International Architecture Competition

The Last
Nuclear Bomb Memorial

Results

Foreword

Competition organisers

The Last 
Nuclear Bomb Memorial

In 2017, on the 75th anniversary of the bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima that killed upwards of 100,000 people, the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was adopted. In support of this call for a ban on nuclear weapons, Bee Breeders sought out designs for "The Last Nuclear Bomb Memorial", a conceptual project to be located in any known decommissioned nuclear weapon testing site. This competition was unique in that submissions were not permitted to include text, titles, or annotation of any kind. All ideas were required to be communicated visually.

The competition called for projects that established a clear concept. Given the nature of this competition, the received submissions comprised an immense library of experiential designs. Many focused on light and darkness. Others focused on scale – either by designing directly within the vast craters that remain as evidence of nuclear tests, or by overlaying the space encapsulated by nuclear explosions on dense cities, empty fields, or bodies of water. The designs attempted to memorialize those killed and impacted by the violence of nuclear activity, as well as highlight mankind’s cosmic capacity for destruction on Earth.

Bee Breeders teamed up with a fantastic jury panel with a range of experiences in memorial design. We thank this group for its time and thoughtful analysis of submissions. The full jury included: Jonas Dahlberg, an artist based in Stockholm, Sweden, founding director of the studio and research lab OF PUBLIC INTEREST (OPI) and known for his winning proposal of the memorials for the victims of the terrorist attacks in Oslo and Utøya in 2011; Sebastian Letz, a Partner and creative director at Milla & Partner, Germany, leading the design of Germany's national monument to freedom and unity; Katie MacDonald and Kyle Schumann, co-founders of US-based After Architecture with a portfolio that includes the Camp Barker Civil War memorial; Amsterdam-based architect Angelo Renna; Michel Rojkind, founder of Mexico City-based Rojkind Arquitectos, which recently proposed a memorial to coronavirus victims; and Fernando Romero, Founding Principal of Fernando Romero Enterprise FR-EE, which has worked on projects such as a proposal for an atomic energy pavilion in Russia.

Bee Breeders and its jury panel would like to thank all participants for their submissions!

1ST PRIZE WINNER+
BB STUDENT AWARD

Project Name

The Garden

University

Unam facultad de arquitectura

Country

Mexico

Project authors

Roberto Gonzalez
Eduardo Padilla

jury commentary

The simple but effective project proposes the insertion of a single circular light trench within a nuclear test crater. It powerfully frames the violence and impact of human testing on earth and nature. At night, the void is shown to glow and highlight the silhouettes of visitors – spectacularly tiny bodies when put in relation to the vastness of the cavity. The jury writes,  “The contrast of the nature growing inside the crater left by the bomb seems like a very interesting metaphor of how life can grow out of something as damaging as a nuclear bomb. An emotional and elegant proposal with well-elaborated images. The idea to create a wild garden in the middle of a crater pit is a powerful concept with a positive message for future generations. A place for commemoration for all communities, human and non-human. The emphasis on new emerging nature hints at the possibility of life after catastrophe – a very clear message with a small amount of intervention.” 

 

2ND PRIZE WINNER+
BB GREEN AWARD

Project Name

Measure the horizon from where you stand. Let us know its length and why.

Country

Mexico

Project authors

Patxi Jauregui
Ana Elizalde
Mónica Muñoz
Yael González

jury commentary

The memorial is proposed at the nuclear testing at Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands, one of the United States’ most active testing sites in the 1940s and 50s. A simple linear boardwalk stretching over the sea and natural reefs, the memorial occurs largely underwater, placing emphasis on sea life and decentering the human in favor of a holistic view of the environment. According to the jury, “The use of wood and a language of vernacular docks produces a memorial that will be ephemeral on a radioactive timescale, decaying long before other nuclear traces. It is a very interesting concept with beautiful one-line drawings. The idea to create a wooden structure able to support marine life is brilliant. A place to celebrate life in all its forms.”

3RD PRIZE WINNER

Project Name

Procession

Country

Colombia

Project authors

Steven Rubio

jury commentary

A linear tunnel of corten steel cuts through the earth, leading visitors from the flat desert and through the center of a nuclear testing site crater. The project presents an experiential pathway into a wound in the earth caused by human experiment. It plays on the sensations one might feel when led from daylight and openness into a condensed and dark space, into the shaded opening of the void, and back out again. The jury writes, “A clear and concise scenographic concept for an emotionally condensed journey. The concept of accessing the crater left by a bomb through a very narrow space that finally converges into a space that is wide open and full of light, is a very interesting metaphor.

Honorable mentions

VIEWclose HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Project Name

The Silence of All Mankind

Country

United States

Project authors

Chang Yuan Max Hsu

Project Name

Paper Vigilance

Country

United Kingdom

Project authors

Julian Besems

Project Name

Because it concerns us all.

University

University of applied sciences mainz

Country

Germany

Project authors

Bernadette Nübling
Stella Funk

Project Name

Irreversible

Country

Portugal

Project authors

Jessica Martins
Catarina Pereira
Inês Lopes

Project Name

The Aftermath

University

Cornell university

Country

United States

Project authors

Lauren Lam

Project Name

Dot

Company

3dsense

Country

Czech Republic

Project authors

Josef Lepša

Shortlisted projects

VIEWclose Shortlisted projects

Canada

Ryerson university

justin lieberman
manuel santos

Brazil

michelle jean de castro

China

Syracuse university

yifan shen
fei xiong

France

raphael heaton catelin
cyril domelier

United States

martin kloeckner

United States

andrew madl

Ukraine

Kharkiv national university of civil engineering and architecture (knucea)

vladyslav koliesnik

Czech Republic

3dsense

josef lepša

Mexico

patxi jauregui
ana elizalde
mónica muñoz
yael gonzález

Greece

vasileios sempsis
fotis sagonas

United States

Cornell university

lauren lam

China

wenbo zhang
bo liu

Poland

Politechnika wrocławska

bartłomiej woźniak
apolonia browarska

South Korea

uuganbayar batkhuyag
minkyu kong
heewoong kim

Germany

University of applied sciences mainz

bernadette nübling
stella funk

South Korea

Yonsei university

hyun soo hwang

Colombia

steven rubio

New Zealand

taylor kim
alex han

Mexico

Unam facultad de arquitectura

roberto gonzalez
eduardo padilla

South Korea

kiryun song
kyungyeol kim
winny hyungjin cho
hyunwon choi

Germany

benedikt zeller

Germany

tom macht

Italy

Politecnico di milano

gabriele licciardi
lorenzo longo
francesco giacchino

United States

andrew brookes

Austria

christopher mellin
rafael pelka

United States

chang yuan max hsu

Portugal

jessica martins
catarina pereira
inês lopes

United Kingdom

ethan mattocks

Slovenia

Univerity of ljubljana, faculty of architecture

sinja tekavec
ana Špes

Switzerland

maxime gaillard
bruno palak

United Kingdom

parisa davoudi
ali habibianfar
pirooz shadanpour

France

hubert charlaix
mathieu nouhen

Malaysia

wong lapzhen

India

vikas lokhande

Iceland

davíð snær sveinsson
Ísak toma

United Kingdom

julian besems

Germany

johannes beier
konrad beier
moritz penning

Czech Republic

lukas hudak

France

baptiste roche
bastien viguier

United Kingdom

stuart beattie
jake choi
 

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