract visitors’ view. Because when visitors sit, they will have the sand and stones as their view, instead of The Pentagon. Therefore, they would not commit to memory of the tragedy.

Having approximately 11 meters in distance (taken from the day when the tragedy happened (11.0901 meters)) between them, the seats designed to help the visitors to achieve their silent and contemplation. The distant is set to make an enormous scale between the vast plaza and human, therefore, visitors will feel small. Seats are arranged with 9 meters length each, and 1.8 meters void between them. The voids are accessible for handicappers to spend equal experience as well as normal people.

Beside those seats, there are pedestrians, which are wide enough for handicappers or normal people to walk. There are borders between seats and the pedestrian, so that no one will feel uncomfortable while taking pleasure in the silence of this memorial.

project : memorial place for military facility
client: u.s. army corps of engineers
collaborator : erick budhi, budiarti (be studio) & rini suryantini
location : pentagon, united states of america
status : competition entry