Peace Corp Monument
Competition 2015 Washington DC
The new Peace Corps Commemorative strives to create a sense of global awareness and understanding through a spatial representation of the planet.
The Surrogate, a 1:500,000 scaled void of the Earth, is carved out of a giant mass of compressed soil laid back from Louisiana Avenue at an angle of 38.907°.
The angle matches Washington DC’s latitude, locating the Capital at the apex of the void, while providing the visitor a sense of scale within the global community. Cradled at the base of the sphere is a rain garden offering visitors a chance for reflection and contemplation. The atmosphere of the garden will be one of tranquility housed within the large mass which provides thermal and acoustical moderation and acts as a back drop to the carefully selected flora palate. Interactive information signage/video display, bookends the sidewalk along Louisiana Ave providing the history of the Corps along with past, current and future projects.
Representing the global effort the Peace Corps is undertaking, the design is to be constructed out of local soils and soils collected at various active Peace Corps project sites. This modest material, used in many locations where the Corps is working, is in contrast to the formal sandstone, granite and marble landmarks, monuments and memorials that can be found throughout Washington DC. To stabilize the structure, the soils will be combined with cement and the coated with a penetrating sealer to ensure the longevity of the design. Rammed Earth construction for the sculpture will require craftsmen to complete the layout, foundation and formwork necessary to execute the complicated form. However, a relatively unskilled labor force, pulled from the current and former Peace Corps members could aid in the construction. This assistance in the execution of the work would create a sense of owner/authorship for the project within the organization.