The Pritzker Military Museum & Library has selected “Orbits” by Oyler Wu Collaborative as the winning entry to the Cold War Veterans Memorial competition. Situated in Somers, Wisconsin, the international design competition is part of a larger vision for the Pritzker Archive and Memorial Park Center, to be developed within the next decade.
Designed by Los Angeles-based Jenny Wu and Dwayne Oyler, “Orbits” comprises a formal structure influenced by its topography, seemingly emerging from the ground to evoke ideas of permanence, rigidity, and timelessness.
“In recognition of the profound complexity of the Cold War, our design draws from a range of meaningful artifacts and imagery from the era to create an immersive experience — evoking a range of cultural associations organized as a set of circular ‘orbits’ through the landscape,” said the team in their submission.
The memorial’s core objective is to “create a permanent recognition that stimulates ongoing thought” and to honor the American military members and civilians who served and sacrificed during the Cold War era. The two-phase process to select the winning design began with an open international call for ideas, followed by the selection of four finalists.
“The final decision was tough, but after much discussion, we believe that the Orbits design will truly resemble a place where everyone who contributed to the Cold War will be honored,” said Pritzker Military Museum & Library founder Col. Jennifer Pritzker. “This memorial is special and very dear to many because people who sacrificed during this era are not recognized enough. Our goal is to make sure that our gratitude to these individuals is signified through this project.”
The broader Pritzker Archives and Memorial Park Center will be completed in phases over the next ten years. The first phase will include the Pritzker Military Archives Center holding collections and workspaces for exhibition and curation, commercial archives, a communal landscaped green space, and the memorial itself.
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