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Winner Chosen for National AIDS Memorial Grove Landscape Competition

Image Courtesy Janette Kim and Chloe Town

The simple title “Living Memorial” belies the disturbing yet elegant landscape element for the National AIDS Memorial Grove in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Submitted by New York-based architects Janette Kim and Chloe Town, the winning project, chosen from over 200 entries, sets up a jarring counterpoint to the lush green swale of the Grove, whose development has been ongoing since 1991. Evoking forest fires to underscore AIDS’s devastation, a swath of the Grove will be lined by a fire-blackened wooden berm and occupied by a field of 24 foot-high black carbon fiber rods.

Visitors can view the piece from a charred wooden platform, while benches made of wood recovered from forest fires provide repose. The rods, mirrored at their tips to reflect the sun, “serve as reminders of how many people have lost someone,” describes Town.

Lisa Findley