World War One Memorial

Civic · Washington DC, US



77,000 SF




Our proposal for the new World War I Memorial in Pershing Park pays tribute to the American men and women who participated in the war by remembering that each of them were members of a great family: the American Family.

We aim to tell the story of World War I through photographs. After all, that is how families tell stories. That is how the legacy of families are passed along to future generations. Photo albums and portrait walls shared in the family living room. Pershing Park will become America’s living room, in which we share our family’s contribution to the Great War.

By seamlessly blending framed memories into the landscape, our proposal provides an experience that is both park and memorial open and visible to the public. Cueing the visitor, six large scale bronze statues are strategically placed around the park, observing the framed images, and inviting the passerby to enter the park to experience the memorial.

“Photography is a spontaneous impulse coming from an ever attentive eye which captures the moment and its eternity.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson

Our project proposal relies on the emotional power inherent in photographic imagery. It is hard to understand the reasons for our collective fascination with these timeless, silent echoes that we call photographs. These are objects of transcendental value, seemingly reaching beyond our everyday experience and possessing the exceptional capacity to transport us back in time.

Individually or collectively, photographs are an extraordinary medium for storytelling. They inform, inspire, educate, motivate and enlighten, enabling the observer to grasp the significance of an unique moment captured in time.

The proposal uses the power of photographic images, and elevates them from simple art form and storytelling vehicle, to the realm of monument. Large format photographs, manifested as eloquent time capsules integrated into a landscape, will provide a sense of significance and monumentality to the new World War I Memorial at Pershing Park.