The Board of the National LGBT Veterans Memorial
International Design Competition
Washington DC, USA
The new National LGBT Veterans Memorial Project is composed of four overlapped half-cylindical elements,representing all lesbian, gay, bisexual andtransgender service members, past and present. Each element is composed of five colors corresponding to the five United States Armed Forces: Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard. Each of these Forces is represented by a color that is predominant in its official flag. We have associated yellow to the Army, white to the Navy, red to the Marine Corps, blue to the Air Force and light blue to the Coast Guard. Obviously red, blue and white recall the American flag. The half-cylindical elements are piled on top of each other in a stable equilibrium position each according to a different axis, showing their curved shapes to the street. Each half-cylindical element is 6ft tall and has a diameter of 7 ft. The building material is colored grit cement. On the other side of the monument, the half-cylindical forms reveal the presence of the negative shape of an obelisk that refers to the Washington Monument, built to commemorate the first American President and commander-in-chief of the Continental Army. The obelisk is the most recognized of all phallic symbols; the circle is commonly used to depict the female sexual organ. Starting from these well-known geometries the monument suggests a possible dialogue between materials and shapes, presence and absence, symbolism and memory.