Winter 2013

Memorial presented unique design challenges

By Elizabeth Millard



The Oklahoma City National Memorial, which honors the victims, survivors, and rescuers of the bombing that occurred in 1995, is one of the city’s most visited landmarks.

Located on the former site of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the memorial consists of a field filled with empty chairs to honor the 168 people killed in the bombing, a reflecting pool and a wall inscribed with
the names of survivors.

Since city planners wanted to connect the memorial to the city’s waterfront, pavers were used to bring the urban development effort together with this significant landmark.

The copper architectural panels on the memorial “gates,” flanking the ends of the memorial grounds, provided inspiration for a pattern that bridged the urban space with the existing walkways.

Rather than use the predominantly charcoal-colored finish of the Project 180 pavers, lighter colors were selected to match the reflecting pool’s border. The effect, says Jereck Boss of the Office of James Burnett, was an alignment of the memorial with the rest of the city. “It’s amazingly beautiful to see,” he says. “It follows the city’s plan to connect the memorial to the waterfront, while still designating the memorial as its own unique space.”

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