SWA Group has recently announced the approval of The Clearing, the firm’s design for the Sandy Hook Permanent Memorial. The design was selected unanimously by the Sandy Hook Permanent Memorial Commission among 189 international design submissions.
The design’s three hallmarks include "the circle," "the path," and "the tree." A circling network of paths takes visitors through a woodland and meadows. “Our path moves in gentle circles through a flowering woodland which celebrates the lives of the victims, and eventually arrives at a central memorial ‘clearing’ where the community can gather in love for those lost,” said Co-Designer Ben Waldo. “The path has no true beginning or end, which allows visitors to experience the space at their own pace and in their own way, while always bringing them closer together.”
The connecting paths allow the visitor to experience the space in their own way and at their own pace before arriving at the center. The Memorial Clearing is framed by two low stone walls with wood tops and two low stone seatwalls.
A water feature sits in a grand basin at the center of the Memorial. The edge of the feature is engraved with the names of the victims. Water flows inwards toward a planter at the center, where a the “Sacred Sycamore” is planted at the center of the pool, symbolizing the growth of the community.
In addition to SWA Group, the build team also includes JMC (civil engineer), GNBC (structural engineer), Atelier Ten (lighting), Fluidity (water feature design), Artemis (landscape architect), and Centek Engineering (electrical engineer).
The Memorial will sit on a donated five-acre site in Newtown, Conn., with groundbreaking set to take place in August. The project is slated to be complete and open on Dec. 14, 2022, the 10th anniversary of the tragedy.