Long Beach Police and Fire Department Memorial

Client
  • City of Long Beach

At the center of this concept is the folded American flag, derived from the tradition of taking the American flag that drapes over a fallen officer's coffin and completing a folding ceremony before it is handed to the deceased loved ones.

Loss of life while serving in the Police and Fire Departments is a reality. The memorial would honor those lost in the line of duty from 1912- 2070, which meant the design needed to account for future loss of life. Organization of the names was also critical; grieving individuals should not struggle to find loved ones’ names.

The Challenge

Memorials are significant structures that are intended to honor the fallen, while also giving the community a place where they can mourn. The design of the memorial needed to reflect the gravitas of grief, while being abstract enough that individuals could find their own meaning in its design.

Image Credit: Design Team

The Memorial is located in a recessed plaza adjacent to Long Beach City Hall. The arc of the memorial matches the complex geometry of the raised planting area.

Image Credit: Design Team and Africa Studio

We honor each individual who has fallen in the line of duty with a folded American flag which symbolizes their ultimate sacrifice.

Image Credit : Design Team

The names of the fallen are engraved in cast bronze along with the shield of either Fire or Police Department.

Design & Execution

The triangle module served as a reference to the folded flag, without being a literal interpretation of it cast in bronze. The use of bronze gives a nod to traditional memorials, but ultimately signifies the structure's importance within the surrounding environment, while also referencing the warm metal of officers' badges. Each element of the memorial is loaded with meaning, yet the overall design is graphically restrained.

The difficult reality that the design would need to account for additional names in the future required careful thought.

All of the dedication triangle plaques run parallel along the first layer of the memorial. Black triangles were fabricated for the potential scenario where a blank bronze triangle needs to be removed to be engraved. The black triangle would be a temporary stand-in while the permanent plaque is engraved–signalling to the community that tragedy has occurred. The color black was selected to reference the black mourning bands that officers wear across their shields when a fellow officer is lost in the line of duty. Name plaques are arranged chronologically, beginning on the top left side of the memorial, to make it simple for visitors to find their loved ones name.

Image Credit: Design Team

The memorial was designed to be fully assembled in the manufacturer’s shop to maintain the tightest tolerances possible. It was then disassembled in four large sections to be transported.

Photo Credit: Andreas Yanikian

The use of bronze gives a nod to traditional memorials, but ultimately signifies the structure’s importance within the surrounding environment, while also referencing the warm metal of officers’ badges.

Photo Credit: Andreas Yanikian

Some of the triangles that compose the middle and back layers of the screen display the stars of the American flag, giving a nod to the origins of the concept.

Photo Credit: Andreas Yanikian

The presence of flowers placed over a triangle name plaque signified to us that loved ones have interacted with the memorial, and have found solace in its presence.

Slideshow

Long Beach Police and Fire Department Memorial

The design of the memorial creates a porous screen that provides privacy for those to grieve, but does not block the view of City Hall from the main thoroughfare.

The Memorial is located in a recessed plaza adjacent to Long Beach City Hall. The arc of the memorial matches the complex geometry of the raised planting area.

We honor each individual who has fallen in the line of duty with a folded American flag which symbolizes their ultimate sacrifice.

The names of the fallen are engraved in cast bronze along with the shield of either Fire or Police Department.

The memorial was designed to be fully assembled in the manufacturer’s shop to maintain the tightest tolerances possible. It was then disassembled in four large sections to be transported.

The use of bronze gives a nod to traditional memorials, but ultimately signifies the structure’s importance within the surrounding environment, while also referencing the warm metal of officers’ badges.

Some of the triangles that compose the middle and back layers of the screen display the stars of the American flag, giving a nod to the origins of the concept.

The presence of flowers placed over a triangle name plaque signified to us that loved ones have interacted with the memorial, and have found solace in its presence.