The 2019 tragedy that overwhelmed Virginia Beach and shocked the nation is still resounding with both City residents and staff. In remembrance of this heartbreaking event, the City plans to commission the 5/31 Memorial to honor those who were killed and wounded, and to help heal the pain of families, friends and co-workers. The site selected by the City is beautiful and the Memorial goals and program are clear. Our competition design creates a welcoming and graceful sequence of places as one travels through the forest and around the pond that culminates in the heart of the Memorial: a peaceful and powerful V-shaped “room” that is framed by twelve engraved glass panels with water cascading down the surfaces on two sides honoring each of the twelve people killed. This room becomes a sanctuary for families, friends and other visitors -- a place of calm reflection and remembrance. At the tip of the “V”, the Memorial focuses out toward the pond with a 25’ tall jet of water which is visible throughout the site and from the adjacent streetscape.
We were honored to be joined by our collaborators artist Larry Kirkland, Clark Nexsen and Interface Multimedia in this effort.