Franck & Lohsen Architects

World War 1 Memorial, International Design Competition

Washington, DC

Prepared for an International Design competition, this entry was designed in collaboration with Campion Hruby Landscape Architects.

The site is located at Pershing Square in the heart of Washington DC on Pennsylvania Avenue between the United States Capitol and the White House. Such a prominent site requires honoring the scale and the dignity of adjacent memorials, monuments and the nearby historic buildings.

This proposal features a white marble cenotaph, a traditional and timeless element used to honor the dead. The unique aspect of this cenotaph is its star shape featuring 5 bas relief panels all tapering up to a gilt bronze globe surmounted by 5 gilt bronze eagles. The cenotaph is place along the great axis of Pennsylvania Avenue thereby seating this monument in an honorific position yet also set aside slightly to provide more of a picturesque setting. It’s placement serves double duty serving also as the focal point for a central plaza to be used for large memorial events.

The approach to the site is along a “ripple” of walkway and landscaping representing the ripple effects that this first World War had on the entire world. These “ripples” then transition to a series of jagged walkways representing the trenches which were so iconic in this first World War.