Zerafa Studio and Gregory T Waugh create a space of solace in Mason Regional Park
For victims of crime and their loved ones, a commonality is that their memories are often manifested through the perpetual struggle for justice, recognition and even compensation. Although their grief and memories will most likely endure, it is positive action and empowerment through healing that a community can help foster.
For competition winners Zerafa Studio and Gregory T Waugh, the idea of ‘community’ is the essential theme for this memorial. With this in mind, the team have placed a circular void into the park, with the surrounding landscape gently sloped up to its truncated perimeter.
The resulting section creates the opportunity for a variety of experiences. The circular void forms a protected semi-private space, or ‘espace calme’ within the park, yet it splays open to the north, revealing the interior space to the approaching visitor upon entry, and setting up a direct relationship with the adjacent lawn and event space.
A lighted circular path is inscribed in the lawn to connect the entry sidewalk south to the memorial structure and north to the park office. This gentle arc defines the eastern edge of the event space in front of the memorial, leaving the western edge open to the park and lake beyond. The gentle arc of the path slows one’s approach and allows visitors to make a measured entry to the memorial interior.
The interior surface of the void is defined by a tapering concave vertical section. Raised 18inches off the ground, its geometry and scale respond directly to both standing and seated viewer. Composed of open-joint bronze rectangular plates, the curved metal surface surrounds the visitor and defines the memorial as a protected space.
Individual bronze plates can be dedicated with text in memoriam, revealing the light source behind to provide both a visual and tactile experience.