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Oyler Wu Collaborative wins competition to design Cold War Veterans Memorial in Somers, Wisconsin

United States Architecture News - Mar 24, 2022 - 15:06   795 views

Oyler Wu Collaborative wins competition to design Cold War Veterans Memorial in Somers, Wisconsin

Los Angeles-based architecture studio Oyler Wu Collaborative has won an intentional competition to design the new Cold War Veterans Memorial in Somers, Wisconsin.

Launched by the Pritzker Military Museum & Library, the organizers have announced the winning entry as "Orbits", designed by Oyler Wu Collaborative. 

The circular-shaped Cold War Veterans Memorial will be built in Somers, Wisconsin, as a part of the Pritzker Archives & Memorial Park Center (PAMPC) project. 

The design, led by Jenny Wu and Dwayne Oyler of Oyler Wu Collaborative, is made of a circular geometry blended into its surroundings mimicking its topography. 

The memorial acts like it emerges from the ground to become an architectural tribute to Cold War veterans, "embodying the dedication, optimism, and hope that is emblematic of their enduring spirit." 

It was stated in a press statement of the competition website that collectively, the memorial is aimed to unify a set of complex narratives "through juxtaposition, recognizing its interconnected history – one of sacrifice, triumph, and innovation."

Oyler Wu Collaborative wins competition to design Cold War Veterans Memorial in Somers, Wisconsin

"In recognition of the profound complexity of the Cold War, our design draws from a range of meaningful artifacts and imagery from the era to create an immersive experience — evoking a range of cultural associations organized as a set of circular ‘orbits’ through the landscape," said Dwyan Oyler and Jenny Wu of Oyler Wu Collaborative.

"Each submitted design was remarkable and very inspiring. The final decision was tough, but after much discussion, we believe that the Orbits design will truly resemble a place where everyone who contributed to the Cold War will be honored," said Col. Jennifer Pritzker, Founder of the Pritzker Military Museum & Library.

"This memorial is special and very dear to many because people who sacrificed during this era are not recognized enough. Our goal is to make sure that our gratitude to these individuals is signified through this project."

The Design Competition was a two-stage competition led by a jury process. Stage 1 was an open call to invite design concepts for the memorial. 

Oyler Wu Collaborative wins competition to design Cold War Veterans Memorial in Somers, Wisconsin

"In Stage 2, the finalists evolved their concepts for the memorial to create fully defined designs. The design challenge was to provide a conceptual design for the Cold War Veterans Memorial that embraces the mission statement, exemplifies the guiding vision, and achieves the design goals authored by the Cold War Veterans Memorial Steering Committee. The finalists rose to the challenge and submitted designs that showed their passionate exploration of how to portray the scale and complexity of the Cold War for current and future generations," stated the organizers of the competition.

"The Cold War Veterans Memorial’s guiding vision is to create permanent recognition that stimulates ongoing thought and study that honors American military members and civilians who served and sacrificed during the Cold War era (1945-1991)." 

In line with the Pritzker Military Museum & Library’s mission, the Cold War Veterans Memorial aimed to "increase the public understanding of military history and how its lessons have contributed to the history we create today."

In their summary report, the Jury praised the concept for its invitation to "a discovery and its respectful setting on the site, and the creation of a variety of paths and experiences that could provide a palette for interpretation."

Images © Oyler Wu Collaborative via Cold War Veterans Memorial Competition.

> via Cold War Veterans Memorial Competition