‘Constellation Garden’ design unveiled for UNC Charlotte Memorial

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – The developers and design have been revealed for the UNC’s Charlotte Memorial, honoring those who lost their lives and were injured in the shooting at the 2019 campus.

A “constellation garden” that follows the orientation of the stars above the Kennedy Building on April 30, 2019 is the basis of the conceptual design of the memorial.

The memorial will honor and forever remember Riley Howell and Reed Parlier, who lost their lives, and honor Rami Alramadhan, Sean DeHart, Emily Houpt and Drew Pescaro, who suffered physical injuries, and all who were present at Kennedy 236.

Brook Muller, dean of the College of Arts and Architecture at UNC Charlotte and chairman of the memorial jury, announced the permanent memorial’s decision on April 30 during the 2021 Day of Remembrance virtual commemoration, two years later shooting.

The design, submitted by TEN x TEN Landscape Architecture and Urbanism, Hypersonic Collaborative and Susan Hatchell Landscape Architecture, was selected from four finalists and a total of 36 submissions from renowned local and national design teams.

All of the finalists’ designs were incredibly creative, ”said Muller. “The presentation hosted by TEN X TEN Landscape Architecture and Urbanism was, however, moving and moving. Each element is active, engaging and powerfully connected to the UNC Charlotte community. The representation of the stars, represented by lights that activate when people touch the vaulted structure of the memorial; adjacent gathering spaces that feature plants imbued with deep symbolism represent emotions such as grief, divine sacrifice, strength, hope, love, and peace; and stone benches engraved with the names of Reed and Riley create an atmosphere of contemplation and reflection, with earthy textured elements complementing high-tech ones.

TEN X TEN will begin meeting with University stakeholders, including students, faculty and staff, to present the conceptual design illustrating how the memorial space will be developed. The first shovelful of earth for the memorial is expected in April 2022.

“During my tenure as Chancellor, I have observed and learned from a community that has been united and strengthened by the challenges it has endured,” said Chancellor Sharon L. Gaber. “I fully endorse the recommendations of the commission. It’s a magnificent memorial that unites Riley’s love for nature with Reed’s passion for technology – and captures the strength and resilience of our survivors and Niner Nation. It is a memorial that will stand the test of time.

The University’s 2021 Day of Remembrance events began with an early morning wreath laying ceremony led by the UNC Charlotte Police and Public Safety Department (PPS) in front of the Kennedy Building. Throughout the day, the University hosted several virtual and in-person events to bring together faculty, staff and students.

The day ended with a Virtual Remembrance Program from 5:15 p.m. to 5:40 p.m., ending with the ringing of the UNC Charlotte ceremonial bell at the time of the 2019 filming.

The program was offered online and broadcast at Jerry Richardson Stadium. As the sun set, PPS led the removal of the wreaths from their one-day positions at Kennedy.

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