The new Dublin Veterans Park (in Dublin, Ohio) was awarded to PLANT after an invited international two-stage competition. Our project, entitled The Grounds of Remembrance, is organized into a Walk, Loggia, and Grove, all surrounding an historical 1840s cemetery. Together they define the limits of the grounds and guide movement through the site on days of significance, including Memorial Day and Veterans Day, as well as for everyday visits. The grounds will be activated by both collective and individual ritual experience.
The collective ritual centers on the parade ceremony, which culminates in a space framed by the Loggia, a sloped grassy Grove of Sycamores, a bench-high inscribed stone wall where wreaths can be laid, and a flagpole. The Loggia is a ceremonial backdrop and shelter for this collective pause – it is a panoramic window into this special site from the Road. An excerpt from Emerson’s Concord Hymn, die-cut through the bronze end wall of the Loggia were originally written for Concord’s centennial celebration of the start of the Revolutionary War: making an ancestral connection between the original fight for independence as a necessity for freedom, and all veterans that have followed.
The Grounds promote a daily and individual ritual journey choreographed through the grounds. The Walk is a journey from Dublin Road, through the Grove, along the perimeter of the cemetery wall, and then weaving down a ramping walk into an area of seclusion, for pause and reflection in the rugged ravine that overlooks Indian Run. The Memory Wall marks the end of the wall: a brass tube perforated stone wall designed to receive personal and private messages. The Walk is calibrated to pace movement with the textures of limestone screenings and paving. The sound of the crunching underfoot, the wear on the path, and the feel of the Guide Rail reinforce the physical and mental remembrance that generates personal meaning for the site. The Walk is edged by the bronze Guide Rail which guides movement and quietly marks the site boundary. The handrail’s shape invites touching, while providing support and registering the passage of visitors by polishing through usage.
The Sycamore Grove stands as the natural canopy for the collective gathering space, and the natural colonnade along the individual journey into the valley. Sycamores are symbolic of memory and rebirth – in addition to their river-side habit, Sycamores are symbols of longevity, renewal and shelter. They are literally ancient – their roots go back in Ohio over 130 million years – they shelter with their canopies and sometimes trunks, their shedding bark mixes young and old on the trunk (it is literally inter-generational), and their branches are striking white, giving them a strong winter aspect when Veteran’s Day events occur.
The Dublin Grounds of Remembrance is the recipient of a CSLA National Honour Award, a Design Exchange Silver Award, and an EDRA Great Places Award.
For more information and ongoing activities at the Grounds, please visit the City Of Dublin’s site.
< view the competition images
View of the Loggia from the Ravine
View from the Cemetery
View of the Memorial Wall
Inside the Loggia
View of the Loggia from the Northwest
Detail of laser-cut lettering
View through the Loggia to the Poem Wall
View of the Loggia from the Cemetery
The inaugural Memorial Day Ceremonies
The Guide Rail and Cemetery Wall
Threshold at the Guide Rail and Cemetery Entry
The turn of the Guide Rail to the ravine
Detail of the Guide Rail
The path from the Memory Wall
The Memory Wall and bench
Detail of the Memory Wall – with the first note
The Poem Wall