WASHINGTON, July 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Updated design specifications for the national World War II Memorial to be built on the Mall here were released by the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) today, in advance of its presentation to the Commission of Fine Arts on Thursday. ABMC noted that the changes are part of the ongoing review and approval process for a design concept which remains a "work in progress." The widely acclaimed open-air design by Friedrich St. Florian, selected from more than 400 entries in an open, national competition, maintains and enhances the historical vistas between the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument -- a strict requirement of the design competition guidelines. Because of the tree-lined landscape surrounding the memorial site, the World War II Memorial will not be visible from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. According to St. Florian, as one moves closer to the World War II Memorial site from the Lincoln Memorial, the first indication of the site will be two gently sloping, crescent-shaped carpets of white roses surrounding a memorial plaza with the existing Rainbow Pool in the center. The updates from the original design concept are as follows: -- Proposed auditorium eliminated; -- Interior space reduced from 56,000 square feet to 32,000 square feet; -- Plaza level raised to 6 feet from 15 feet below street level; -- Height of perimeter columns reduced from 40 to 36 feet; -- Rose-covered berms lowered from 35 to 33 feet above street level; -- Slope of the berms flattened from 1:2 ratio to 1:2.8 ratio; and, -- Memorial's overall footprint reduced by approximately 10 percent. "In striving for a flawless design, we sought out the respected opinions of the design jury and other experts," said St. Florian. "These updates reflect those recommendations and are part of the continuing creative process that will bring us to an effective design." In addition, a commemorative memorial wall, with inscriptions and iconographic works of art, will be the centerpiece of a waterfall which optically connects the Rainbow Pool and the Reflecting Pool on the west side of the plaza. The carpet of white roses, which bloom most of the year, will cover approximately one-third of the entire footprint of the memorial, and the Rainbow Pool will cover nearly one-half the memorial plaza. "The modifications to the design allow the memorial to better integrate into the historic landscape of the National Mall," said Hugh Hardy, renowned architect and a member of the design jury. "Not only does the memorial's design enhance its natural elements, but it adheres to the original vision for this place of historical significance." "We are pleased by the collaborative and thoughtful process from which our current design has evolved," said Maj. Gen. John Herrling, USA (Ret.) secretary of the ABMC. "As is the case with all memorials, however, the review process allows for further refinements to the design before it is approved." The design modifications were presented to members of both design juries at a meeting in New York earlier this spring. The juries, which included architecture critics Ada Louise Huxtable and Bob Campbell, and noted architects David Childs, Hugh Hardy and others, have become an active advisory board to the ABMC, St. Florian and his design team. The memorial design must ultimately be approved by the Commission of Fine Arts, the National Capital Planning Commission and the Secretary of the Interior. Public hearings to review the design are scheduled to begin this month. St. Florian's design for the World War II Memorial was selected through an open, national competition in which two independent panels comprised of prominent architects and World War II veterans unanimously and independently selected it from among 400 entries. The design was inspired by Charles Pierre L'Enfant's original vision for the National Mall and the subsequent revision outlined in the 1902 "McMillian Plan." The World War II Memorial will be constructed on a 7.4-acre site at the east end of the Reflecting Pool between the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument on the National Mall. President Clinton dedicated the site on Veterans Day 1995, and the winning memorial design was unveiled at a White House ceremony earlier this year. The World War II Memorial will be constructed as part of a $100 million fund-raising campaign being carried out by the ABMC.
SOURCE American Battle Monuments Commission