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  Wreath of Remembrance Reflecting Pool with Flag Passage of Remembrance  

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Project Proposals:

Larry Kirkland & J. Douglass Macy

Norman Lee, Scott Slaney & Ricardo Supiciche

Susan Narduli & Andrea Cochran

Proposal Overview

Project Proposal: Susan Narduli & Andrea Cochran

Susan Narduli & Andrea Cochran

This project begins with the earth of foreign battlefields and with memory.

For half a century, the octagonal lawn in Memorial Court has served as a little-known repository of earth from lands where Americans fought and died. On this same site, an octagon of faceted planes of stone will hold that earth and bear witness to the sacrifice of those men and women.

This memorial is a moment within a process. We don't know what our military will face in the future and what will be expected of us as a nation. The octagon is designed to receive newly consecrated earth. The soil itself, veiled from sight behind the polished stone, will settle into our own American earth, as the memory of battle filters into our communal understanding.

At the entrance to the Memorial, a dedication is inscribed in the stone:

Within this octagon of stone, remembered earth from battlefields where Americans fought and died. Here, we bear witness to their sacrifice. The people of San Francisco dedicate this memorial to our nation's veterans in honor of their service.
11 November 2013

Susan Narduli & Andrea Cochran
Susan Narduli & Andrea Cochran

You enter the memorial on a suspended woven metal path that wraps the octagon. At the first of two pools that circumscribe the octagon, the path begins its gentle slope downward into the earth, a departure from the workaday bustle of the Civic Center. This is a place for silence.

The slope establishes the form of the memorial, sheltered from the surrounding urban activities but open, fully visible from the pedestrian concourse. Soon, a passage cut through the octagon is revealed, a departure from the civilian world. Here the consecrated earth is held.

Susan Narduli & Andrea Cochran


The walkway through the memorial floats above the sloping planes of the Reflection Pools. Made of open weave metal mesh, you are made aware of the water beneath you as it flows from the upper pool to the lower pool through the Passage of Remembrance. The footsteps of those that pass will echo slightly, as their sound is reflected by the stone below.

As you arrive at the Passage of Remembrance, the rough basalt planes of the octagon transition to a high polish. These walls capture reflections as one walks through. Here, behind removable panels of polished stone, the consecrated earth from battlefields where Americans fought and died is held.

On the west wall, a poem by World War 1 veteran, Archibald MacLeish. The east wall is blank, save a thin reveal cut in the stone for placing remembrances.

Susan Narduli & Andrea Cochran Susan Narduli & Andrea Cochran
Susan Narduli & Andrea Cochran
Susan Narduli & Andrea Cochran Susan Narduli & Andrea Cochran


The landscape extends the influence of the memorial into the larger civic space. The Central Lawn gently slopes towards the memorial, a subtle shift in elevation that re-focuses one's attention towards it. In keeping with the historic Beaux Arts architecture and the spatial relationships of Thomas Church's design, the central lawn is left open, defined by perimeter trees and hedges. But this edge is re-imagined as a cut in the earth, with rammed earth seat walls that express a tactile sense of the consecrated earth in the memorial.The walls provide much needed seating for daily use and quiet contemplation. Removing the western hedge creates an inviting gesture toward the Memorial and a longer view to City Hall.

Susan Narduli & Andrea Cochran


The lighting design preserves the original historic fixtures that light the walk along the perimeter of Memorial Court. Recessed lights at the sides of the Central Lawn bring low level illumination to the area. At the Memorial, lighting at the Reflection Pools highlight the water as it ripples over the planes of stone. The Passage of Remembrance is lit from below. Washing over the inclined stone, the line of light will be clearly visible from both the Civic Center and the garden.

Susan Narduli & Andrea Cochran


The Reflection Pools circumscribe the octagon, maintaining the symbolism of the Thomas Church design. But here, the concrete circle becomes a flowing plane of water sloping from street level to the garden. The water is a symbol of the spilt blood of the consecrated earth within the memorial. But in the Reflection Pools, the water's surface washing over the polished stone will capture the everchanging sky, a metaphor for hope and transformation.

Susan Narduli & Andrea Cochran



Nevertheless they are heard in the still houses: who has not heard them?

They have a silence that speaks for them at night and when the clock counts.

They say, We were young. We have died. Remember us.

They say, We have done what we could but until it is finished it is not done.

They say, We have given our lives but until it is finished no one can know what our lives gave.

Susan Narduli & Andrea Cochran

They say, Our deaths are not ours: they are yours: they will mean what you make them.

They say, Whether our lives and our deaths were for peace and a new hope or for nothing we cannot say: it is you who must say this.

They say, We leave you our deaths: give them their meaning: give them an end to the war and a true peace: give them a victory that ends the war and a peace afterwards: give them their meaning.

We were young, they say. We have died. Remember us.

--by Archibald MacLeish

Susan Narduli & Andrea Cochran Susan Narduli & Andrea Cochran
For full downloadable file of the Narduli & Cochran Proposal Board (as previewed below), click here. (File size: JPEG: 3.4MB)  
Narduli & Cochran


About Media Resources The Memorial Site   Welcome Introduction:
The San Francisco Veterans Memorial Site
The San Francisco Veterans Memorial will honor a 75-year promise to our nation’s military veterans by installing a Veterans Memorial in the Memorial Court, located between the War Memorial Veterans Building and Opera House. Landscape architect Thomas D. Church’s original 1920’s vision called for a memorial and the Veterans Memorial Steering Committee is raising private funds for its design, installation and maintenance.



San Francisco Veterans Memorial
401 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 110
San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone: (415) 554-9999

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