Although many hurdles still remain, the AIDS Memorial Park Coalition has moved one step closer to actualizing the dream of converting a small parcel of land in New York City to a memorial to the victims of AIDS. Today, they announced the winners to the design competition selected by a prestigious jury, which had the difficult program of being both a great park and a place for contemplation for future generations.
First place was awarded to Brooklyn, NY’s studio a+i: Mateo Paiva, Lily Lim, John Thurtle, Insook Kim, and Esteban Erlich, with a rendering by Guillaume Paturel, for their design “Infinite Forest.” The design was selected from 475 entries submitted between November 29, 2011 and January 21, 2012, and represented more than 26 U.S. states and 32 countries on six continents.
The proposed location of AIDS Memorial Park is an approximately 17,000 square-foot triangle-shaped plot of land bordered by Seventh Avenue, 12th Street and Greenwich Avenue in New York City’s West Village. The property stands across the street from the former St. Vincent’s Hospital, known as the epicenter of New York City’s AIDS epidemic.
"The very best competitions and juries lead the jury to a discussion of the fundamental challenges of the problem—the architectural program," said Barry Bergdoll, professor of Architectural History at Columbia University and Chief Curator of Architecture & Design at MoMA. "This outpouring of talent and ideas went to the question: can you combine a public park with a place of commemoration and memorial? The winner offered perhaps the simplest and most subtle responses to that challenge, but all the entrants brought so many interesting ideas to this contemporary problem. It’s extremely exciting to think that in this city, even in a complex political process, one can create an extraordinary public space; the city that memorialized those lost in 9/11 can now turn to a catastrophe with equally frightening and devastating impact."
Christopher Tepper and Paul Kelterborn, the co-founders of the AIDS Memorial Coalition, are the urban planners behind the proposal for the project. To learn more about them and how you can become invovled, visit AidsMemorialPark.org.