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Amber Raynsford

Amber Raynsford

Seattle, WA, US

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Concept plan
Concept plan
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Memorial Cemetery - Contrabands’ and Freedmen’s Cemetery Memorial Site

Contrabands’ and Freedmen’s Cemetery Memorial Site
Memorial/Open-Space Design - Design Competition Entry

With: Remington Ham (C.L. Bohannon, faculty)

The objective of this project was to memorialize the site of an historic African-American graveyard that had been buried by development. Limitations of the project included the presence of fragile historic artifacts, ongoing onsite archaeological study, and adjacent highway ramp. The project presented several strengths including the site’s proximity to an existing downtown promenade, interesting topographical features, and inspiring site history and vast provenance. 

The design solution included multi-modal connections to the downtown, interpretive signage describing the site’s historic significance, a natural amphitheater and open space, site furnishings and built elements congruent with the visual character of the town, as well as a memorial sculpture and wall commemorating the individuals buried there.

The space was designed to echo the historic character of the surrounding context; allowing this place to reclaim it’s history. Being buried for so long, to emerge with a quality of newness, would compromise the integrity of the site’s history. The design gives the impression that the place has always been there.

 
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Status: Competition Entry
Location: Alexandria, VA, US

 
Memorial wall and seating wall details
Memorial wall and seating wall details
Memorial plaza design (drawn by R. Ham)
Memorial plaza design (drawn by R. Ham)

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