Designing a Covid-19 Memorial in Loma Linda, CA

GoArchitect designed a landscape & sculpture memorial that symbolizes the struggle Loma Linda has endured and the hope it has for the future.

— Client
Loma Linda, CA
— Focus
Public Realm
— Challenge

Designers from around the world were challenged to design a Covid-19 memorial for their local commmunities.

— Outcome

GoArchitect designed a memorial that blended landscaping, bold texture, and local context for the city of Loma Linda, CA.

— Impact

This memorial design was submitted for consideration to the 2021 Covid Memorial Design Competition.

Loma Linda, California is a small city of just over 20,000 people. What makes it a unique place is that for almost 100 years it has been the home of the Loma Linda University hospital. This hospital is one of the only trauma 1 centers in San Bernardino county. This means that during the Covid pandemic, it saw some of the heaviest patient loads and deaths in the entire region.

As the GoArchitect team thought about this city's role during the pandemic, we were reminded of the memorial competition's main focus, to design a local memorial that honors those who have been lost to Covid-19 and bring solace to the community. Instead of thinking about grand solutions, aimed for something meaningful and enduring.

With this context in mind, we designed a simple memorial where each component symbolizes not only the struggle Loma Linda has endured but the hope that it has for the future.

It is composed of three elements: a 12-foot bronze wall, a hill, and a meadow.

The bronze wall slices through the center of the hill to symbolize how CV19 broke the natural order of life & community. On this wall are also inscribed the names of all the patients who passed away from CV19 at the Loma Linda University Medical Center in 2020 and 2021.

The hill going over the top of the wall symbolizes that we, as a community, can overcome such a challenge. Even if the path is narrow and the climb is steep, there is a way beyond.

The meadow on the far side of the bronze wall symbolizes that there is hope and beauty beyond the struggle. This meadow is thick & dense with foliage to represent a certain mystery to the future. Even if there is mystery, we know the future is flourishing with life.

Our spirit of emotional engagement also found a voice in the presentation. We wanted the submission artwork to show, as much as possible, how the memorial is a piece of interactive landscape and sculpture. We created these digital drawings to convey the emotion of the place more than the structural components.

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