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HURRICANE MARIA MEMORIAL

The Memorial design honors the past, present, and future of Puerto Rico, a place whose people have shaped, and been shaped, by New York City.

In 2017, Hurricane Maria swept across the island of Puerto Rico, devastating countless communities and claiming 3,057 lives. Despite its enormous human cost, the tragedy,  much like Puerto Rico’s history, remains largely unrecognized in the United States. Our design for the Puerto Rico Memorial Competition, located in New York City, aimed to recover the island’s three dimensionality. The memorial features a detailed rendering of the island’s complex topography, celebrating the fascinating depth and diversity of Puerto Rico and its people. 

Our design proposal was formed by ideas and ideals. We saw this competition as an opportunity to advocate for a larger conversation about Puerto Rico’s bond with New York City. As our primary material, stone represented simplicity, durability, and timelessness. We also proposed a sunken public plaza with the topographic sculpture of Puerto Rico at its center. The focal point of our design, the sculpture was calibrated to weigh exactly 3,057 kg to commemorate the 3,057 lives lost to the disaster.

CLIENT

Battery Park City Authority

LOCATION

New York, NY

TYPE

Memorial

TEAM

Lou Arencibia, Jon Hein

COMPLETION

2020

Island Axo Compiled
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