In 2002, Luis Boza of reform, llc collaborated with architect, Jefferey C. Lee on the 911 Pentagon Memorial Competition in Washington DC seeking to reinterpret the phrase “E Pluribus Unum”, the motto for the Great Seal of the United States proposed by our forefathers John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson in 1776. A Latin phrase meaning “From Many…One”, the phrase offers a strong statement of the American determination to form a single nation from a collection of states. The challenge of seeking unity in diversity has played a critical role in shaping our history and our national character. It was this very concept that was attacked on September 11, 2001.
Ultimately, our proposal for the Pentagon Memorial serves as a permanent reminder of America’s deepest principle and most powerful message to the world: that in freedom, differences can be merged into unity and that “From Many”, the fire of freedom can create “One”.
“E PLURIBUS…” FROM MANY… One hundred and eighty four towers, one for each of the lives lost, are organized in a non-hierarchical field that fills the extents of the site. Each tower grows from a subtle grassy depression that is removed from a harmonious plane of polished granite. This unifying ground plane allows the visitor to meander amongst the towers and to share their experience with others. The depression creates a threshold that defines each victim’s space, that once entered has an intimate scale for an individual or a family to remember and reflect.
“…UNUM” …ONE… When seen from afar, the collection of the towers creates an implied singular volume or collective mass. A relationship of volume and orientation is reinforced by the towers’ alignment with the height of the Pentagon. A formal dialogue thus exists between the massiveness of the Pentagon and the lightness of each tower.