Memorials are significant structures that are intended to honor the fallen, while also giving the community a place where they can mourn. The design of the memorial needed to reflect the gravitas of grief, while being abstract enough that individuals could find their own meaning in its design. The difficult reality that the design would need to account for additional names in the future required careful thought.
At the center of this concept is the folded American flag, derived from the tradition of taking the American flag that drapes over a fallen officer’s coffin and completing a folding ceremony before it is handed to the deceased loved ones. Loss of life while serving in the Police and Fire Departments is a reality. The memorial would honor those lost in the line of duty from 1912- 2070, which meant the design needed to account for future loss of life. Organization of the names was also critical; grieving individuals should not struggle to find loved ones’ names.
Design + Execution
The triangle module served as a reference to the folded flag, without being a literal interpretation of it cast in bronze. The use of bronze gives a nod to traditional memorials, but ultimately signifies the structure’s importance within the surrounding environment, while also referencing the warm metal of officers’ badges. Each element of the memorial is loaded with meaning, yet the overall design is graphically restrained. All of the dedication triangle plaques run parallel along the first layer of the memorial. Black triangles were fabricated for the potential scenario where a blank bronze triangle needs to be removed to be engraved. The black triangle would be a temporary stand-in while the permanent plaque is engraved–signalling to the community that tragedy has occurred. The color black was selected to reference the black mourning bands that officers wear across their shields when a fellow officer is lost in the line of duty. Name plaques are arranged chronologically, beginning on the top left side of the memorial, to make it simple for visitors to find their loved ones name.
Penwal Industries (fabricator)
Andreas Yanikian, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (photography)
Africa Studio (photography)