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AIR FORCE MEMORIAL

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, USA (1994)


Emilio Ambasz was one of eight architects selected to compete for the design of the new United States Air Force Memorial to be located near Arlington National Cemetery on axis with the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol. Emilio Ambasz's design is composed of a building and a public plaza whose forms symbolically unite to represent the image and achievements of the U.S. Air Force. The main building is in the form of a sleek elongated triangle, thrusting upwards from the earth. Its massing simultaneously suggests the innocence of a child's paper airplane and the high technology of a stealth bomber. The space inside is a museum of the history of the United States Air Force. The public plaza in front is a fog-covered circular depression with stepped edges that can be used as an amphitheater for special events and the center of the circular plaza uses computer-generated illumination to create the image of the earth turning on its axis. When viewed from above, the plaza takes on the appearance of Earth itself as seen from a shuttle in outer space about to return home from a vital mission. The image is simultaneously one of highest technology united with the natural embodiment of Mother Earth, harmonized by the imagination and the technology of the United States Air Force.




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