POETRY OF LIGHT UNDER THE GROVE, AIDS MEMORIAL
San Francisco 2005
United States of America
PROGRAM : The National AIDS Memorial
LOCATION : Golden Gate Park of San Francisco
SURFACE AREA : 400 M²
CLIENT : The National AIDS Memorial Grove
COST : US $ 2 Millions
PERSPECTIVES : Philippe Steels
The National AIDS Memorial Grove is a seven-acre dell in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California, a living tribute to all who have been affected by AIDS. It is the only federally Memorial dedicated to AIDS in the United States.
The Grove is a place where people gather to heal, hope, and remember.
1. A NEW SIGNIFICANT ICON :
“Poetry of Light” is a virtual memorial appropriate to the scale of its surrounding area. The respect of the visitors’ needs to experience the Grove on different ways is for us quite important because of the very various effects of the AIDS virus and the numerous origins of the people affected by this disease. In this context, the underground memorial creates a minimum imbalance of current landscaping features of vegetation. It is a national gathering place for healing, hope, and remembrance which reprensents also an important marker of this dreadful disease. It is a serene and flexible place dedicated to all lives affected by AIDS.
2. UNDER THE GROVE’S LEVEL :
A mobility path links the Circle of Friends and the Circle of Peace. This path enters in the ground of the Central Meadow and becomes a creative way of memorializing AIDS. This underground space of virtual projections is an open area able to withstand heavy use. The glass roof is like an architecturalized poem of hope. From the heights of the Grove, it seems like a great pond gleaming the trees.
3. WITH A CROSSCULTURAL IMPACT :
Under the roof of hope, the light varies with emotion and creates a favourable environment to exchange personal stories of all visitors. In the center of the 3 lighting cones in structural glass, projections recall through in images the history of the pandemia to educate the public. Along the walls, snaking living rooms tell the lived courses of the victims of AIDS and the fight of the donors all over the world.