Höweler + Yoon, John Ronan, NADAAA, MOS and Hood Design Studio shortlisted in Fallen Journalists Memorial competition

The Newsies

Höweler + Yoon, John Ronan, NADAAA, MOS and Hood Design Studio shortlisted in Fallen Journalists Memorial competition

(Gustav V./Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0)

In Washington, D.C. the Fallen Journalists Memorial Foundation (FJMF) announced the names of four shortlisted teams to design the country’s first monument dedicated to press freedom and journalists who died in the field. Höweler+Yoon Architecture, John Ronan Architects, MOS alongside Hood Design Studio, and NADAAA were each chosen by the FJMF’s Design Team Selection Committee. The reviewers include Paul Goldberger, Milton Curry of Cornell University, landscape architect Mia Lehrer, architecture critic Blair Kamin, and other esteemed interlocutors.

The announcement follows a rigorous multi-stage selection competition which had 54 entries. The initial entries were then narrowed down to 12 design teams who subsequently presented their work for the selection committee last November.

The FJMF was authorized by U.S. Congress to build the memorial on federal land in Washington, D.C. in December 2020. It’s led by journalism professor Barbara Cochran and David Dreier, a former U.S. Representative and past Chairman of the Tribune Publishing Company. Its board of advisors contain numerous leaders from the journalism community including editors, news anchors, and photojournalists.

FJMF’s mission is commemorating “America’s commitment to a free press by honoring journalists who have sacrificed their lives in service to that cause.” It continues: “At home and abroad, journalists and photojournalists confront a range of threats as they pursue the truth. Those threats often include murder, kidnapping, harassment and other forms of violence and intimidation.” The Committee to Protect Journalists, for instance, reported on January 16 that 82 journalists and media workers have been killed in Gaza in the past three months.

Previously, the Newseum told the story of journalism’s perils and triumphs, until that institution closed its doors in 2019. Now, the forthcoming Fallen Journalists Memorial will assume that heavy burden. It will be located on the National Mall with a direct line of sight with the U.S. Capitol Building.

This month, Höweler + Yoon, John Ronan Architects, MOS/Hood Design Studio, and NADAAA will present their more detailed memorial designs in Washington, D.C. This entails site analysis diagrams, contextual framework diagrams, and illustrative site plans.

“It has been a real honor to help lead this process and participate in rigorous discussions with my colleagues on the selection committee to determine the best approach for translating our memorial concepts into architectural form,” Paul Goldberger said in a press statement. “Determining which of the four design teams should advance to the final stage of consideration has been exceptionally difficult given the consistent quality and seriousness of commitment to the idea of this memorial that every one of the 12 semi-finalist teams has shown in this process.”

Nearby, another memorial subject to an architecture and design competition is also underway. Marlon Blackwell Architects was recently named the winning firm, out of a shortlist of five architecture and landscape firms, to design the Global War on Terrorism Memorial.

The winner for the Fallen Journalists Memorial will be announced in spring 2024.