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The memorial to the victims of Florida’s Pulse nightclub massacre has been revealed

Josh Milton November 1, 2019

Rainbow-coloured lines radiating from a reflective pool, a museum rising into the sky and 49 trees dotting its grounds, one for each of the dead.

This is the finalised concept for the Florida Pulse nightclub massacre memorial, consecrating a section of the state into a “sanctuary of healing”, The Art Newspaper reported.

On June 12 2016, a man laid siege to an Orlando gay club nestled between a Dunkin’ Doughnuts and a Wendy’s, killing 49 and wounding dozens.

It became the deadliest attack on the LGBT+ community in decades, but now a team of architects and artists have won the commission to design a reverent memorial to honour the dead.

‘We have an opportunity to reclaim a place from terror and darkness,’ says architect firm

The onePULSE Foundation – a non-profit set-up by a pocket of survivors – created a competition which saw 68 submissions from around the world, ranging from a rainbow bamboo garden to a garden of light. 

In the winning design, the nightclub’s remains will be encapsulated within tall, granite-like structures separated by a pathway.

While 49 lines of colour will glide across a circular reflecting pool, rippling waves of colour across the basin.

The group includes the architectural firms Coldfly & Associés with RDAI and the Orlando-based HHCP Architects, the French artist Xavier Veilhan, dUCKs scéno, Agence TER, and DePaul University professor Leilah Farah.

A jury of 14 community leaders, survivors and architectural experts selected the winners.

“Together, we have an opportunity to reclaim a place from terror and darkness and create a new reality, one that brings people together in celebration of joy and love,” Thomas Coldefy, principal of Coldefy & Associés said in a statement.

“This is a deeply meaningful project that reminds us how much architecture and landscape can influence our behaviour and have an impact on our community.”

(Coldefy & Associés with RDAI/ onePULSE Foundation)
(Coldefy & Associés with RDAI/ onePULSE Foundation)

The National Pulse Memorial and Museum – which will feature a rooftop promenade – will honour the lives taken and educate visitors on the impact of the tragedy.

Pulse shooting survivors slam memorial project.

Anniversaries of the mass shooting that horrified the nation have been celebrated with moments of silence and candle-lit vigils, but also renewed calls for tougher gun legislation. But the memorial will now provide a grieving community a space to remember the lives lost.

However, the $45 million project was been a lightning rod of criticism from survivors and victims’ families, striking divide in the survivor community.

Conversion therapy survivors condemn Pulse survivors’ ‘ex-gay Freedom March'
Crowds mourning those lost in the Pulse Nightclub massacre. (Drew Angerer/Getty)

One of the foundation’s founding members, Barbara Poma, also owns the Pulse nightclub. Some survivors and loves ones have accused her of profiting off the pain.

Moreover, some members have accused memorial organisers and top officials for being tactless, such as potential plans for a museum admission charge and a gift shop.

The walls of the Pulse nightclub – housing what was once a haven for the community turned into a death chamber – became an interim memorial days after the attack.

Pictures of the fallen, Pride fags and bouquets of flowers now decorate the grey walls of the club.

 

More: memorial, Orlando, pulse nightclub, US

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