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Orlando massacre memorial finalists’ concepts revealed

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Six competing concepts have been unveiled in the competition to design a $45 million memorial and museum dedicated to the victims and survivors of the Orlando nightclub shooting in 2016

The finalists include a team led by Heneghan Peng Architects and featuring landscape architect Gustafson Porter + Bowman.

International teams led by Studio Libeskind, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Rotterdam-based MVRDV, French firm Coldefy & Associés and Boston’s MASS Design Group are also competing.

The winning team will deliver a memorial, museum and ‘Survivors Walk’ commemorating the terrorist attack on the Pulse gay nightclub which killed 49 people and wounded 68 others. The concepts will feature in a public exhibition at the Orange County Regional History Center until 10 October.

The competition, curated by Dovetail Design Strategists on behalf of the onePULSE Foundation, received 68 submissions from 19 different countries. Gustafson Porter + Bowman’s shortlisting in June came just a week after it won a competition to design a £35 million overhaul of the spaces around the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

The six finalists each received $50,000 to draw up design concepts. The contest comes a year after an ‘Ideas Generator’ was held to promote debate over the future of the prominent South Orange Avenue site, which has been closed since the mass shooting and is now surrounded by a commemorative hoarding.

The onePULSE Foundation was created by the owner of the nightclub to create a fitting memorial and museum for all those affected following the attack. The project, planned to complete in 2022, will deliver a landmark new 2,800m² museum providing an ‘architecturally iconic place for remembrance, education, inspiration and hope’ with public gathering and community spaces.

The ‘Survivors Walk’ will connect important local landmarks associated with the tragedy, while the memorial will be ‘open to the public year-round, seven days a week, 24 hours a day’.

In August, the Community Coalition Against a Pulse Museum – which includes survivors, members of victims’ families and gay rights activists – called for the project to be cancelled, saying funds should be directed towards supporting survivors rather than ‘educating tourists’.

An overall winner will be announced in October.

The full shortlist

  • Coldefy & Associés with RDAI, HHCP Architects, Xavier Veilhan, dUCKS scéno, Agence TER, Prof. Laila Farah
  • Diller, Scofidio + Renfro and Rene Gonzalez Architects with Raymond Jungles, Teresita Fernández, and Oliver Beer
  • Heneghan Peng Architects, Wannemacher Jensen Architects, Gustafson Porter + Bowman, Sven Anderson, Pentagram, and Bartenbach LichtLabor
  • MASS Design Group, Little Diversified Architectural Consulting, Ralph Applebaum Associates, Sasaki, Sanford Biggers, Richard Blanco, Porsha Olayiwola
  • MVRDV, McKenzie Architects, Grant Associates, GSM Project and Studio Drift
  • Studio Libeskind with Baker Barrios Architects, Claude Cormier + Associés, Thinc, and Jenny Holzer

Pulse Nightclub, Orlando

Pulse Nightclub, Orlando

Pulse Nightclub, Orlando

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