Astronauts’ Memorial

about the design

My inspiration, for this pro bono design response, stems from a public invitiation (after the demise of the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986) for architects to design a memorial to recognize astronauts, who have perished during their outer space explorations. This response was conceptualized prior to the final selection of the winning entry.


  • Concrete is peeled away from the earth in the middle of a gridded gathering plaza and it is shaped to resemble the cylinders and cones that man launches into space.
  • Beneath the concrete, a layer of polished metal is revealed, symbolic of the raw materials we harvest from the earth and fashion into objects necessary for space exploration.
  • A pool of water fills the void. Water, which evaporates into the skies and precipitates back to earth, refers to the cycles of space travel away from and back to our earth.
  • Through the reflection of clouds and blue sky, at the bottom of the shallow pool are the names of the astronauts who have died during these explorations. Their bodies a part of this earth, their souls a part of the heavens. Water a material with both transparent and reflective qualities.
  • a place for public gathering and shared respect